Friday, 6 November 2015

Riding on Momentum



Many years ago I used to write New Year resolutions at the beginning of the year but only to regrettably see the excitement gradually being subsided by the end of February. At the end of the year, I may even be worse off compared to the start of the year. I believe most of us have encountered this at least once in our life. Because all the cool kids do it. Adults, growing teenagers, kids. Everyone does it, so we must follow! But let’s take a step back and ask ourselves, why bother making a New Year resolutions list if we never intended to follow it through?

Lack of discipline is one thing. Deep inside we want to be one of the cool kids, and cool kids normally have all the bragging rights, and they are generally well accepted in our communities. At least we wanted to feel like we are accepted. But this is not my main point. This may not be your reason. Maybe you wholeheartedly wanted to do things differently as the New Year approaches, to improve every aspect of your life. Then you started to religiously carry out the task.

After one month doing it, we get lazy. The things we thought they would be fun to follow religiously are no longer fun and exciting. They are getting boring. Firstly, it can be due to the nature of the task. It may indeed be very boring, for that even I won’t be able to follow through. Or secondly, our laziness kicks in. We allow ourselves to be lazy and let the momentum fades off itself. We then console ourselves, saying “It’s okay, just missing one day won’t do much harm.”

But how it actually works is this: When you miss one day doing something that you vowed to do every day, there will be second day missing. Then third. And fourth. By the end of the month, you will totally be comfortable with the notion of not doing it at all. This can be discouraging, but it’s the truth. More exciting things appear and the New Year resolutions become less exciting. This is still fine though, but it gets even worse when we just sit there and do nothing, when we were supposed to be doing something.

So what can we do to hack this weakness?

We can improve ourselves not only on New Year day, but every single day we are alive! Yes even today! 1% improvement on every area of our lives is the first key. What’s the second? Riding on momentum. We can have a good start for the first three weeks since inception, but if we failed to follow it through until we see the results, if we allow laziness and complacency to kick in, the new habit would eventually falter and become just a past history.

See what I did there? New habits! If we can convert the “new year resolutions” into habits, it will become second nature to us. I am certain you can easily name many habits you have formed since the day you were born. Many habits are good, some may be bad. The formula here is to increase the number of good habits and reduce the bad habits as much as we could. Doing this would immediately improve our desirability and acceptability, as well as our self-esteem and confidence level.

How can habits become second nature to us? Whether we realise it or not, we were riding on momentum. The momentum of kicking off a new conviction and sticking to it through thick and thin. It will only get easier over time, not the other way round. For instance, I have vowed to myself not to drink any carbonated drink since June this year, and I have been doing pretty well at refraining myself from consuming it. Any desire to drink even a sip? Nope, not at all.

Another thing is we tend to write New Year resolutions of mammoth difficulty level, which explains why we tend to fail most of the times. Why not start small? A small change can be easily executed, and once you get fairly comfortable with the change, the change will grow bigger and bigger. This is by far a more effective way than tuning our mentality to face a giant. When we are faced with huge challenge, we withdraw ourselves because we don’t know how to approach the problem. But if we work towards the small change by stages, slowly but surely we will overcome the mammoth challenge in the end. 

Starting something is always difficult, but maintaining it demands a whole new level of commitment. It requires a different set of rules and discipline. If only we can consistently do it and never to skip it once, it will be converted into our habit and cumulatively, our lifestyle. Maybe we can start thinking ways to improve our life mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially. And we can start changing our lifestyle through little baby steps today, and ride on the momentum to convert these baby steps into a habit.

Start taking action today! Today is the day! 


Favourite Music! =)