New Year’s eve has always been a time to make promises and plan resolutions.
We all do that, right?
Didn’t it make you wonder why it almost never works? Well, if it works for you all the time, than please just drop me a line. I want to know you )
Most common reason is the force of habit. When we plan something at the last day of the year, we somehow think that we will wake up like a totally different person the next morning. We plan to start running every day, quit smoking, stop drinking and implement a healthy lifestyle. And all this magical makeover has to happened during one night.
Is that actually possible? Not really.
So why exactly don’t our goals become commitments? Actually, because we don’t design them right.
We think that the power of decision is stronger than the power of habit. Is it so?
According to Charles Duhigg (author of “the power of habit”), almost every action in our life is performed by habit. Here is what he says:
Most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-considered decision-making, but they’re not. They’re habits. And though each habit means relatively little on its own, over time, the meals we order, what we say to our kids each night, whether we save or spend, how often we exercise, the way we organize our thoughts and work routines have enormous impacts on our health, productivity, financial security and happiness.
Therefore, creating goals is kind of useless. We need to step into action instead.
1. Transform the goal into activity!
According to Duhigg, we fail because we word our goals all wrong. Instead of: “I want to get fit”, we should say: “exercise every day for 30 minutes”. Not just an abstract wish, but a real action. Plus, psychologists usually advice to use the affirmations. Composing an affirmation is kind of an art, by the way. There are few simple rules you should keep in mind:
- you should use present perfect tense;
- no negative particles;
- compose short and simple sentences
2. Rewarding system.
Our mind is a very complicated and very sophisticated thing. In order to get something done we need to trick our brain into doing it. Especially if it involves some kind of activity. Our brain tends to calculate the benefit prior to doing anything. Thus, if your aim is to loose weight
after holidays, praise yourself with a piece of chocolate after each training. Sounds a bit stupid, I know. But Duhigg says it works. So, why not at least try?
3. Stepping back is a part of the game!
Ok, you started it all. You’ve been doing exercises 5 times per week for a month now and today something just went wrong. You feel like you lost it, like everything you were doing before is gone for good… When it’s not! Relapsing is the part of the process. Instead of beating yourself up and feeling guilty, begin to look for what might have caused the relapse and try to learn from it.