Try These Micro Habits to Achieve Your New Year’s Goals
When the ball drops in New York City at midnight and fireworks begin to light up the night sky throughout every North American time zone, champagne glasses clink, the noisemakers come out and the Instagram posts begin, with captions often referencing hefty new goals people have set to achieve in the new year.
Between the promises to work out more and the determination to spend less, the pressure of setting a New Year’s resolution starts to weigh on the shoulders of many. What we often don’t realize, though, is that sometimes the goals we are setting for ourselves are actually setting us back.
In a recent article published but the Harvard Business Review in the Ascend section, which aims to help young professionals navigate the working world and their goals, editor Kelsey Alpaio said, “When a resolution is too big or too vague, it makes it easier for you to make up excuses why you’re not going to do it.”
Enter micro habits, or tiny, everyday tasks that require minimal effort to perform and help lead you down the path of achieving a larger goal. Habits of this sort can be especially helpful for busy meeting and event planners, who often experience unpredictable and stressful schedules with little to no time for themselves.
Consider the difference between “I will read more” versus “I will read for five minutes every night before bed.” Not only do micro habits break down bigger goals to help make them less intimidating and more attainable, they also tell you how much to do and when to do it by, which Ayelet Fishbach, author of GET IT DONE: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation, says is one of the tricks to staying on track and monitoring progress.
This year, rethink your New Year’s resolution—or resolutions—and help yourself achieve your wellness goals by implementing the following micro habits into your busy daily routine as a meeting and event planner.
Micro Habits for Movement
The most common New Year’s resolution set every year is to improve fitness, according to Forbes, with 48% of 1,000 U.S. adults surveyed in a recent Forbes Health/OnePoll study saying improved fitness is a “top priority” for them in 2024.
Rather than making it a goal to work out more, consider these small tasks to get up and moving more frequently:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Set an alarm on your phone for every hour or two to get up and stretch, or vow to walk for two minutes for every hour you spend working at your desk.
- Go for one walk a day, even if it’s just around the block.
- Stretch every morning before getting dressed.
- Practice wall squats while brushing your teeth.
Micro Habits for Healthy Eating
Making changes to your diet can be one of the hardest things to do, especially when you’ve already developed micro habits you may not be aware of, like grabbing a bag of chips from the vending machine instead of a piece of fruit or returning to your same favorite snack every night before bed. Here are a few small changes you can make to start welcoming healthier eating habits into your routine.
- Before your morning coffee, drink a glass of water to stay hydrated, and consider carrying a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go to hit your water intake goals and easily keep track.
- Make sure to eat at least one green or vegetable with every meal.
- Start every day by taking vitamins and a probiotic food supplement.
- Replace one sweet or soft drink a day with a protein shake.
- Carry nuts or trail mix with you for a healthy snack option.
Micro Habits for Mindfulness
When we find ourselves thinking about making changes to our health and wellness routines, we oftentimes forget to consider the state of our mental health, too. It’s equally as important to have a healthy mind as it is to have a healthy body. Following are a few helpful micro habits to consider incorporating into your daily practices to improve the state of your mental well-being.
- Practice morning meditations or positive affirmations, even in the shower or while brushing your teeth. Downloading a meditation app can be helpful, too!
- Keep a journal next to your bed and write three things you’re grateful for every day before going to sleep.
- Make your bed every morning to start your day with a sense of accomplishment.
- Start every morning by creating a to-do list of three to five tasks to complete by the end of the day to help you stay focused and on track.
- Take one break from social media every month and unfollow accounts that no longer serve you.
No matter what New Year’s resolutions you’ve set, the most important thing to remember is to take your time, make changes that feel comfortable and attainable for you and go at your own pace. The less intimidated you feel by the promises you make to yourself, the more likely you are to achieve them. There’s no problem with being determined to reach a bigger goal, but the lesson learned from one of Aesop's fables still remains true: “Slow and steady wins the race.”
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