New Year, Same You: The curse of the new year resolution
By Brittney Stefanic
Hey girl hey. We are about 2 weeks into 2020 which means most of us haven’t upheld our resolutions. Those of us still hanging on are unlikely to do so through the end of this month.
Isn’t that crazy? Everyone is so “gung-ho” on the first of the year, but then the novelty fades, real life creeps in, and boom back to the same ol’ same.
But what if we all decided to just continue being the best version of ourselves with each start of a new day, new week, new month and new year? What if we were able to make small changes on a more gradual basis and then adjusted SLOWLY from there?
I suspect we would be a heck of a lot more kind to ourselves. I suspect we’d waste a lot less time and energy worrying about the “new you” we want to become. I suspect we’d be happier with who we are.
Wanna try it?
Let’s start by making a list of the things that you wish were different by tomorrow. These should be changes that can be made, literally, overnight. Here are a few of mine:
- Get the pile of clean laundry off the guestroom bed and put away
- Read tonight before bed
- Not scroll on my phone first thing in the morning
- Not be late to pre-school drop off
Once you’ve made a list of A FEW things (don’t go overboard as it will likely leave you overwhelmed), pick ONE and only one to focus on. Again, this should be a little nugget goal. Tiny enough to actually do, but big enough to actually matter.
For me, I know tomorrow will start off MUCH BETTER if I am able to do things before I start scrolling endlessly down the Instagram rabbit hole. So that is where I am going to start.
Okay, so the end result I want (by tomorrow morning when my son wakes up) is to have done other things besides pick up my phone first thing in the morning. In order to be successful at this, I need a HOW and you do, too!
When thinking about the ACTION behind your goal, remember that we are thinking small. “New year, new me” would probably set some unrealistic goal like “I won’t pick up my phone until after lunch” but guess what?! That is a surefire way for me to FAIL. I use my phone for my business, I take my phone in my car in case of emergency, I look at my phone ALL THE TIME (and I know you do, too)!
So, instead of the whole “wait until forever” goal. I’m going to make a list of a few things that I could do before looking at my phone and starting the scroll cycle.
- Get out of bed
- Make the bed
- Use the restroom
- Brush my teeth
- Wash my face
- Drink a glass of water
- Make my coffee
At this point, I would be happy if ANY of these happened before scrolling, and it looks very manageable, so I’ll start by picking ONE of these as my action. So my original “Not scroll on my phone first thing in the morning” has been revised to “Not scroll on my phone until I have gotten out of bed and made the bed”.
This revision makes my goal more clear and clarity wins when we are talking about goals!
Okay, back to the action or the HOW I am going to do this. I know myself well enough to know that the real problem is that my phone is my alarm and it’s plugged in right next to my bed (#becausescrolling). So, part of my action plan needs to be to get my phone AWAY from me in the morning so I can break the habit by changing my behavior.
I know that if I plug my phone in on the dresser I will have to get OUT OF BED to turn off the alarm. This is good because that’s step 1 of my goal. Taking this small action of moving the location of my phone charger is going to force me to change my behavior.
I don’t want to listen to my alarm over and over, and I’m not Inspector Gadget so I can’t reach unless I get up.
Let’s do it
This might seem SUPER BASIC to you, and in all honesty, I hope it does. Because basic is good and basic is achievable. We can always move up from here. We can always add to the goal once we start seeing success with the smallest changes. Our brains are looking for evidence that we can achieve, so it helps to start little and grow from there.
Once you have successfully made your small change for THREE DAYS IN A ROW, then you can start to grow the impact. For me, after I have gotten out of bed and made the bed before scrolling, I will add on that I will do those things PLUS take care of my morning meditation before hopping on social media. After three successful days of that, I will add on my morning hygiene routine before scrolling. Then, I’ll add drinking my glass of water. And finally, I’ll make my coffee before scrolling.
Within the next 15 days, I will go from scrolling in bed each morning to getting up and taking care of quite a few things before scrolling as my coffee brews. Are you feeling like THIS IS EPIC because I sure am!
New year, still me
The bottom line here is that I will still be me. I will still scroll on my phone and use technology for my business and not my business. I will still waste time on it. I will still wonder if I’m on it too much.
But, I will start my day in a way that I want to. I will break a current behavior and replace it with one I desire more. It will be the fist week of February and I will still be me. I’ll just have cleaner teeth and an empty bladder before I hop on IG!
Brittney Stefanic is a whole-family certified sleep consultant and founder of Sleeper Teachers Sleep Consulting. As an enneagram 1 and recovering perfectionist, she gets that a new year is a great time to want to make big changes. But as an educator, Brittney believes in the power of teaching and loves to support families in meeting setting goals. Brittney and her team love educating and support families around the world in finding sleep solutions through their customized sleep plans. You can follow the teachers on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook @thesleeperteachers for access to their sleep tips + tricks and opportunities for free sleep Q&A sessions.
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