It’s a new year! Everyone loves new stuff, especially when it has that fresh, out of the box smell to it. The best thing about new is that it's not tied to anything old; it is a fresh start. Like the old saying goes, “out with old, in with the new.” Like most, you may have written a bunch of resolutions, goals, and new visions that you are so eager to accomplish. However, what would be the point if the old you still exists in this new year? You should want to change yourself first, in order to effectively change your situations. So, how do we pick up new habits and force old ones out?
First, I will say that all my new good habits happened organically, but only because I had a willingness for something new to superimpose the old. Now, you can't will yourself into just anything, but you do need a sense of readiness. Wrap your mind around the fact that things will and need to change -like, REALLY WRAP! I mean prepare yourself for an actual change. You will not receive anything if you are not willing.
2. Just do it!
Nike said it best, “just do it”. Omg! Stop looking high and low for validation. You want everyone to tell you how to, when to, and should you. Many would rather go off of feelings rather than just attempting to reach their goals. That, in itself, is a bad habit called hindrance. Just take the initiative and do what you set out to do. If you want to drink more water, DO IT; write a book, DO IT; eat healthier, DO IT. Stop talking about it, and just be about it.
3. May the Force Be With You
It takes 21 days to form a habit. That is three weeks. Therefore, for three weeks, force yourself to do what you planned on doing this year. Make it your priority. Consistency is key. Don't stop and don't give up. After those three weeks, test that theory for another three. By then, you would have been meeting your goals for almost two months. There would be no reason to stop now. Don't enable yourself, instead, force yourself.
4. Saying No!
Just say no. We often feel like we are obligated to do almost everything. For some, we don’t want to disappoint, and for others, we feel the habit is part of us. However, the Lord gives us power and strength to fight, flee, and just say NO. Learn the art of putting yourself first, even if the “no” is towards yourself. Telling yourself “I just can’t help it” is a tactic from the enemy to lead you to believe this habit is unbreakable. Also, if you are tied to saying yes to everyone, that is also a tactic from the enemy. People pleasing is a bondage that you should fight to be free from. God did not put you here to please everyone. Just remember, you can do all things through Christ Jesus which strengthens you. It won’t be easy, but you can do it.
5. What old habit?
Act like what you did in the past doesn't exist. Figuratively, I know you may struggle with this, but you have to remove the bondage. Constantly thinking that this problem is still there will only narrow your focus to this one problem. Doing so makes it even more difficult to move on. Use the high energy of the new year to lead you to believe you have a clean slate. Make it so that old thing no longer dictates your life. Get to the root of it, but don't get rooted by it.
6. Why so serious?
The thing that has most people back to their old ways and patterns by March is the strict regimen they put themselves on, which eventually they lose love and drive for. Be strict with yourself, but also realistic. If you want to be vegan, ease into it. Don't commit to things cold turkey if it will lead you to binge later. Plan TO YOUR ABILITIES. After all, we have 365 days. Try to enjoy all of them, rather than repeating last year's mistakes.
7. Self Assessment
Follow up with yourself. We do it when we want a job or a boo during cuffing season. Follow up with your habits. Write in a journal twice a week or once a month to see what was done prior and see if there have been any changes or improvements. Track your progress and don't be afraid to see where things went wrong and address the source.
A new year means nothing if it's still the same old you. Don't just declare, affirm, and speak things into existence without action. When God spoke, He then proceeded with action. God wasn't lazy, so it shouldn't be in your DNA. Stay encouraged this year and fight to meet a new you by December 31, 2018. The new you is waiting on the other side.