Change is hard. Really, we know it is. At the start of the new year, we are dedicated to making changes, yet studies show that nearly 40% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions, yet only 8% of those are achieved. Here’s a look at why that happens, and what you can do to make positive changes in your life.
Does Motivation Work?
Well, not always. New Year’s Resolutions are based on motivation, and motivation is based on emotion which is unreliable. We know motivation is great, the problem is that it isn’t always there, meaning it’s not an ideal foundation for lasting change.
Think about a particularly hectic week you had. Your patient left for a different practice, you got in an argument with a family member, or were dealing with unreasonably demanding staff members. These, and a thousand other stressors you face each day, affect how you feel. They tend to cause your energy and enthusiasm levels to drop. And when you feel down your motivation goes down. When that happens, it becomes way too easy to just put it off until tomorrow.
This is why commitments and resolutions based solely on motivation often fail. Then, when you repeatedly try to unsuccessfully accomplish your goals, your self-confidence lowers along with the sense of self-control. You might blame yourself for a lack of progress and try to find a new motivator. But the issue isn’t you, it’s just the strategy you may be employing.
Form new habits.
As your actions start to become habit, your emotional focus lessens. That means you are not longer relying on motivation alone to get you through. Do you ever notice how sometimes on your drive home from work, you won’t even think about it, you’ll just drive yourself home. It is almost like your mind is on auto-pilot. Habits come to us automatically, and forming habits is what will bring about long-lasting change.
Forming habits requires dedication, but is well worth it. Here are our tips:
Create a plan – What is the habit you want to develop? Is it eating healthier or spending more time coaching your staff? Pick a time of day to prompt yourself to implement the new task at hand, and even write down a small reward. Write this plan down!
Keep track of your progress – Keep a log on how well you’re doing. Make notes of when you’ve done well, have faced a challenge, or overcame an obstacle.
Develop a reward system – Your daily mini-habit deserves a reward. Maybe it is 15 minutes of scrolling mindlessly through the internet or taking the time to call your close friend. Just make sure you don’t give yourself the reward until your task is done for the day.
Surround yourself support – The people around you impact your habits, both the good ones and the bad ones. Make sure you are surrounding yourself with those that want to see you do well.
Make yourself accountable – Your log tracking has a purpose, and part of that is to hold yourself accountable. Another way to do this is to keep your support network in the loop, so you will also be accountable to them.
At ChiroDestiny, we want to help you accomplish your life’s biggest goals. One way to do that is to start small and build healthy habits into your ilfestyle. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you find success personally and professionally with your chiropractic practice, contact us today.