Practices and Habits over Resolutions


I’m not a big fan of resolutions. Resolving to do something is not the same thing as actually doing it, and I’ve found that the more big and grand and resolute we get about proclaiming we’re going to do something, the less likely we are to *actually* do it, at least in a sustainable manner. It’s almost as if we think that by being bold we’ll convince ourselves to finally make this or that change. But the more we have to convince ourselves, the less likely whatever it is we want to do will have staying power. Perhaps this is why research shows that near 80 percent of people who set New Year’s resolutions fail, and most by February! 

Rather than resolutions, I’d recommend we think in terms of practices or habits—things that we do for their own sake, for their intrinsic value. Now not all of these things will be easy at first, which is why it’s important to give ourselves the best chance at getting going. This includes not relying on willpower, practicing self-compassion, cultivating community, and intentionally designing your surroundings.

It seems like the right time of year to double down on understanding and applying the above concepts. So I’ll share three recent articles I wrote for Outside. The first focuses on habit and practice development more broadly, the second focuses on the often overlooked roles of self-compassion and community, and the third focuses on developing new practices specifically as it relates to athletic training and physical fitness

I hope these are helpful. I know I’ll certainly be reviewing all the things I learned when researching and writing them. And remember, don’t be too hard on yourself. We’re all just doing the best we can.

— Brad

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