Welcome to 2020- a new year, a new decade and a chance to recreate yourself!
The new year can be a great time to start a new habit – you are on reflection mode and everyone around you is motivated to make healthy changes. However, as the excitement of the new year wears off and the mundane resumes, it can become quite difficult to sustain any changes you had introduced into your life as part of your new year’s resolutions.
These are some helpful strategies to successfully incorporate healthy changes into your life this new year:
- Plan, Plan, Plan: Remember the SMART goals we chatted about this time last year? Make sure that your goals are Specific (you know exactly what you want to gain), Measurable (you have a way of evaluating how well you are performing), Achievable (the goal is within your scope), Relevant (the goal makes sense to you) and Time-bound (you have a sense of when you would like to reach your goal by). In order to create a SMART goal, which has higher chances of success, you need to plan out your goal in some level of detail and reflect on what it is that you want to achieve.
- Call a friend: Whether you plan to change an element of your lifestyle (such as your diet or exercise regimen) or start a new class to pursue a long-lost hobby, you can consider bringing a friend along with you on your journey. Often, we find motivation in collective activities and this can help to sustain a habit you introduce in the new year.
- Invest in repetition: Habits are a product of consistency. Whatever you want to achieve, make sure that you are disciplined and regular about it from the get-go and incorporate it smoothly within your existing routine. For example, if you would like to start working out, think of a time that works for you during the day and make sure you are working out at that time every day until it becomes the norm for you.
- Reward yourself: We are creatures driven by incentive in most aspects of our life, and habit formation is not an exclusion to that. In fact, rewarding yourself for sticking to your goal will release dopamine in your brain and stamp the details of the rewarding experience into memory. This will make it more likely that you will repeat the behaviour. So, if you want to work out more, reward yourself by having your favorite (healthy) drink after, or watching a Netflix show while on the treadmill. Making the activity fun will more likely make it into a lasting habit for you.
We hope you find these tips helpful!
Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year!