It’s 2016. So what does that mean?
Well, we are all about to be bombarded with inane advice revolving around some sort of ‘New Year New You’ slogan. Uncharacteristically early alarm clocks will be set. False promises to ourselves will be made. Gyms will overflow. Refrigerators will be emptied of all but foods resembling rabbit-feed. We will knock back our swamp-water coloured concoctions made by our brand new juicer, and engage in the usual list: reading more intellectual newspapers, finally getting organised, devouring all of the books we really must read, all whilst switching off the TV and resolving to find love and travel more this year…
All of which will last, for the majority of people, about 14 days. University of Scranton Research suggests around 8% of people stick to their resolutions. Not a great life expectancy for the new us.
So whilst you are checking your instagram, facebook and any other anti-social networking accounts (if I have just coined that term then it’s my first great achievement of 2016) over the next week, don’t be too intimidated by all the protestations of changes people say they are ready to make – the vast majority of them are talking out of their arses.
The question is how does one get into the 8% who do stick to them?
Here are three quick tips:
1) Get out of the mindset of ‘new beginnings’
Whilst it can be a nice feeling to make January 1st the starting point for all of these new wonderful changes, it quickly becomes counter productive once you break a shiny new habit. The beginning immediately becomes tarnished with failure and we find ourselves looking for the next opportunity to have a fresh start. Instead, learn to identify with the changes you are making. For example:
“I’m (now) someone who on the whole, eats healthily”
“I’m someone who takes risks with people I’m attracted to because I know that ‘possibility’ is more exciting than ‘rejection’ is painful”
“I value organisation and am a person who prioritises it so that my mind and my life can be free of clutter”
These aren’t merely the foundation of new habits, they are new identities. When you break a habit, having the underlying identity is what re-aligns you.
Stop looking at the year as a clean slate ready to be ruined. Instead look at it as a year of you having a new identity – an identity that remains whether you slip up or not.
2) Remembering WHY you are doing something is just as important as WHAT you’ve decided to do
So you’ve decided you want to fall in love this year? You want to open up to people, be more vulnerable and finally get proactive in the search the love life you’ve been dreaming of?
Well most likely that’s not an easy thing to do. It will be scary at times. There will be rejection, there may be heart ache, or periods with no results before it happens for you. None of that matters. All that matters is knowing WHY you decided this was an important thing to do in the first place.
Here’s an example of your ‘why’:
I’m sick of holding myself back, shutting people out, and never knowing what opportunities are really out there simply because I don’t take the risks to find out. I realise that even if being this new me causes me pain, I can go to bed at night knowing that I’m finally being the courageous and open person I’ve always wanted to be in life.
3) Small change that grows is better than big change that dies in its infancy
Start small enough to make it manageable. You didn’t suddenly drop all of your responsibilities from last year. There are still things you have to do in a day outside of your wonderful new resolutions, so make sure you account for them. Try to simplify your new habits as much as possible, make them achievable, and use their success as a foundation on which to build newfound confidence in your ability to change.
We are going to have an incredible year together. Here at Matthew Hussey HQ we have huge goals for what we want to achieve as an organisation and as individuals. You have my word that you will be amongst the first to benefit from all the wonderful progress we make.
Now let’s show the rest of the world who the hell they are dealing with.