If there’s one thing you can count on every January, it’s that a copious amount of New Year’s resolutions will be written down. But sometimes it’s hard to meet our resolutions for several different reasons. One often seen reason is that we task ourselves with quitting habits cold turkey, which can prove difficult to achieve. Studies show that it’s much easier to replace a bad habit with a good one than quitting it altogether. Here are three that we’ll be replacing this New Year.
We often tell ourselves that a New Year signifies new beginnings – a turned leaf and a blank page. But have you ever told yourself that, yet still found yourself dwelling on past events and wishing that you had done things differently? The fact is…we can’t change the past, so instead of dwelling on it for too long, it’s best that we try something else.
Move from the past to the present (and the future) by planning. If you find your mind drifting to a situation from the past, quickly remedy it by beginning to plan something in the future – it can be completely unrelated. So, for example, you might be dwelling on a moment between yourself and your boss that really upset you. Change your mind-set by shifting your thoughts to something in the future – perhaps planning how you can react differently should that situation come up again or, as mentioned, something completely different like the first trip you’re hoping to take once COVID lockdowns are over.
Replacing the past with the future will not only help pull you out of any negative emotions you may be in, but it will also give you something positive to look forward to!
The old saying goes that “comparison is the thief of joy” and it couldn’t be more true. Even when we’re feeling our best we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others, but at a time like this, when many of us have had our lives moved around, we should definitely stay away from that thief of joy.
Whenever you find that you’re comparing yourself with someone else, be it about work, body image, relationships or anything else, realise where that stems from. You’re perceiving yourself to be lacking in something…without acknowledging that you have a host of great things about you! If you find yourself saying “Oh wow…she has much longer hair than me”, first off, give yourself a compliment for being able to see how great someone else is, but then also give yourself a compliment that can be anything from how good you are at drawing, or what an amazing friend you’ve been told that you are.
Complimenting ourselves (without being too self-indulgent) can be a great way to boost our mood and remind ourselves that we have many great qualities!
You might try and argue that being in lockdown at home means that there isn’t much to do but be glued to technology…but even if your phone is your best friend there’s still a lot that you can do apart from scrolling through social media.
Try downloading a crossword, Sudoku or brain training app to keep your mind sharp, or stock up on podcasts (you can find some of our favourites here) or audible books. Your phone can contain a wealth of knowledge…if you know where to look.
Swapping the social media scroll for some light educational apps can be a great way to boost your brain and your mood, and you’ll find that you’ll be thanking yourself for learning something new (however small) every day.