It’s the time of year for sayings like “New Year, New You,” for fad diets, juice cleanses and 21-day meditation challenges to begin. And now, amidst this global pandemic, I know that many will be wishing the end of this year and 2020 – although we should set our own expectations that when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, 2020, the world is unlikely to suddenly right itself, the pandemic and the massive suffering it has caused will not instantly be over.
Slow (sometimes painfully) slow, but always steady evolution.
An evolution is the gradual development of something. A trip to a Natural History Museum outlines what a long, long time for homo sapiens to evolve from earlier forms of mammals – Neanderthals, Homo erectus and every iteration up until that point. Life on this planet has been evolving for billions of years. My life and your life have been evolving since the day we were born.
Build the habit – start today!
How can we bring about this evolution – think about building time to meditate each day, find time to journal, share thoughts on a blog or social media. Start building the habit. How do we manage to brush our teeth each morning? How do we remember to put clothes on each morning? The bottom-line answer is it’s all about the habit. Habits – positive or negative – help us evolve into who we become, incrementally, one day at a time. A study published by Duke University, shared that habits – “good” or “bad” – form about 45% of our total behaviours. These habits are behaviours that we frequently repeat, compounding their significance in the makeup of our lives.
There is a saying that “You can’t eat an elephant whole, however, you can eat it one bite at a time.” This elephant is any obstacle we face in our lives. Very rarely can we overcome that obstacle with one swift change; instead, change require steady, incremental changes in the form of habits, one small bite at a time.
This incremental, evolutionary journey allows us to build, one day at a time, the habits we need to cultivate in order to live our best lives and to thrive – slowly and steadily. The development of habits that stick requires a longer burst of motivation and willpower.
And, while we may think that just 5 minutes of practice a day is unimpressive it actually does wonders for our unconscious brain. It creates incremental changes that leads us to our long-term goals that over time help us not just survive – but thrive.
So instead of asking “What is your New Year’s resolution – What will your New Habit be for 2021?
Happy New Year to you and your families 🙂
Many thanks to Carol Smith for her contribution to this amazing article.