Keeping your New Year’s resolutions can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve pledged to do something especially big for your business. So, as today is Fail Friday (the day when most people quit their resolutions), here are some examples of how introducing tiny new habits into your routine could help you stay on the right track to keeping those big goals for 2014.
Our behaviour is regularly affected by whether we think we’re receiving any reward for our actions - which means it’s easy to get into a bad habit loop. That’s because the first time you get a rush of relief from hitting the snooze button on your alarm or compulsively checking your email, it encourages your brain to keep performing this action. By identifying the cue that triggers your habit, you’ll find it easier to hack the loop and replace the “bad” routine with a “good” one that gives you the same perceived reward.
OK, so you’ve established your tiny habit - but how do you expand upon it? Buffer co-founder Joel Gascoigne’s method is to start with a habit that’s “so small you can’t fail”, so that it’s easier to gradually make small additions to it and eventually achieve the bigger, awesome habit you wanted all along. Just remember to factor in some flexibility as you go, and try to avoid the guilt or disappointment that arises from failure. If you expect to break a habit at some point, you’ll be better placed to learn from your failure, stay focussed on your goal and succeed in the long term.