With the New Year upon us, we often look forward to the things we want to do or accomplish. We may set up lofty goals for the year. Be it lose weight, get in shape, save money, spend more time with family or friends or find ways to get the self-care we so desperately need. Whatever it may be the one thing that is needed for all of these things to be enacted is behavior modification.
If we want anything new to happen in our lives we often have to change our behavior. If we want to lose weight we need to modify the types and quantity of foods we eat. If we want to save money we need to modify our spending habits. If we want to spend time with family or friends we need to modify our time management. You get the idea.
In theory we know what we need to do but often times we struggle to do so. We may be gung-ho for a couple of weeks with our plan, but after a while we start to slip back into our old habits. Experts say it takes a minimum of 21 to a maximum of 66 days to form a new habit and for it become automatic. So for those few weeks or so, we really have to make an effort in order to create this new positive habit in our lives.
If we can just look at it as simply something we have to do for just 21 to 66 days, perhaps it wouldn’t be such a struggle. Most of us can manage to do something for 3 or 4 weeks, right? Once it becomes a habit, we no longer have to think about it and it is much easier.
So, I challenge you and myself to begin today.
- Figure out the things you want to change, improve, incorporate or kick this new year.
- Write them down.
- Share them with a friend and make yourself accountable to someone else.
- Pin your list in a place where you will see it daily to help keep yourself motivated.
- Determine what behavior you need to modify to achieve your goal.
- Visualize the end result of this new habit. (Ex. Picture that extra cash in your bank account. Or the scale reading 15lbs less.)
- Recommit to it daily.
- Pray for strength to stick with it.
- Forgive yourself if you slip back into old habits. Dust yourself off and begin again.
For some of us, starting small maybe the way to go. For others, go big or go home. You know yourself better than anyone. Set yourself up for success and surround yourself with those who support you in your efforts.
You got this!