New Year’s resolutions, or any habits, come in all shapes and sizes, but they all follow the same basic loop: cue, trigger, reward. Here's how to use that knowledge to your advantage and make exercise or wellbeing habits stick.
To get started with a new habit, you need to first decide what you want to do and then find a cue that will remind you to do it. You then perform the action – the wanted habit – and then make sure you're rewarded for your effort.
Over time, this process becomes automated, leading to positive behaviour change for good. However, you may have found that your New Year’s resolutions don't always last as long as you’d like them to.
Below are three tips for ensuring that this year’s different. Here’s how to make your New Year’s resolutions stick. Grab your heart rate monitor and let's get moving.
- Break down your long-term goals into smaller achievable ones so that you can maintain momentum and motivation from the start.
For example, if you’re looking to be active four times per week, start with just two times per week then three times per week, and finally to four.
- Find a buddy or community who can help keep you on track by holding each other accountable when necessary. Not only this but you’ll have a support system around you when you find sticking to your habit a little harder.
For example, join a running group or fitness class. Find a friend with a similar focus, or join the movement with a thriving community in the Myzone app.
- Ensure your habit is trackable so that you can fully understand how far you’ve come in terms of achieving your goals. Luckily for most habits (and New Year’s resolutions), there is an easy-to-use tracking solution.
For example, within the free Myzone app, your workouts and effort level for each session are automatically tracked and recorded.
This is where wearable technology comes in, tracking behaviour of exercise and rewarding you in the process. The reward comes throughout the workout to encourage the exerciser’s 'mid game' and, over time, helps focus the you on goal setting and goal attainment.
By adding challenges and social leaderboards, this reward becomes amplified. We all do more and do better when others are watching, because the reward of recognition is multiplied.
So the tip this year is to engage with wearables, track what you are doing, set goals, make progress towards your goals, and get others involved. The idea is to reward yourself after every workout so that the urge to do it again is greater — the bigger the reward the more you want to do it again!
Try using this advice with your resolutions and let us know how they go at @myzonemoves with the hashtag #StrongerTogether