New Year - One quarter later
The first quarter has passed soon. Months when many with me see the need for a new start. New goals, new promises and an ambition for change, where bad habits must be replaced with new and fresh ones to reach them. In connection with the turn of the year, magazines and the internet are flooded with tips on easy ways to quickly and painlessly achieve the long-awaited goals. Stop smoking, start exercising and get rid of those annoying extra pounds easily.
So it's just getting started. Start changing and doing different every day! And of course we are many who enthusiastically roll up their arms and take on the new challenges, projects and who are in the gym ...
But the hand on the heart - how easy is it to break and change habits? Not so easy - is it? Of course, there are rarely miracle pills or shortcuts that in a hub fix everything that should be changed. Something more is needed. The real challenge, after all, is to keep striving towards the goal when the first enthusiasm has settled, everyday life comes on and old habits and pretensions may even feel both pleasant and comfortable. So after the first quarter, strong morale has often changed in panic. Or at least in lowered ambitions.
So what is it then that is required for us to succeed? The trick is as many as there are people, but we can learn some of the common things from research.
First, it is important to create a will to change. Maybe something extra is needed that triggers us - something extra that makes us think we actually have no choice anymore. We must accept the reality we are in. Gain insights and understanding that we need to quit the old habit, leave the current situation and move towards a new clearer goal. Just get motivated. Motivation that either comes from inside or from outside. Whip or carrot. Choose for yourself - only it works.
How should we do then ... Well, it is important to create a picture of what it is we are striving for. Visualize and make the target tangible - concrete how good it will be when we have actually achieved what we are striving for.
Then we need to constantly remind ourselves of the goal and what our effort should lead to. The reason why I should change my mind right now! What if I give up? Then it will not become reality - what I want. If I can see the goal and the reward that awaits later, the step there will be so much easier, the efforts more understandable and more worth their price.
But most important of all is perhaps those who are around someone who either supports or participates in the change. If several people together decide to work according to the new process or go to the gym on Thursdays, it will be harder to be the one who does not do as we agreed. We need to remind ourselves of the goal and encourage each other as we, as individuals, family or team, follow the new habit. Then the price of falling back into the old becomes too high for it to be alluring and easy anymore.
It is also important that we allow ourselves to celebrate the small steps, the early victories and that we give each other praise when we do right or reach oh so small goals. Be sure to keep the reward center in your brain stimulated! Then the road to realization becomes so much more fun and we stay on the beaten path more easily.
But above all it is required endurance! Whether it is about taking less on the plate, calling those sales calls we pushed on, or following the common policy, it is a pretty big effort required to endure. Rome was not built in a day, one usually says, and a new habit does not come overnight. It takes both endurance and persistence to change in order to become reality.
So set goals, make them clear, break them down, follow them up and celebrate the victories! Remind, support and praise each other when you or someone else reaches goals or interim goals and follows a new habit. For every small step in the right direction, one step away from the old. And stop thinking that it is precisely the new year that is most suitable for new habits and new goals. Instead, we should not hold in and bet that the realization is based on taking step by step, day by day all year round. In this way, our changes can not only lead to short-term habits of change - but actually mean that we also reach where we thought we are and achieve our goals!
I myself have two gym passes and five sales calls to grab this week. Feel free to ask how it went!