As we enter a new year, it can be a great opportunity to create positive habits and start making progress on your goals. Whether that's pursuing a new hobby, eating healthier, or learning a new skill, it's a great time to decide which areas of your life that you want to focus on. Building the right habits can make a huge difference when it comes to achieving your goals and becoming the best version of yourself.
1. Make a plan
Take the time to make a realistic plan for yourself about what habits you want to create for the year ahead. If it's health-related, come up with a plan for eating well, exercising, and taking time for self-care. If it’s related to your career, figure out what steps you can take to reach your goals. One of the best ways you can do this is by performing a Personal Annual Review where you look back on the year that just passed and reflect on what areas you’d like to see improvements for the year ahead.
2. Start small
Don't try to do too much at once, as this will overwhelm you and make it even harder to stick with your new habits. Start small and steady and progress gradually.
Consider what are the smallest incremental actions you might be able to take on a daily basis towards your goals for the new year. As mentioned by James Clear in his book Atomic Habits, tying a new habit to an existing habit such as eating breakfast, commuting to work, etc, can really help you adopt the new habit.
3. Track progress
How can you tell if you're improving without measuring it? Tracking your progress is a great way to stay motivated and it also helps keep your new habits on track.
You can build your own Daily Habits Tracker to keep on top of your most important habits. Seeing daily progress helps you to build up momentum and ultimately stick to your habits.
Want to build a tracker for specific habits? Here's some inspiration:
- Track your progress towards reading goals with our Reading Tracker Template
- Make sure you stay on top of your financial goals with this Budget Planner Template
- Finally time to run that 10k? Measure your progress with our Running Tracker Template
4. Build a support system
Building a support system is essential for creating and sticking with new habits. Find friends, family members, or a support group who can help motivate and encourage you to keep going when times get tough. You could even look for members of your support group in the Craft Community.
5. Celebrate success
Celebrate your successes and give yourself a pat on the back for managing to create and stick with your new habits. Even the little successes should be celebrated so you’re more likely to keep going.
One great way to keep track of your successes is using a Gratitude Journal. This practice ensures that you take time out each day to stop and recognise the things in life you’re grateful for.
6. Build a better relationship with yourself
This alone can have a huge positive impact in all areas of your life. Taking the time to check in with yourself, to understand your feelings, to explore new ways of thinking, and to prioritize activities that promote healthy mental and physical health can help you develop a better relationship with yourself.
A lot of people find journaling helps to build greater self-awareness; and it can help you be kinder and more patient with yourself (don't know where to start - get some inspiration from our Daily Reflection Journal Template).
Another popular method of journaling, which is often seen as a hybrid between productivity and mindfulness, is the Bullet Journal. The Bullet Journal method is built for rapidly logging entries in the form of bullets throughout the day. It encourages you to reflect over these entries and act on them accordingly.
Creating and sticking with new habits takes dedication and commitment, but it can make a huge difference in achieving your goals and becoming the best version of yourself. Make a plan, start small, track progress, build a support system, and celebrate successes and you’ll be well on your way to building positive habits this year.
To help you make 2023 the best year ever, we added five brand new templates:
- Make mindful progress towards your goals with our Bullet Journal template
- Make gratitude a habit with our Gratitude Journal template
- Set better goals in 2023: conduct a personal annual review with this template
- Stay on top of your reading habit with our Reading Tracker Template
- Give yourself more time to reflect - get started with our Daily Reflection Journal template