A habit (or wont) is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously. Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting it, because a person does not need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking routine tasks. Habits are sometimes compulsory. The process by which new behaviours become automatic is habit formation. Old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form because the behavioural patterns we repeat are imprinted in our neural pathways, but it is possible to form new habits through repetition.
A bad habit is an undesirable behavior pattern. Common examples include: procrastination (the action of delaying or postponing something), fidgeting (behave or move nervously or restlessly), overspending, nail-biting. The sooner one recognizes these bad habits, the easier it is to fix them.
New Year's resolution
A New Year's resolution is a secular tradition, most common in the
Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person makes a promise
to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice, such as opening
doors for people beginning from New Year's Day.
- Improve physical well-being: eat healthy food, lose weight, exercise more, eat better, drink less alcohol, quit smoking, stop biting nails, get rid of old bad habits
- Improve mental well-being; think positive, laugh more often, enjoy life
- Improve finances: get out of debt, save money, make small investments
- Improve career: perform better at current job, get a better job, establish own business
- Improve education: improve grades, get a better education, learn something new (such as a foreign language or music), study often, read more books, improve talents
- Improve self: become more organized, reduce stress, be less grumpy, manage time, be more independent, perhaps watch less television, play fewer sitting-down video games
- Take a trip
- Volunteer to help others, practice life skills, use civic virtue, give to charity, volunteer to work part-time in a charity organization
- Get along better with people, improve social skills, enhance social intelligence
- Make new friends
- Spend quality time with family members
- Settle down, get engaged/get married, have kids
- Try foreign foods, discovering new cultures
- Pray more, be closer to God, be more spiritual
A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study's participants were confident of success at the beginning. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as, a pound a week, instead of saying "lose weight"), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.
Goal-setting ideally involves establishing specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bounded (S.M.A.R.T.) objectives. Work on the goal-setting theory suggests that it can serve as an effective tool for making progress by ensuring that participants have a clear awareness of what they must do to achieve or help achieve an objective. On a personal level, the process of setting goals allows people to specify and then work towards their own objectives most commonly, financial or career-based goals. Goal-setting comprises a major component of personal development.
A goal can be long-term or short-term. The primary difference is the time required to achieve them.