Ditch the term “New Year’s Resolution.” It’s overplayed with a connotation of failure attached to it. We’re all programmed to be okay with giving up on our resolutions halfway through the first month of the year, anyways, so why not opt for a better term? Upgrading your life is the perfect way to look at goal setting, lifestyle change, and living life more aligned with your true north.
When we ask ourselves how we want to upgrade our life there are a few instant areas that arise: fitness, wealth, relationships. We want that toned body we promised ourselves last year, to fall in love, and to land the dream job but we rarely put together actionable items that can help us get to that point. I’m a firm believer in manifestation, but without the oomph you’re left daydreaming.
We become stagnant in wanting rather than proactive in doing.
Being aware of this static fault, the question remains: How do you shift your mindset from reactive to proactive?
Creating new habits like eating right, working out every morning, or reading more is actually easier than you’d think. Ever heard the psychology buzzword: neuroplasticity? It is essentially the brain’s ability to reorganize itself and both physically and functionally, throughout your life due to your environment, behavior, thinking, and emotions. As adults, we blame our upbringing for who we are today, and while that is true in many cases, our brains are actually shifting and making new pathways throughout our entire life. Pretty cool, eh?
We have the ability to create new habits, bad and good, throughout our entire life and you are the only person standing in the way of your success or failure.
Think Big, Start Small
The first step to creating a new habit is to start exceedingly small. If you want to start working out every morning, but currently workout once a week, your first goal should be to add one more day to your workout routine. Do that for 3 weeks and then add another day, then add another 3 weeks later. Do you see where I’m going with this?
When you start out small you can’t say no to yourself, and if you do, you feel incredibly guilty. The importance lies in actually doing the habit rather than how often you do it. Remember, you can’t eat an elephant in a single bite – these things take time!
Rewards for Good Behavior
The next step to creating a new habit is to reward yourself! Much like dogs, we are beings that enjoy being rewarded. When we were younger our parents taught us good behavior through reward and punishment. Now, the only difference is that you are in control.
When you reach your savings goal for the month or eat healthy every day for a week, don’t be afraid to reward yourself with a small treat. This might seem obvious, but make sure this reward doesn’t go completely against your goal.
By forming new habits and creating new pathways in the brain via neuroplasticity, we are actually finding a way to remove the negative connotation of “New Year’s Resolution” and really upgrade your life. Next year, when it comes time to sit down and review the year while planning for the next you’ll be empowered in your choices and excited for what’s in store.