Have you ever wondered why so many of us never stick to new years resolutions? Well here’s a couple of reasons
1. Too many resolutions!
We try and change everything at the same time – quit smoking, exercise every day, stop drinking, eat healthy food, get up earlier and whatever else we believe is wrong in our lives! It’s a receipe for failure! And when we dont manage to keep the resolutions we reinforce the behaviour we were trying to stop in the first place.
2. Its pure misery!
We try and change in the same old boring, self denial, self whipping way which again is a receipe for disaster! Even before we’ve started the resolution we often feel miserable thinking about how horrible its going to be!
3. Oh ye of little faith!
We have very little faith in sticking to our new years resolutions because we’ve never succeeded in the past. How many people start a new diet every year, crash out after a couple of weeks and every year actually end up heavier than the year before!!!
If any of the above resonate with you its time for a new simple strategy
1. Focus on one resolution at a time - start exercising more first, then after about 3 weeks (it takes about 3 weeks to form a new habit) focus on something else like eating more healthily or whatever way you wish to improve your life.
2. Replace the old behaviour with one that absolutly excites you – ok there’s no point quitting smoking and just hanging around not knowing what to do with yourself to relax! You MUST replace it with something that is a lot more exciting, enjoyable, life enhancing, brilliant or whatever other positive behaviour you can think of. Every time you think of the behaviour you want to change do what excites you instead and keep doing it until it becomes the new habit that runs in autopilot!
3. Start where success is easy – ok if you’re becoming a healthy non smoker by not smoking anymore focus on today only! Don’t concern yourself with thinking this is it for life!!! How awful!!! None of us know what tomorrow has in store so celebrate you’re new positive behaviour today! Indeed celebrate every success no matter how small. Feel great within yourself. If it’s exercising more start with something simple – walking a few times a week, then running, then swimming or whatever. Celebrate every step of the way.
The bottomline is summed up by E L Thorndikes Law of Reinforcement – “whatever behaviour is reinforced will tend to be repeated” – so keep celebrating the new behaviour you want repeated!
Above all make it FUN! As the following video shows when there’s fun involved we change alot more easily and enjoy the process!