2017 – Take it in your stride !
Ellen Goodman said “ We spend January 1st, walking through our lives, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but for potential.”
Every 1st of January, I sit down and make a to-do list for myself for the year. Usually – it has stuff like travel more, read more, exercise more, more family time and on and on. Each item with some target goal, split quarterly.
This year, I am taking on a new approach. I am taking on a dare , a challenge – To build a new habit.
Habits are what define us. I have heard people saying it requires tremendous will power to build a new habit. My research tells me otherwise.
Here’s what I plan to do:
1. Break down the challenge into incredibly small habits. Make it so small, you can’t say no. Rather then setting a goal to do “50 push-ups a day”, start with “5”!. Make it so easy that you don’t need much motivation to do it.
Increase the habit in very small ways. 5 push ups become 6 and over two weeks become 8.
- Link the habit to an existing one.Give no room for a decision to be made. Willpower is like muscle – the more you use, the more fatigue it attracts. Its an automatic response like say doing push ups after brushing teeth everyday.
- Tick it off – every single day.Put up a huge calendar that you won’t miss seeing. Just this act will make you feel good about yourself. ( It’s got to do with a chemical – dopamine – released in your brain when you achieve something). We get addicted to dopamine and that – in turn helps in sticking to the discipline every single day.
- Build a support group.Friends, family, team mates, even your kids, anybody who will support, keep them in the loop every week, it will help in moving forward.
- Reward your self. Be it a goliath task or a trivial errand, nothing is appreciated nor repeated if its sans a reward.Remember there can’t be a better motivator than our own self.
Mark Zuckerberg took a challenge to build AI to run his home and a physical challenge of running 365 miles in the year. And guess what – he achieved the challenge.
A new year is a wonderful opportunity to make a new beginning. To bring out our potential and be the best that we can be.
Here’s wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.