Resolving to the habitual

I have to admit that, like many, I’ve been guilty of setting myself up for failure at the beginning of every New Year. I stack up a series of aspirations for my life which I contemplate in a great degree of seriousness before compiling the targets for the year ahead.

My list usually includes some achievable goals – often EXTREMELY achievable – things that need to be done – decorating or cleaning tasks. This is a clumsy attempt at using the rudiments of motivational psychology to ensure success at tackling the overall peloton of ambition. The bookcase will be decorated, the cupboard organized or the outside of the windows cleaned. However the bigger ambitions – the running marathons, learning of new languages – fall at the wayside and often all I’m left with is the return to what was before. I can’t be the only one who experiences this self-improvement slump, which usually hits around week three of January.

I’ve even considered some of the other pop-psychology solutions to my inability to progress in my own development – 21 days to form a habit – a very popular and pervasive myth – which this Forbes article trashes (yet delivers more effective solutions).

I came across the Balibart pop-up at Old Street Tube Station (I love the pop-up spaces there and made another discovery in the excellent dept.store for the mind) in December and saw this print poster that really provoked me to think.

“Create something today even if it sucks”.

It really triggered something within me – still kicking myself for not picking up the print – but it set something alight in my brain. This was reinforced when, heading out from the tube I saw the word “CREATE” emblazoned in art graffiti.

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In assessing for my annual list of pending disappointment, this fire was still burning in my brain. But create is a credo rather than a resolution – which perhaps brings us back a little to the practice of habit forming. But rather than using it as a target the thought should be around just doing, just being, even if it sucks.

So no resolutions, apart from to rearrange the living room and meet Bill Oddie, but just picking the habit…

#create #NewYearsResolutions #NewYearNewBe

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