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So some do it every year, others just do not believe in it. But no matter who you are or what you prefer to call it – We are all somehow get faced with the new year and new possibilities topic floating around in our heads.
We all want to move froward in life. We set goals, make plans and try to improve ourselves. for many this is called New Years Resolutions. There are a tremendous amount of articles on why they work, why they don’t work, How to make them work and how to stay motivated.
And although I do agree with many of these tips, they don’t always help you achieve your goals, or new years resolutions. So how then?
What is the secret to this annually conundrum that we face?
According to psychologytoday.com – ” Making resolutions work involves changing behaviors—and in order to change a behavior, you have to change your thinking (or “rewire” your brain). Brain scientists such as Antonio Damasio, Joseph LeDoux, and psychotherapist Stephen Hayes have discovered, through the use of MRIs, that habitual behavior is created by thinking patterns that create neural pathways and memories, which become the default basis for your behavior when you’re faced with a choice or decision. Trying to change that default thinking by “not trying to do it,” in effect just strengthens it. Change requires creating new neural pathways from new thinking. “
I guess here comes in the truth of literary changin your way of thinking. that by persistence and continuous repetition of what you want to achieve you will in fact change the way of thinking. this will in turn re prioritize your life and restructure you priorities.
Maybe the better way to setting new years resolutions is to just decide on changing your mindset first, and the rest will follow. Then after your mindset has changed, and your priorities followed then you will change your life accordingly?
For instance, I wanted Six pack and I wanted to be more healthy a year ago. I also wanted to take better care of myself in the beauty department and I also wanted to run more. a Year has now passed and I don’t have my six pack, but I am healthier and have lost 4kg normally and naturally no pills no silly diets and I run at least 3-4 times a week.
My husband is also healthier because I decided to change the way I cook and what we have in the house to eat. thinking back now me getting a six pack was a little ambitious for a one year goal – But I had so many people tell me it was not possible, that knowing me as a person with my love for all things to be consumed, I wouldn’t be able to do it. And in the beginning that fueled me. But in turn that is getting a six pack for the wrong reasons.
I don’t want to “GO” on a “diet” I seriously do not believe in that for myself and whoever I cook for. I don’t want to “CUT-OUT” things I love. All in good moderation and with the correct amount of exercise you should still be able to live the way you want and have the body you want.
Saying that – I am sitting here on my bed, stuffed like a Thanks Giving turkey after all this indulging this holiday… and I have now picked up 3kg again, but that is from eating out of normal patterns and drinking more than usual. But that’s OK, you cannot live on restrictions. I Believe that my resolutions or goals for next year will be easier, and better – because my mindset changed first – because I created new pathways for thinking.
Another downfall for resolutions are habits. Habits are hard to break. the best way to change a bad habit is to simply replace it with a new one.
Acording to Psychology today to create a new habit you have to follow these 3 steps (based on B.J. Fogg and Charles Duhigg)
In changing our eating habits I tried to ensure that food and snacks are prepped. Always having carrots and cucumbers cut into snack size ready to eat – now getting carrots out the fridge is just as easy as opening a bag of Doritos. I changed very small things like this, and it became such a normal habit. I now prefer to spend money on a bag of carrots rather than a slab of chocolate – or Doritos.
So in our house The existing habit “I’m Hungry lets have a bag of Doritos” now becomes the “cue” for the new habit: “lets rather have carrots.” Our new “stimulus-response” is Have a snack (Stimulus) followed by “Lets have carrots and cucumbers.”
My Husband might not notice but he is just as happy with a bowl of carrots than a bowl of chips and so am I – Now its like its normal. Because we changed this one small thing it became easier to change other things, as my mindset changed I now think differently about everything I buy and or prepare.
So the new existing habit “lets rather have carrots.” now becomes the “cue” for the next new habit: “I don’t want to eat junk.” Our new “stimulus-response” is Carrots/Healthier option (Stimulus) followed by “I don’t want to eat junk.”
But it was hard – it still is hard, everyday you make the choice – everyday you are one decision away from changing your life.
So maybe this year your new years resolution should be to make a small change that will lead to big differences in the long term of your life. Not unrealistic short term goals that you cant reach because your mind is not there yet.
Get your head around new habits first -around the changes that you want to make and how hard it really is to achieve. It is a difficult process enough without you overwhelming yourself with ambitious goals! So wrap your head around it first, and take a year to do it, one day you will wake up and you wont be able to remember how you even did it differently before.
I think next year December I’ll be ready for my Six pack, and you?
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Its sooo Exciting!
Remember its always your year, you determine how it goes! Let try and be more positive and think about all the wonderful possibilities that are waiting for us around the corner.
XOXOX – Jani