Truth to be told, I was always someone who made fun of new year resolutions. They simply don’t work. Now there is a science behind why they don’t work but always hiding behind own’s comfort zone and using the excuse that most resolutions fail is also equally fucked up as much as expecting oneself to have 8 pack abs by the next year.

Why do New Year Resolutions fail?

80% of new year resolutions fail by February. The reason behind it is, your new year resolutions demand a drastic change in your habits. “Become slim like a victoria secret model” is not a small change. Besides, our habits are the automatic trigger of a behavioral pattern. A new year automatically won’t change your conditioned response to things. If you feel sad, you are going to attack those snacks if you’ve conditioned yourself to do so. If you see food, you are going to attack it like there’s no tomorrow.

How to change the habit thingy?

  • Small changes. You’ll study 10 mins more than you already do. Now that’s not too much.
  • Anchor a new action with an already established habit. For eg. If you have a habit of reading blogs, also read blogs related to your coursework.
  • New action needs to be easy. At least for the first week. Because we’re forming a new neural pattern, we need to repeat the same action for at least 3-7 times. You can start by studying for 5 minutes per subject for the first week or whatever floats your boat.

I’ve mentioned this kind of strategy in my article titled Embracing imperfection. There I talk about a Japanese technique called Kaizen.

What’s the story that you tell you about yourself?

Now you have a sense of who you are. The story that you tell about yourself. Your perceived reality of yourself. Most of us make decisions based on that story. We feel uncomfortable when our resolutions challenge that story. Now if I keep telling myself that I am a dork then am not going to stick to my gym routine, am I?

How to change your self-story?

  • Write your existing story. Pay extra attention to the details. Pour it all on the paper. You might find the reasons why you behave the way you do.
  • Now, change the story. Rewrite it. Create a new story for yourself.

Story editing has indeed been found to be an effective way change your behaviour.

We don’t need to wait for a new year to change who we are. We can start from today. Now, all we need to do is make a small positive change every day. That’s all to it.

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