It’s a new year, and you know what that means – a lot of New Year’s Resolutions and “New Year, New Me”s.
The moment 2020 changes to 2021, December 31st turns into January 1st, it feels like a new beginning. You’re determined to use that positive energy to “change yourself for the better”. Ironically though, you’re just so motivated to change yourself that sometimes, your New Year’s Resolutions become unrealistic and unspecific. But the key component to change is this: it never comes quickly or easily.
However, that’s certainly not to say you can’t change. In fact, all you need to create change within yourself are just two things: motivation and consistency. I know…those things are the hardest things to have in the first place!!! Well, a good starting point is thinking about the why and how (in that order). Once you answer those, you’re halfway there to a “new” you.
For example, let’s say one of your New Year’s Resolutions is getting good grades. So, you might think of taking time out of your day to study. However, before you think about how you want to get good grades, think about why you want to get them. If you have a good reason for the why, then you have the motivation part down already. Afterwards, you can think about the how. This way, you’ll be far more grounded, realistic, and most importantly, consistent in your approach to creating change.
Let’s continue with the example of getting good grades. Why do you want to get good grades? Maybe it’s because you want to go to a good college. Well, why do you want to go to a good college? Maybe you have something that you want to learn specifically at a certain institution. Well, why do you want to learn at that institution? You can go on and on and on. So, just for clarity’s sake, make a diagram. Start from the bottom of the page and keep going as much as you can. The more of those why’s you answer, the greater your motivation will be – because you’d have a concrete reason for why you want to make that New Year’s Resolution come true.
Then, think about how you are going to get good grades. Don’t forget to be specific and realistic with yourself. You might want to start by studying thirty minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, something small like that. Then, as you get used to it, increase the frequency and durations of the studying – but also take into consideration that you don’t want to burn yourself out. If you made your diagram, then you would know that there’s a long way to go and a lot of things to do, so start slow and steady with how you are going to achieve your first step!
In all honesty, you don’t need to start the road to change on New Year’s Day. As a matter of fact, you can even start now. If you don’t have the motivation to do so, start a mind map or diagram to actually think about what it is you value in your life and what you want to do. Then, think about how you are going to do it – but make sure to take baby steps! As the Jogging Baboon said in my favorite cartoon, Bojack Horseman: “It gets easier…But you gotta do it every day — that’s the hard part. But it does get easier.”