BY: ALINA BERDICHEVSKY
You know the pattern. December you partied like a rockstar, January you swanned around poolside like an Insta-model and February you repent for your debauchery like a monk.
No matter what your feast-or-famine cycle looks like, chances are, it’s characterised by a hazy roller-coaster of spending, saving, boozing, detoxing, working, planking and bending – and that’s before you even feast your eyes on Netflix.
I for one, get too exhausted even contemplating such a strained existence! And that my friend, is ‘cause I’m lazy. Slow and steady wins the race for me – and not only the Universe, but science have my back.
Throughout the year, we are inundated with cute memes and sappy articles that tell us that to strive is struggle, and channel the yesteryear. Rather, modern women need to absolve those ‘resolutions’ in favour of ‘flow’: do little more than claim a ‘feeling’ word to mark the mood of your achievements for the year.
Except the truth is, us humans are goal oriented creatures, wired to strive, desire and pine. And Instagram and other visual trappings only make these longings worse.
So how on earth do you buy your first apartment, master that Moroccan feast, create a Pinterest-worthy abode, launch your side hustle and run the New York marathon in 2017… without resorting to the archaic notions of blood, sweat and tears?
Well science says… small incremental actions.
In Stanford, one Professor BJ Fogg based decades of research on the subject of goal achievement. This rampant expert postulates that there are two, and only two, effective ways to create long term change:
1. Environmental changes
2. Baby Steps
To create a real lifelong habit, the focus should be on training your brain to succeed at a small adjustments; then gaining confidence from that success. To do that, one needs to design behaviour changes that are both easy to do and can be seamlessly slipped into your existing routine.
And that’s it, my lazy friends. The formula for world class domination, where scaling down your goal is the key step to greatness. Instead of bracing for a one hour jog, just trot on the spot for 3 minutes. If that’s too much, no need to gallop against the wind just yet – just order those divine new kicks from Net-A-Porter.
The point here is to have a constant reinforcement of success, without relying on major boosts of motivation. When you shop for shoes to train in, you activate that active spirit by osmosis and feel way more primed for wins the next day, rather than if you’d missed another workout. The disappointment starts to feel like too much and our psyches retreat to Netflix. However, if you lace up said new shoes the following morning… well, who knows where that could lead.
Monsieur Fogg says it doesn’t even matter what your micro-goals are – just get in the habit of smashing through those baby steps. In his Tiny Habits program, his goals descend as low as flossing one lone tooth a day!
So how about cook a healthy dinner for your self just once a week? Or saving $5 a month? Or, get off that bus and walk a stop in those brand new sneakers? Do tiny things and you’ll feel like a winner. Embrace momentum and watch those little wins add up.
And remember if you’re failing, you’re just not thinking small enough.
Alina Berdichevsky – Writer and spiritual stylist
A confidante to some of Australia’s most powerful identities, Alina Berdichevsky has been offering advice, support and gentle reality checks to clients for 11 years. A certified Life Coach and Master Neuro-Linguistic Programming + Hypnotherapy, as well as practitioner of EFT, personal branding and guided meditation, Alina has been featured in CLEO, Cosmopolitan, Madison, Body & Soul, and was recently on Weekend Sunrise with Dr Karl for a Valentine’s Day exclusive. She runs the blog www.reviewedbyab.com, focused on sharing up and coming artists, creatives and thought leaders in the fashion, art, lifestyle and technology space.