We have our first reader-suggested topic today, folks! Let’s dig in. The request was from a lovely reader named Lizzie, who asked for:
“the best ways to ways to change habits (stop procrastinating, start working out, etc.) in the spirit of the fast-approaching new year!”
Now, I don’t think I’m necessarily qualified to hand out life advice, but I will share my two thoughts on self-sabotage, which I think is the real culprit here.
If you are a human being and you are reading this (shout out to all of the extra terrestrial and literate-dog readers!), I’m sure you know exactly what you need to work on and what’s holding you back. For me, I think my schooling and journalism experiences have left me completely addicted to deadlines. I’ve run on insane deadlines for almost a decade, and now I need them for everything from cleaning my room to writing this very post. If something can just be finished whenever, I tend to put everything with an expiration date before it, so I assign my own deadlines to them. These are my two thoughts:
1) Don’t Make a New Year’s Resolution. I’m pretty opposed to new year’s resolutions for several reasons. First, it’s an arbitrary date. The only times that I make lasting changes, is when I’m actually READY to make the changes, and unless January 1st just so happens to be that day for you, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Further, new years resolutions feel like burdens, not positive additions to your life. You end up spending the entire month of January doing something that is unsustainable, and secretly dreading another 11 months of it. Also, it’s a truism that no one actually follows through with new year’s resolutions (in actuality, you have an 88% chance of failure), so you can give yourself a mental pass when it doesn’t work out. Get yourself to a place where you know you want the new life more than your old life, whatever it may be, and start there.
2) The Nike Approach (aka Just Do It) For some reason, I don’t really respond much to the encouraging “You can do it! You are so strong! I believe in you!” methods of self-encouragement. I’m definitely someone who is more inspired by thinking “Seriously, Anna? Seriously. You can’t do this one little thing?” to myself in a stern and slightly disappointing tone, and you might be, too! There are definitely people who self-sabotage by getting to hard on themselves. They make their expectations so high that any little slip will derail the entire train, but I think that there are also people who don’t push themselves enough. You’re not doing yourself any favors by lowering your self-expectations.
What helps YOU to keep your willpower strong? Leave a comment and let us know! Again, this was a reader-suggested topic, so keep ’em coming! What do you want to talk about next?