New year’s resolutions are hard to maintain, so much so that people will make jokes about opening a gym that only runs during January, since most gym NYRs run out of steam by then.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve found regarding acquiring new behaviors comes from the first motivational books I ever read - The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino, which for some reason we had a copy of in our house when I was young.
The book tells us that:
- humans are slaves to habit
- bad habits can only be replaced by good habits
Therefore, in order to improve your life, you should form good habits and become their slave. So if you have a NYR like “quit smoking”, you should choose a “good habit” to replace the “bad habit” of smoking with. Maybe every time you get an urge to smoke, you pick up a book instead and start reading? Just a suggestion.
(The rest of Mandino’s book consists mostly of recommended self-affirmations, which is the “good habit” he recommends to improve your life.)