New Year, New Me: Girl BYE
01 Jan, 2018
By now you’ve probably heard the saying or seen various social media postings claiming “New year, new me” as we begin 2018. And why not? What better time to set new goals and dream big than at the start of a new year. Unfortunately most of our lofty plans are discarded and all but forgotten about by February. So a more accurate phrase
would be “New Year, Same Me.”
The problem with setting such huge goals such as becoming a “new me” is that becoming a new person doesn’t happen over night. Nor does it happen in a few months. As you become wiser and experience more, you work towards a better version of yourself. So a better and more attainable goal is, “New Year, Better me.”
Here’s how to be a better you in 2018!
In order to reach a goal, you must first develop the habit that will guide you to the right actions. As such, building on your previous work and already existing habits are more effective ways to achieve your end result. What has worked well? What needs to be changed? Look at the past for insight into what you can improve.
In Psychology Today, behavioral psychologist tells us the three things we must do to create a new habit:
- You MUST pick a small action. “Get more exercise” is not small. “Eat healthier” is not small. This is a big reason why New Year’s resolutions don’t work. For example, instead of “Get more exercise” choose “Walk 1/3 more than I usually do” or “Take the stairs each morning to get to my office, not the elevator”
- You MUST attach the new action to a previous habit. Figure out a habit you already have that is well established, for example, if you already go for a brisk walk 3 times a week, then adding on 10 more minutes to the existing walk connects the new habit to an existing one. The existing habit “Go for walk” now becomes the “cue” for the new habit: “Walk 10 more minutes.” Your new “stimulus-response” is Go For Walk (Stimulus) followed by “Add 10 minutes.”
- You MUST make the new action EASY to do for at least the first week. Because you are trying to establish a conditioned response, you need to practice the new habit from the existing stimulus from 3 to 7 times before it will “stick” on its own.
The new year doesn’t have to bring about new goals. You can build on what you’ve already started and refine it.
Check In Regularly
Don’t wait for January or December to set or revisit your goals. If you make a plan and take action, youwill receive feedback at every step along the way. Create the habit of reviewing your goals regularly. This will help you stay on the right track.
Focus On Progress
The truth is, those lofty goals we typically set at the beginning of each year can take more than 365 days to come to fruition. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work on them.
When it comes to reaching your goals, think about your progress. Don’t worry if it’s taking longer than you thought. Did you learn new things? Did you get closer to the big picture? It’s not a zero sum game. Every step you take counts and if you learn to track your actions and implement the feedback, you will get there faster.
Forbes, B. Owusu
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