Our desire for a fresh start causes us to waste a lot of time waiting. Why wait for a new year, a new month, or a new week. Tomorrow is a new beginning. Why not PLAN today – START tomorrow – and NEVER quit! A lot of people will tell us to start NOW, which isn’t bad advice if you are prone to procrastination, but research has shown that we do better when we have a plan. Research on implementation intentions suggests we will be much more likely to follow through if we have a plan. Planning can be exciting, but don’t let it turn into a form of procrastination.
If you have a strong desire to implement a new habit, put that motivation to good use by planning when you’ll perform the new habit. Motivation not put to work is like water spilling from a leaky damn instead of being put to work by the mill. Motivation gets us started, but without a plan, we will quickly wander off course. Create an implementation intention. Decide when and where you are going to begin. Develop if-then plans. For example, your implementation intention could be to exercise for 20-minutes each morning right after waking up and drinking a glass of water. You prepare by laying your clothing out the night before and deciding what kind of exercise you are going to do. If 20-minutes feels like too much, you can start with a 5-minute commitment. Your if-then plan could be, if I oversleep or somehow miss my workout, I will exercise as soon as I get home from work.
Don’t let another week, month, or year go by before you make a fresh start. Tomorrow is a fresh start. Now would be a great time to plan and prepare for it. Each day is our life in miniature. Start creating a better one tomorrow. Don’t wait. Our daily routines determine our success and shape our identity. Consistency is the one thing all habits have in common. The best way to build consistency is to track it. Print out a calendar and put an X in every day you perform the habit. If you want to form multiple habits at once, keep your daily commitments super small, something you can do in 5-minutes or less, and use a Habit Tracker like this one.
If you want to make a change, PLAN today, START tomorrow, and NEVER quit! Good luck!