Forming New Habits = "what you want" -> "want you need"

New Year is a time when many people make new year resolutions. By mid-February, most of these are broken and no new habits have been formed. Deciding to adopt a new habit can be made easier by breaking the habit-formation process down into small chunks. It can also be made easier if we convince ourselves we NEED to change something rather than just WANT to change something.

First we need to identify an objective or change goal that is manageable. Let's use the example of losing 5kg in body weight.
Second we need to identify what needs to be done to get there. In this case it could be broken down into exercising more and eating better.
Third we need to create a process for making these changes a habit and easy to adopt in our daily life. Here we could get a mean personal trainer and decide to record all calorie intake.
Finally we need to become emotionally committed to making the change and then set about to do it. Only the individual can make this step happen.

In light of the steps above, a key part of the process is identifying steps 1 and 2 correctly. As I entered my 30s and became a husband, I came up with a few guiding principles below that are helping me figure out more about "what I need" rather than just "what I want". These ideas might not be important to everyone and might not work for everyone - in fact a large part of the exercise is in figuring out what works for you. 

When we move to "need" rather than "want" the process of habit formation seems a little less daunting than before as the incentive for change is clearer. I am in the process of trying to see how achievable this is and am sure I will make mistakes along the way. Good luck to you - none of this is new and it is all very achievable.

Some key NEEDS for the second half of life (30+) and how to attain them 
(I have written these as simply as possible so excuse the brevity - it is not an exhaustive list so feel free to share your ideas)

1. Create strong supportive relationships in which you grow by both giving and receiving
- Spend more time devoted to fewer important people (close friends and family)
- Make lasting memories with loved ones and keep talking/touching!
- Don't try and change people/events around you - just change your reaction
- Listen, listen, listen
- Trust your gut instinct about people
- Assume that most people are striving to be reasonable most of the time

2. Increase number of living years by looking after physical health
- Move lots, stretch lots
- Drink lots of water
- Keep diet simple
- Sleep more than 8 hours/day
- Try to upgrade your vices to healthier vices ;)

3. Increase quality of living years by looking after mental health
- Ask good questions to get good answers
- Don't spend time being angry. Learn from mistakes and move on
- Be grateful for the good around you. Do good deeds to alleviate the bad around you
- Travel lots and see new things. Keep learning and being curious
- Laugh lots and dream lots

4. Find an enjoyable way to support your loved ones and do good deeds
- Spend less than you make
- Save often and early by taking advantage of compounding interest
- Treat career decisions as investment decisions in yourself
- Aim to be rich in experiences rather than material possessions
- Remember your objectives and check whether you are moving closer to them
- Have fun doing what you do everyday