2015 is unfurling in front of us and, just like every year, you’ll be making a list of New Year’s resolutions. You’ll probably include the same New Year’s resolutions as the previous year: give up smoking, lose a few kilos, play sport regularly, restore your work/life balance… But why aren’t we able to keep our New Year’s resolutions?
It’s quite simply because our brains hate change. These new habits which you want to establish just demand too much effort. Your brain does everything it can to resist, without you even realizing.
So should we give up our desire for change? Certainly not! Transfer your wishes into actions, and you’ll transform your New Year’s resolutions into lasting changes… Here are some tips to help you achieve this.
A single, unique resolution at a time
First of all, we need to accept that we have to focus on one single, good resolution at a time, for two reasons:
1) To minimize effort. Each good resolution, each new habit you want to adopt, demands significant effort because it involves change. By minimizing effort, the subconscious works to reduce the resistance our brain puts up in an attempt to avoid change.
2) To remain focused. Unfortunately, we’re often incapable of concentrating on several things at the same time. If you try to implement your whole list of New Year’s resolutions at the same time, you won’t succeed, you’ll get discouraged and you’ll give up. What a shame, when you’d set out with such enthusiasm!
No point in telling yourself that you should work out every day if your professional and family life are already overloaded. Set yourself some realistic objectives: once or twice a week is still a positive change.
Get into a routine
Choose the days of the week when you’re going to visit the gym and note them down in your diary. It will soon become an integral part of your planning, not just part of your intentions.
Once you’ve established your new habit as part of your life, award yourself a little treat to congratulate yourself on your performance.
Start all over again
Take advantage of the energy generated by your success and pick yourself up to take on a new challenge. You could improve your eating habits, for example. Again, you need a single, realistic objective which you once again follow until it becomes one of your habits.
Now, you have no more excuses for failing to stick to your New Year’s resolutions!
Monica Schettino, Wellbeing Manager Aspria