As much as it pains us to admit the cliche, many of us look to the new year with a sense of opportunity and hope. Yes, we can change whatever we want whenever we want, but with the new year comes a sense of community, and a kinship with our peers to all change for the better together. It is a time we can review the past year and take stock of the highlights and address the lowlights.
We also share so many flaws with the people around us and many of us focus on breaking the same bad habits. This makes the new year the time of year where we have more accountability and access to support.
So let’s get started. If you find yourself lamenting one of following habits, here are some great places to get a jumpstart.
I drink too much…coffee.
Start with half caf and slowly wean yourself toward decaf. Be kind and allow yourself an occasional hiccup. Do not expect to go cold turkey and try to aim for one cup of caffeine a day max.
I drink too much…period.
Change your habits with scheduling: Decide days you can drink throughout the week and stick to them. Drink 8 ounces of water before any drink. If it is really bad, ask yourself if the drinking is a symptom an not a cause, and be open to seeing a therapist.
“I’ve gained weight”, or “I need to hit the gym.”
If you have a few bucks for a trainer commit to someone you enjoy working with. Explore new kinds of working out and try to create a routine you do not get bored by. If our diet is your issue, start with carbs and calories. Count calories with an app, if you need to. If counting proves to tricky, focus on high protein, low carb (not no carb) options and always eat our protein first. Allow your workouts and your diet to healthily feed and inspire each other.
There are legions of experts, apps and support systems to cease your smoking. Do not pick one willy-nilly. Research and approach your journey to stop as an adventure. You might need to try out a few until you find what will work best for you.
“I watch too much porn.”
If you want to stem the amount of porn you watch, consider only watching during certain times. Never pay for porn and and remember that time is money. If you are wasting a ton of time on porn, you can probably spend that time doing more productive activities. And really, it’s always better live.
“I have too many one night stands.” or “I have been cheating.”
While these are two very difference habits, you can approach the in similar ways. If you are meeting people online, make it clear what you really want. Change profile to indicate you are not interested in anything short. Commit to avoiding spending time with people you are only interested in for sex. If you are cheating, ask yourself if you are unhappy and why you are doing it. No matter what, talk to a therapist about these issues – they are common problems.
“I don’t save my money.”
There are two reasons people do not ave money. One, they do not prioritize it. Two, they do not know how. If you do not prioritize it, research ways you can do it automatically. Set savings goals for yourself (monthly, quarterly, yearly) and reward yourself when you hit them. (Make sure those rewards are not spending the savings though.) If you do not know how to save, start with a savings app that pulls money and either puts them in an account or invests them for you. Watch impulse spending by budgeting and only making purchases a day after deciding to make the purchase.
Best of luck this year. You are going to nail it!