New Year, New You
This sentiment has always bothered me.
Come January 1st of every new year, the idea that I need to somehow reinvent who I am is downright awful. The who concept of “new year’s resolutions” is archaic. Don’t get me wrong, I love to set goals! But the idea that we need to wait for a magical day to set a specific goal is just silly. I like to think of every single day as an opportunity to step into goal setting.
Before we dive into how to set goals and crush them, I must say this. >>> we are all enough, just as we are. Each of us is beautifully created with our own set of strengths, talents, and, yes, weaknesses. By learning from these traits, we can become a little bit better each day.
Instead of looking to attain perfection and setting overly ambitious goals, set the goal to be a tiny bit better version of ourselves every day. Now, that is an idea I can get behind.
Imagine that instead of throwing all of our energy into being this “idea” of perfection we have cooked up, we instead choose to be 1% better every day. It may seem insignificant and small, but it’s doable.
Imagine if we let go of this insane idea of instant change and perfection that is magically supposed to happen at the onset of each new year and instead chose to give ourselves grace and love.
If you have a new goal to work out every day and start the year going to the gym for an hour every day, chances are you will burn out VERY quickly if you want to make going to the gym a long-term goal.
I suggest you start small, then slowly work your way up to bigger goals.
By changing the way, we think about our long-term goals; we can shift our habits to now set goals and crush them in ways we have never been able to before.
How Long Does It Take To Form a New Habit?
Habit change is a slow and steady process. It takes 90 days to build a lasting habit. So instead of going FULL force, let’s take the concept of 1% better every day and apply it here.
Like I mentioned previously, start small. For instance, if you are not currently going to the gym, set a goal to go to the gym for 2 minutes. The habit you are forming is not working out every day but waking up and getting to the gym every day. Anyone and everyone can squeeze in 2 minutes. Our brains can accept this idea readily. Then as you get into the habit of getting to the gym every day, you can add on a bit more time. (May I suggest 1% longer every day?) The hardest part is getting out of bed and going to the gym for most of us. So maybe start there for the first week. This is where your action plan can begin. Taking your big goals and chunking them down to smaller goals that are more attainable is a great way to get motivation and momentum going in your favor. Smaller steps can increase the chances of success and help us get to that end result we dream about.
What is Lazy Brain, and How Can It Help You Set Goals and Crush Them?
Our brains are hard-wired to be lazy. We are designed to create pathways within our brains to make things mechanical and easy, freeing up brain space for other tasks. Think of your habits as well-worn hiking trails. It is way less work to stick to the trail than forage a new path into the untamed wilderness.
We can use our brain’s tendency to be lazy to our advantage by “hacking” our way to better habits. Because once the hard work of forging a new trail has been accomplished, it’s now there for easy use EVERY day.
Our brains will be ok with the idea of going to the gym for just two minutes. That is an idea it can get on board with. Once you arrive at the gym, stay there for two minutes – hop on a treadmill, elliptical, do some squats or lunges – JUST be there! Here’s the trick, leave after two minutes. It will feel silly. But remember, our goal is to make a habit of getting to the gym, not actually working out. Your brain will call foul if you stay longer, and it will be harder to talk yourself into going back.
Once you have been going for two minutes consistently, only then can you start adding more time to this new habit of yours.
This may seem strange and weird, but science is on your side. Believe it or not, this WORKS!
What other goals could you shift and adjust to take advantage of our laziness?
Here are some ideas to Crush Your Goals – Lazy Style
- Set your gym clothes out the night before; seeing them will trigger you to take action.
- Leave your blender out on the counter to remind you to make a protein shake instead of reaching for junk food after you work out.
- Have your favorite fresh veggies and dip cut up and ready to go in the fridge, so when you get the munchies, you’ll have an easy grab option.
- Have a favorite TV Show you’re dying to binge on? Set a rule that you can only watch an episode while walking on the treadmill or elliptical. I guarantee time will fly while you enjoy this guilty pleasure of yours—my current pick for this lazy hack, Jane The Virgin.
- Every time you brush your teeth, do calf raises.
- Make it a habit to park the farthest away you can and get those extra steps.
- Call your best friend and set up an accountability pack; this can be a powerful motivator!
Try Habit Stacking
What is habit stacking? Habit stacking is the idea to piggyback on a goal you have already mastered. Fantastic at brushing your teeth; add ten squats, ten push-ups, or another habit you want to add. If you sit at the table and eat lunch while dinking around on social media, try putting your phone down and reading some pages of a self-help book or a book about a skill you would like to improve. Life gets crazy, and the more we can find small little ways to hack our habits and improve them, the easier it gets to shift to that next level.
I am a firm believer of “being” The idea is that we step into the role of who we want to become, and we play that character until we reach the goal we are working towards. For example, if I want to be a person that works out. What habits, mindset, and attitude do I need to encompass to become that character in my life—dust off your middle school acting skills and become that person you want to be.
The easier we make our life, the more sustainable our “goals” become. The idea is to look at our goals and break them down in the simplest, most straightforward way possible. Think to yourself what is the easiest way to build a new path to the behavior you want to change. There is grandeur and beauty in simplicity.
So instead of setting smart goals based on being some shiny new version of yourself, focus on making small changes that will leave you 1% better than you were yesterday. And you will be amazed by how much your life has changed by next year.
That, my dear friend, is how you set goals and crush them, not only in your personal health and wellness but in all areas of your life. This is how the game of setting goals is forever changed.
Check out Atomic Habits by James Clear for more information on habit formation.
Good Luck Friends!