Akika Says: New Year New Method

By Geisha Bar

Are you considering annoying your friends with a long rambling #newyearnewme post yet again? Did it work for you last year, or the year before that, or the year before that? I’m guessing no. Less than 10% of all new year’s resolutions actually end up being achieved, and this is because many people get enough of a high from just making lists, which carries them through for a short time before reality hits and suddenly life gets too busy once again to work out or quit smoking.

We are constantly living under the perfectionist’s rule of ‘waiting for the right time to start’ – because we feel like once all of our ducks are in a row, then and only then will we be in a position to start properly tackling whatever issue we are trying to fix. The problem of course is that there never IS a perfect time to start! That’s why when you always insist that the 5 a week training is starting Monday, you never actually see it through. You have to want it badly enough to start RIGHT NOW, instead of procrastinating until your magical fairytale perfect life routine begins.

When people decide to start something on New Year’s day, it’s because there is simply no fresher slate than the first of the first of a new year. It’s the perfectionist’s dream – a literal break in the calender that marks a significant place to start over. But if you’re more focused on the “when” rather than the “how” then you have a lot to learn about the science of changing behaviours, my dude.

To start a good habit, you have to take baby steps. A resolution to “get fit” is not using baby steps! A much more effective one would be “walk to work at least twice per week.” You gotta make it something you can actually be aware of yourself doing. It also needs to be something that you can definitely keep doing for a long period of time. If you’re keen to start Crossfit, I’m sure that “going to Crossfit six days per week” looks amazing written down on your list and has already given you that dopamine hit of “planning to do it”, but realistically you are not going to get to Crossfit six times per week. Start out with “Crossfit at least once per week”. You can always step it up, but if you aim for six from the get-go, the minute you fail to hit it, you will probably feel like you’ve ruined your resolution plan and this will do bad things to your mental ability to pick yourself back up. Start small and reassess your goal when you feel like you have nailed the baby steps first.

To stop a detrimental habit, you need to have a strong self-identity that encompasses who you want to be without your detrimental habit. For example, if you want to quit smoking, you need to start seeing yourself as a strong, healthy person who is all about fresh air and healthy lungs – that’s your new identity. Quitting out of a fear of dying is not a bad reason to quit per se, but a person whose motivation is fear-based will NEVER match the results that a positively motivated person achieves. Typically, the people who lose weight successfully tend to be the ones who are focusing on the benefits of living a healthier life, rather than those who are dieting because they are scared of people judging them for how they look. Deciding on the person who you are going to be is key, because your goal becomes less about focusing on “quitting” or what you “can’t have”, and more about being true to the awesome person that you know you want to be.

So with this in mind, if you’re wanting to make some changes this year, instead of going broad, go very specific and very achievable – it doesn’t even matter if you only

choose one little thing. For me, I’m aiming to floss my teeth both morning and night and take my makeup off before bed every night – small things that aren’t taxing, but can make a huge difference to my life by helping me improve my skin and teeth! It’s much better to continue small things for the entire year than go all out to achieve something massive but quit in the middle of February. And remember – be kind to yourself at all times!

Love, Akika xoxooxoxoxoxox