Report Card: One Month into Forming a New Habit

Last month, I told you that the one resolution I made this year was to live life in honesty, openness and truth, to the best of my ability, in every interaction, in every matter.

Forming a New Habit, Brad W. Smith photographer, Lifeishotblog

Being at the helm of your life requires great skill to navigate the obstacles

I also said that I was only going to keep this resolution for one month, with an option to renew each month, and to let you know in early February how well it worked for me in January.

When I started this blog it was to engage in conversation about what it means to be honest in what we say and do, to be open to others – who most likely have differing viewpoints, and to be true to ourselves in all situations. 

I give myself high marks for my efforts to be honest with myself and others, to be open to others’ actions and viewpoints, and to remain true to myself. It hasn’t always been easy and by no stretch of the imagination can I say that I have successfully adopted a new habit and forever banished an old one.

I can say that I have begun forming a new habit and each time I successfully execute on it, it feels a little more natural, a little easier, a little better.

Forming a New Habit Requires Commitment and Respect

There are two key ingredients to successfully keeping a resolution. One is commitment to change. That requires training ourselves to do things in a new way – to create a new habit that we follow in place of the habit of the old way.

The other is respect for ourselves. When we have self-respect, it is easier to keep the commitment to do things differently because we know getting rid of the old habit will bring a benefit.

There’s nothing special about a New Year’s resolution. Any time you’re ready to make a change in your life is the right time to resolve to do so. Like learning how to do anything else, it takes lots of practice, over time, to create a new habit. Sometimes it takes even longer to know whether this new way of doing something works better for us than the old way.

Somewhere I read or heard it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. Certainly it takes a lot of perfect practice to master a new skill. I guess that means I’ll be renewing my resolution for at least another month.

Life Is Honest, Open and True: How do you see yourself? Is there some habit that keeps you from realizing your potential to be the best you possible? Can you commit to trying to do just one thing differently, and commit to forgiving yourself when you slip back into the old habit?

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