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authored, with loads of love & thought, by Pranjali Pratik
Did you make New Year’s resolutions in 2023?
Decided to exercise more, read more books, learn to play an instrument?
How has it been going?
Studies suggest that almost 60% of young adults (18-34) take up New Year resolutions, making it the largest demographic to do so. 23% give up after the first week, by the end of the month (bringing us to today) only 36% remain. Less than 10% of people successfully adopt a new habit.
So why is forming a new habit so difficult, and how can we uncomplicate it for ourselves? Let’s try to break it down:
Why am I doing this?
Every person is different, their interests are varied and each one has a unique style of learning . Find what you really want to do, and why. Following cool trends, joining clubs with friends won’t usually contribute to a sustainable habit until we truly understand and appreciate why we want to do it.
Setting smaller milestones
When setting new goals, we always hope that it will transform our lives in some way. We often end up setting big long term goals, but find ourselves demotivated miles before the finish line.
It is commendable to set sights on tough targets, but one also must plan out smaller, achievable, quantifiable milestones. Each of these three keywords is crucial in keeping the josh high.
Hopefully the completion of each of the smaller targets is a reward itself, but just to make things extra sweet, reward yourself. It can be something as simple as crossing an item off a to-do list or a cone of ice-cream at the end of a fruitful week.
Consistency is key
This phrase is a cliché for a reason. We humans cannot go from not working out at all to gymming 6 days a week, overnight. It won’t happen, at least not sustainably. Start small. In the beginning, go to the gym 2 or 3 times a week, while your body learns to cope up with the increased load. But on your off days, maybe get out for a walk around the same time. Get used to the feeling of not being at home for that duration.
If you’re taking up an instrument, play for 15 mins a day and then maybe watch a couple of youtube videos on the subject. Find different ways to engage with your chosen activity to avoid monotony, while being consistent.
Use the power of social media
Social media, when utilized properly, has great power. You can almost always find a community of like-minded and like-skilled people. Use it to find encouragement and inspiration on rough days.
Now that we have these tricks handy, let’s not wait for the next New Year, the 1st of the next Month or the next Monday to get started. Our short term dreams, aspirations and priorities change faster than we realize. The goals that are usually set with an idealistic mindset during quiet, stress-free, vacation times, can quickly become unrealistic as life starts to transpire. Summarising below:
- Start now
- Use smaller milestones to adapt to circumstances
- Make the choice to be the best possible self that you can, everyday