As the new year begins, we encounter a handful of different emotions:
Many of us experience a surge of optimism and renewed energy with the freshness off the new year. Admittedly, many of us are wearied by the thought of another year of the same-old same-old. Yet others of us greet the new year with a bit of trepidation, the familiar is always more comfortable.
For all of us, I would argue that we can start something new this year by tapping into our natural inclinations.
Maybe, just maybe, starting something new will be the way to freshen up this new year.
Maybe it’ll be the way to put the spring back in your step.
Maybe you can leverage that optimism that you have about the new to try something scary or different.
Maybe the fear of the uncertainty of tomorrow is enough to incite you to start a new, positive, or beneficial habit or routine.
I’m going to try something new this year. It’s a little bit scary, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
Here are three quick tips for starting something new this year:
1. Make sure the thing that’s new is good for you or makes the world a better place. Don’t delude yourself into embracing destructive behaviors just because they’re new.
2. Set a goal, a specific, measurable, realistic goal, that can be realized within this year (or sooner) and that you can share with someone who can help cheer you on and hold you accountable.
3. Take that very first step. Don’t put it off any longer. See if any of the tips below help with the first step (while running isn’t something that I’m going to try this year, I’ve used running examples below to help make sense of the tips)
- Use something that comes naturally to you, something that’s easy, to help build the momentum for something that’s harder (think running to the movie theater or library or video store)
- Use your fears of what could go wrong to help you problem-solve before the challenges hit. (Think new shoes, training, powerful alarms, safety devices, etc. to help you anticipate the obstacles to a daily run)
- Use your natural enthusiasm for something to get yourself out of bed in the morning (think running for the joy of listening to good music, enjoying good scenery, etc.)
- Use your love of the company of others to do something difficult (think running with friends).
- Reward your new behavior with things that help you stay motivated. In her 2012 Business Insider interview, Laura Vaderkam offered great suggestions for creating a reward system for yourself to create new habits.
Best wishes to you this new year, let me know how it goes!