The New Year is here! Surely, you’ve noticed by now how difficult it can be to keep your resolutions. For a lot of people, a New Year’s resolution is no more than an interesting conversation starter; each year they give up after just a few weeks. Anyone who visits the gym regularly is familiar with the “January rush”.
The ability to keep a New Year’s resolution boils down to your level of self-discipline: the ability to maintain awareness of your choices each moment and to choose “the hard one.” This same willpower is what enables people to achieve great feats, like writing a novel or winning a triathlon.
Fortunately, willpower is like a muscle. Even better, you don’t have to go anywhere special to train. There are opportunities for you to “work out” your self-control during every waking hour. You’re probably familiar with the scenario: you’re spending time on social media and you know there’s something more important you ought to be doing. You quell the little voice of reason because continuing to browse online offers immediate satisfaction and a welcomed distraction for what you should be doing.
In that moment, you must decide between an easy and a difficult (but far more rewarding) option. Either continue to waste time on funny pictures or to get to work. Learning to recognize this kind of choice, and habitually choosing correctly, will dramatically improve your ability to stick to decisions.
Here are some exercises in self-discipline you can do to slowly build your resolve to enormous levels:
Some of these may seem like common sense, but if you’re not practicing them yet, start now. Eventually, you’ll realize what a foundation they build for sticking to your decisions and turning ideas into action.
This year, practice your willpower and make your resolutions more than a conversation topic!