How can I change my habits this year?
Based in Milton Keynes, Simon started Thrive - a mental health and wellbeing company - in January 2020.
New year, new you, new me.
Nope, not this year.
We are constantly told via media, our family, our friends, perfect strangers etc. That we are too fat, too unhealthy, too tall, too short, that we lack drive, imagination, whatever.
And yet, on January 1st we can make all of that magically vanish.
Self-efficacy. That’s what we are talking about, an individual’s belief in their capacity to execute behaviours necessary to produce specific performance attainments.
And we get this reset every January 1st.
But why? What’s so important about the start of the year?
The turning of time gives everyone the ability to wipe the slate clean, to start again with all the best intentions. It’s basically a form of control.
I will take all those comments and digs over the last twelve months and I will take control of my life and be the “insert life goal/dream/aspiration” best new version of me.
But for many of us that doesn’t last long. The resolution, drive, determination wanes by the second week of January. There’s an air of inevitability about this which adds to the malaise. You think “well I knew it couldn’t last anyway”.
But for many of us its that very expectance that trips us up.
Setting realistic goals
A new habit takes approximately 69 repetitions to form and become an actual habit.
That’s 69 early morning runs, 69 healthy breakfasts, 69 times of charging the phone downstairs, 69 days of no wine.
So don’t give up! That’s the message of this blog post.
But the other more subtle meaning is sometimes don’t start. That’s not to stay don’t try and create new habits or break or kick negative ones. This is more fundamental than that.
Why don’t you just try to do things slowly, tell yourself that it may take a few years, that you may fail, and if you do start again, each time it will be easier.
Set yourself achievable goals that you will own and crush.
I am going to run for five minutes this week. Not five times – life gets in the way too much for that, so I might not make it. But five minutes is achievable – it’s a win.
Then the week after try running ten minutes. Build it up each week. You will be running 5k’s before you realise it.
If being held accountable works for you, then tell the world, get people to encourage and support you. If you want to do it on your own, don’t set out parameters to fail straight from the off.
Don’t give up!
But most of all remember that you are perfect, you are brilliant, you are loved, and you are wonderful.
New year doesn’t have to be a new you. It might just need a few tweaks of the old you, a few helping hands, or maybe just some new ideas.
Write down one thing this month that you would like to achieve. Make it within your grasp, believe that you can do it and then grab it, own it, be part of your own success.
If you need a helping hand, we are here and we will support you.
You are loved and you are strong.
We believe in you this year.