Do you need a fresh start? At the beginning of every year, we’re consumed with the idea that we need to somehow eliminate all of our bad habits in one go. You tell yourself that you’ll start working out every day, writing consistently, or start making progress on your dreams. The first week rolls around, and you’re ready, but somewhere along the line, you lose that initial motivation, and you convince yourself that you’ll begin another time.
Don’t tell yourself that it’s too late to start, even if you’re halfway into the year. I’ve made that mistake countless times, which left me feeling like I couldn’t accomplish anything. You’re capable of change, and acknowledging that will help you take charge of your fresh start, allowing you to create habits that will rework your daily schedule.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is, what are you trying to accomplish? If you had to put one of your main goals into a single sentence, what would it look like?
Here’s mine: I want to establish daily writing and content-producing habits to maintain a consistent publishing schedule.
Create Specific Goals and a System to Achieve Them
When you’re writing out your goals, focus on making them specific, so they read as achievable tasks rather than ones that seem too far out of reach. If you’re trying to spend more time writing and publishing articles or blog posts, try alternating between the process and spreading it throughout the week.
Instead of writing, editing, and preparing each piece the day of, try writing 2-3 ahead of schedule. That way, you can edit and polish without feeling overwhelmed. Getting specific about your goals and breaking them down into smaller, more achievable tasks will help you stay on track.
Lay out your plans in your weekly schedule instead of waiting for the next day to roll around. Plans change, life gets in the way, but if you have an idea of what you want to get done before, you’ll have a much easier time adapting.
Establish a Plan to Tackle Bad Habits and Build Good Ones
Bad habits are like quicksand. The more you struggle to eliminate them, the faster you sink. I know I wanted to make a variety of changes to achieve different goals this year, but the one thing I made sure not to do was to try to achieve them all at the same time.
Introducing a new habit to replace a bad one takes time. You’re not going to permanently fix your sleep schedule overnight or miraculously develop the motivation to work out every day. Persistence is the key to consistency. If you keep at it, making small steps in the right direction, it’ll eventually stick.
Try choosing a single habit to change each month of the year. This is something I’ve implemented to maintain good habits like working out regularly or writing more efficiently. While I’m certainly working on multiple habits at a time, I’m not stressing over them. I can slowly work a new one into my schedule without disrupting the others, and that creates a schedule that keeps me productive, clear-headed, and calm.
Get Started Before Procrastination Hits
My most significant bad habit used to be not being able to start. I ultimately realized that once I did begin, everything slowly started to unfold at a comfortable pace. Still, that hurdle made it much easier for procrastination to weasel its way back into my day.
I knew that once I got over that, I’d be able to create those consistent habits I’ve wanted to implement for such a long time, and now I start before I can even think to convince myself to put the task off for later.
Start now. Don’t give yourself any more excuses as to why you need to put off your tasks. It doesn’t matter if you’ve fallen out of routine or missed a scheduled day. You can always get back on track, but to do that, you have to begin.
The Wrap Up
• Create Goals That Have a Plan: Plan ahead, work on your goals consistently, and keep track of your progress. Create a plan that works with your daily schedule and helps you achieve your goals over time.
• Focus on Slowly Working a Single Habit Into Your Schedule: Start small. Implement a single good habit into your routine to replace a bad one, and don’t be hard on yourself if it doesn’t stick right away. Give yourself time to adapt, and you will have a productive daily routine.
• Start Now: Don’t wait for “the right time.” If you want to start creating content, write your novel, or work on something you’re passionate about, just begin. Start your tasks before the procrastination sets in, and you will get more done.
I hope these tips help you to have an incredible and productive 2021.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.
Anisa Nasir is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and family. She’s the writer behind As She Writes.