It’s New Year’s Eve and for some reason you’ve decided to make a few (don’t lie, several) resolutions. You’re going to lose the muffin top, stop drinking so much, kick the nic habit, spend more time doing/being/etc. … but then you don’t stick with any of them for longer than a month or so. 

What happened?

Was it a lack of motivation? You thought you had that on lock. 

Was it a lack of willpower? Yeah, maybe, but how do you get more of that? You read somewhere it’s like a “muscle,” but what does that really mean?

If you’re like me, all you want to know is how to develop a habit in any area of your life and make it “sticky.”

Woman writing the words "my plan" in a journal.
Photo credit: Pixabay

You’ve probably read or heard about The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (Great read, by the way, if you haven’t indulged.) Maybe you’ve even looked into other habit books (there are a few.) And as much as you love them (me. too) something isn’t clicking. 

For me, the realization happened when I’d established (I thought) an exercise habit for nearly a year, but when I became ill it became harder and harder to start my routine again. This nagged at me until I finally called BJ Fogg (the Tiny Habit guru.) 

From our conversation, I realized that one thing I failed to do was PLAN for being ill, or PLAN for being unable to meet my goal. This might seem basic to you, but it was a revelation for me. 

If you want to have indestructible habits one thing you need to do is plan for the times you can’t achieve the goal. Why? Because it can take much longer than you realize to establish a habit. 

Remember, a habit, in its most basic form, is something you do without thinking. Some take root so easily your head spins. Others, not so much. 

Step one: Make a plan.