It’s that time of year again. New Year’s resolutions time. Most likely you and everyone around you is making them. You know they don’t work. And so does everyone else around you. But yet, we all go in with the same optimism that this is the year! This is the year I lose 15 pounds or get stronger or read more books or save more money. Most likely it’s the same resolution as last year. Recent statistics suggest only 6% of us were successful in achieving our resolutions from last year, while the large majority of us abandoned them after the first few weeks. Sometimes it feels like we have a better chance of winning the lottery than achieving our new year’s resolution. So how can we approach this year differently to make sure we achieve what we set out to in 2022? Here are 3 things to start with from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear:
Change happens from the inside out.
Whats the difference between those that achieve their goal and those that don’t? Both groups each started out by setting and writing down the same goal – so that’s not it. Just writing down the goal is only a teeny, tiny step. And goals have their downsides – goals are momentary (I can have a goal to have a clean room and it can be clean for a day but my bad habits will still keep it dirty long term), goals can also be at odds with long term progress (I ran a marathon but now will stop running afterward because my goal is achieved) and can restrict happiness (“I’ll be happy when I achieve X” delays happiness). We don’t rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems. Systems and habits are the key. But to build the right systems, we have to accept that what we are really working toward is a new “us” – an upgraded identity. We don’t want to start reading more books, we want to become a reader. We don’t just want to run a marathon, we want to become a runner. With this mindset, we can begin the process of real change. Change starts from within. Start to identify yourself as who you want to become.
Prove your new identity with small wins.
Most of us think change happens by big declarations or big moments. But in truth, it is a million small things added up. Every action you take will either get you closer or further from the person you want to become. Think of each action you take as a vote and at the end of the day (month or year) these votes add up to elect the person you will become. Do they add up to the upgraded person you want to become? Each vote that adds up to the person you want to be is a win. Prove who you want to become with small wins by making the right decisions each day. It will take a lot of small wins to reach your goal and new identity. Before you perform an action, make sure to recognize where that vote will be cast.
Focus on trajectory, not progress.
Progress takes time. A lot of it. Progress is also exponential, not linear – meaning we don’t see progress right away. Sometimes it takes weeks to begin to see progress which is why so many of us quit early on. But once we do begin to see it, it often speeds up and momentum builds and progress becomes a lot easier. But what about that really hard part in the beginning? Heres a tip, anytime you start to feel frustrated and feel like giving up because you don’t initially see progress, ask yourself: “am I doing the right things to get to where I wanna go?” If you are and your answer is yes, put your head back down and keep moving. Be excited you are heading in the right direction and are on the right trajectory. Progress will come! (if your answer is no then you obviously have to make changes to what you’re doing).
First: decide WHO you want to become, not WHAT you want to do.
Second: prove it by casting votes every day toward the person you want to become.
Third: If you are on the right track, focus on trajectory. Progress will come.
Over the course of the next few weeks we are going to learn more about building better habits with exercise and food. Next week we are going to learn how much we should move and how much we should eat. Download Homefit+ to follow along!
You got this!
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