After a year like 2020, we are all looking forward to a brand new beginning of long-lasting happiness. For the past few days, many of us have been making a list of New Year's resolutions that will help us to achieve those levels of bliss.
The five most popular New Year's resolutions are 'exercise to get in shape' (19.7%), 'diet to lose weight' (18.3%), 'save money' (14.8%), 'eat healthier in general' (11.9%), and 'something for self-care' (5.5%).
Looking at the past few years, how many resolutions have you made every December 31st in your life? How many have you successfully accomplished?
Out of curiosity, I have googled "New Years Resolutions" and over 70 million results came up. I won't even try to act surprised as all Life Coaches and Gurus around the globe offering help in making ‘realistic’ resolutions and suggesting all kinds of ways to stay on track with them. Personally, I think it's a bunch of BS.
Statistics say that apparently, 8% of us keep New Year's resolutions which means a whopping 92% of us forget about them the first week of January. Why is that?
According to Business Insider, the number one reason people fail to keep their own promises is because the New Years' resolutions are not specific enough. My gut however is telling me that it is just too hard. Unless we are motivated by fear in this case a medical emergency or something similar it is very hard to make any kind of changes in our lives because over the years we have formed some kind of a habit. If we write a whole list of things that we want to change like for example stop smoking, changing diet, regular exercises it will be almost impossible to do all of that the second the calendar flips to the new year.
If you want to be successful at making any changes in your life the first step to the transformation would be changing your mindset. I will be frank with you, this will be the toughest part because your own mind is the hardest prison to escape, however, if you succeed - it's a freedom you will enjoy the most. Increasing your self-awareness will help you to create a better plan for your transformation. Your target will become crystal clear and you will be able to make stronger decisions.
The next step will be changing your habit. The mind is good at doing what it’s always done, so you’ve got a lifetime of habits to relearn! Don’t expect this to happen quickly. The bottom line. It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. Be ware that unrealistic expectations can lead to unnecessary anxiety, guilt, and depression.
Habits require 3 things to work:
A stimulus, a behavior, and a reward.
Smell smoke, light a cigarette, get a nicotine hit.
Clean your house, spray Febreeze, get a pleasant smell.
The sound of your alarm clock, getting out of bed, grogginess.
By the time we become adults, we rarely notice the habits that are running our lives. Most of us never give a second thought to the fact that we tie the same shoe first each morning, or unplug the toaster after each use, or always change into comfortable clothes after getting home from work. After decades of mental programming, we automatically slip into these patterns of thinking and acting.
Now that you have an understanding of how habits form, let’s turn attention to changing them. One of the most undervalued keys to changing a habit is to replace one or more pieces of the puzzle. The first 10 times we try something new, it will suck. You’re not going to like it. The good news is that the next 25 times won’t be as bad. And by the 50th time, you’ll finally stop caring and will be able to focus on what’s important, instead of what some ancient biological response our body thinks is important. You will be able to get into that comfort zone without any effort.
We know that anything that is worth doing, it’s going to be hard. Don’t bother trying if you’re not willing to face some failure. Be prepared, because it’s going to look and feel impossible, but remember that few things actually are. This is where you’ll need to look inside yourself and ask “Why am I doing this?” Your answer should be very strong and personal because otherwise, you going to be quitting. And if you decide to quit after 3 or 5 or 7 attempts you are choosing the most inefficient and wasteful time to quit. The most efficient time to quit is before you even start. Pushing yourself to achieve the seemingly impossible is a normal part of the process, and when you get through it, you’re going to see the benefits.
As 2021 is knocking on our door, I would like you to welcome it with renewed hope, courage, and inspiration as you bid farewell to 2020 bringing with you the valuable lessons it thought us. Happy New Year!