New Year Resolutions. Where do I start? Well they are something we nearly all think about after Christmas. It’s a time to reflect upon our lives and ourselves and think about changes we would like to make.
Quite often it’s about our own health – perhaps our weight or exercise management – or about new hobbies or tasks we would like to pursue. However, as I’m sure we’ll all noticed, after a week or two they become very difficult to sustain or achieve. That’s because change is a journey. Yes, change begins with small steps.
In psychology there are many theories centered on “change”. Humans are creatures of habit. We thrive around routine and our brains like set patterns of learned behaviour. So change isn’t as easy to achieve as reported or as one may think.
The first step is thinking about the change you’d like to make. That’s a great start because thinking about something before actually doing it prepares the brain for actions and behaviour of what’s about to happen. It’s called TBC – Theories of Behavioural Change.
Sports psychologists and the like quite often use this theory. For example with athletes trying to change their training schedules or dietary plans.
So thinking about change is the initial step. Then it can be helpful to write down the things you would like to achieve or change. Writing down goals has proven to be very effective in achieving your ultimate destination.
Once a plan of action is in place then the first steps towards that change can take place. However start off small! You may want to read my previous article I wrote: Small Steps, Big Changes.
Starting off small makes the task achievable. As I said previously, the brain is set for routine. We have mapped out patterns in our head that make everyday actions easier to achieve. So changing that is not quite so simple.
Once your plan is in place, try a small task each day that will lead you to your ultimate goal.
The small steps you take every day are the important part of change. No one ever just woke up and said I’ll walk up Everest today. They probably had years of training and support to help achieve that ambition.
You too can achieve your goals – but one step at a time.
I often read in the media about New Year Resolutions and think the chance of achieving that is nil! However follow my steps and be kind to yourselves. You may not achieve your goal as quickly as you would like. Patience is key, but one step forward each day is the way!
Happy New Year to everyone and let’s hope 2022 is a good year for us all and remember
“Health really is Wealth”
Best wishes, Lesley Greenwood BSc(Hons) Psych, MSc Clinical Science