“Good habits, once established, are just as hard to break as bad habits.” (Robert Fuller)
I saw a story on the local news last night that today is the watershed day for New Years Resolutions. Apparently there is evidence that if one can keep doing something for 66 days straight it will have established itself as a habit and today (Mar 6) is day 66 for 2015. So, if you’ve managed to do every day whatever it is that you promised yourself that you would do for 2015; congratulations you’ve formed a new habit (hopefully a good one).
The most often reported New Year’s Resolutions seem to be about losing weight, quitting a bad habit (like smoking) or getting more exercise. Those resolutions are all tough to stick with for most people, so if you did it and stuck with any of them; good for you. For me I was resolved to be a regular at the gym this year. I just can’t go every day, but I was on the list of the top 15 gym attendees at the Milford Anytime Fitness for the first month and just barely out off the list in February, when I took a week off for vacation. I think I have this down to a habit, but I’ll keep tracking it to make sure.
There was a story in today’s Detroit papers about a new young catcher who is expected
to become the backup catcher on the team this year – James McCann. James was in a pre-season game this week and let a ball that was outside and in the dirt get by him. In a real game during the season a miscue like that can cost a game and James knows it. He was upset with himself for that miss, so the next day he came to practice early and had the pitching coach line up the pitching machine so that it would fire balls at him outside and in the dirt. He had 100 balls loaded up and fired away so that he would get all of that practice to make sure that he stops balls that might get by him. In the process he was forming the good habits that catchers need of getting down and staying in front of the ball. He is hard on himself, but he doesn’t just beat himself up or get moody about it. He uses his mistakes (misses) as motivation to double-down and work harder.
How about you? Did you keep your resolutions? Have they become good habits for you? The alternatives to holding yourself accountable for your resolutions are to lower your standards or give up completely, neither is a good choice. Once you start allowing yourself to slip and finding ways to rationalize why that’s OK, you’ve stepped way out onto the slippery slope of backsliding and failure. Don’t go there. It’s not a pleasant place to live. Rather, double your resolve, but don’t beat yourself up. The first step in not giving up is to realize that it’s not too late…you can still do this (whatever “this” is). So, don’t bury your resolutions; dust them off; learn from your mistakes or failures so far; and double-down on your resolve to accomplish those goals (and that’s what they really should have been all along – goals).
Create good new habits along the way to reaching your goals. Have a great weekend catching up on those promises to yourself. As for me, I’ll be at the gym working out.