Post-holiday season can be refreshing as it presents a clean slate, but it can also be overwhelming. We are often scrambling to make changes in our lives with ‘the bigger, the better’ attitude. For this reason, I wanted to share the 3 New Year Resolutions Hacks I came up with.
This year, I decided to get some tools and hacks for myself to tackle the New Year goal setting more productively.
1. I began with sitting down and following Marie’s Forleo’s video, Setting Goals. First, I wrote down all the aspirations, goals and ideas I had for 2017.
These were divided into career, personal and relationship goals. I loved the exercise as it really helped me understand myself better. But the most important part of the exercise was to then examine these through the lens of what’s important, essential and necessary for me in 2017. And everything else, that didn’t fit that description, I had to drop.
‘Drop like it’s hot…’ song has never come in handier!
As difficult as it was to let go of all the amazing and exciting things I wanted to do, I now had my eyes on the prize.
This focus made it easier for me to say ‘no’ to any destruction that came my way.If I could articulate to myself what I was focused on, for example, expanding social media presence for my business or saving for a trip to Thailand, I could also be explicit with others and set boundaries when needed.
2. Another great insight about goal setting for me came from a book I recently read for my book club, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. One thing that stood out the most for me from the book is the idea of keystone habits.
A keystone is a habit that seems to create a chain reaction of other habits in our lives. For example, quitting smoking often provokes a series of other habits such as eating healthier and exercising.In these instances, people don’t set out these as 3 separate goals to achieve.
Instead, they are determined to quit smoking as a result of this lifestyle change they start making different choices when it comes to food and exercise. Sounds very cool, doesn’t it?
Since most of the time we are so ambitious with goal setting, I found keystone habit idea empowering and manageable.
Many different habits can be keystone ones in your life like choosing to exercise regularly or committing to 8 hours of sleep.I think for me this year, it is keeping my apps organized on the phone. I know it seems like a very trivial one, but I found that creating folders, knowing where everything is, prompted me to be more organized in other areas of my life and therefore more productive and stress-free.
3. And the third element that I really connected with for habit formation is the idea that we gotta commit to doing the activity of your choice even if you don’t feel like it and especially when we don’t feel like it.
As a matter of fact, when you notice that you don’t feel like it, take it a signal to double your effort to do it because it means that you are closer to getting over the hump of the habit formation.I heard this idea from an interview with Todd Herman, and it totally made sense to me.
You see, forming new habits takes a lot of power and energy for our brain. Our brain literally has to create new brain pathways, which means generate new cellular connections, which means a lot of energy and resource consumption.
Since our evolutionary drive is to conserve energy as much as possible, our brain will not feel like forming this new habit. What we have to do is simply switch off from autopilot and override this ancient program.
Next time when coming across this brain resistance – say to yourself – Even though my brain doesn’t feel like it, I am doing it because … – and list the benefits.
These are the 3 wisdom insights that I am taking with me into 2017 to help me have a fabulous year. And what about you? I would love to hear from you. Share with me your thoughts and ideas for effective goal setting and habit forming.
Your Global Therapist,