Februar 04, 2019
So, how are those new year's resolutions going? Have you started a new habit or are you bailing on your fitness centre and gobbling down ice cream just in protest?
Every year I have that excited feeling of a “new year,“ the possibility of starting fresh. Every New Year's resolution gives me that same feeling I had when I would get a new schoolbag and new pens for the school start in fourth grade. Those butterflies in the stomach and the voice saying, “This year is it!”
A few weeks in, it all looks a bit different. I didn’t start the jogging routine that I wanted. Crap, why not? I want to, and I need to!! And to calm the bad feelings, I know I‘m not alone, most of us go through the same rigmarole.
So why is it so hard to keep those New Year’s resolutions? There is so much good advice out there, and I have picked up three pieces that I find helpful:.
1. Baby steps
You are a meat lover but would like to cut down? Start with one or two meat-free days a week.
Need to exercise more? Go jogging once a week instead of signing up for a 50km marathon in three months time.
Gradually increase and make a lot of small steps instead of one big one. Shift from goal setting to habit forming. New habits take typically one month to form, and routines help to build them.
Psychologist Veronika Job from the University of Zürich says that our brain is wired to make routines, so follow your brain’s wiring. Start a routine with a small step.
2. Pleasure instead of punishing
You decided to ditch meat, great! Instead of focusing on that closed door, focus on all the new doors that open, all the delicious new recipes that you are getting to know and how great you are feeling.
Instead of focusing on what you are trying to remove from your life (meat or sugar), give your attention to what you are adding, to the ways you are making the world (and your body!) healthier and happier.
Maybe you have a goal of jogging three times a week, but you only went twice. Do you feel better after jogging a couple of times a week? Celebrate that accomplishment instead of punishing yourself for missing third run.
3. Do it for someone else
Humans are wired to be compassionate beings (sometimes it’s hard to believe with the way the world looks, but that’s how we're born). By doing something for someone else, I find it much easier to keep up with a promise.
An example is moving in the direction of plant-based living. Just by changing what’s on your plate, what you wear, what you clean with etc. you’ll be having a huge positive impact on Animals (saving a least 100 animals from suffering and death every year) and the environment (animal agriculture contributes heavily to some of the most significant environmental problems our world is facing today). That’s huge – and something to be proud of! When you think of the difference you are making, you have more motivation to make changes and eventually, plant-based living becomes a habit and a part of you.
This year, I’ve kept my jogging schedule so far! Twice a week, doggy-walks have become doggy-jogs. Happy face!
You can do it too. Use the tips above to start wherever you are today.
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