The new year is a symbolic time for starting new habits or breaking old ones. While we don’t need the new year to bring forth changes in our life, it can be a fun and motivating time to tap into the collective energy.
Motivation is a key component to change, and the changing of the years innately comes with a high level of motivation attached to it. However, motivation ebbs and flows and when it ebbs, we tend to rely on will power to carry us through. Willpower however, is often overshadowed by complex neurological processes. To help make our new year’s resolutions stick and become more impactful than years before, we can essentially hack motivation and willpower to bring about lasting change.
Whether it is a new year, a new month or just time for a change, these our top tips for creating new habits and lifestyles that stick!
- Identity Your Primary Driver
The first step in adopting behavior change it to establish, dive deep and get clear on your why. Being able to feel our why, and knowing the long-term impacts of our new goal helps us to consistently make decisions that keep our resolutions alive when motivation and willpower naturally wane.
Science shows that poor sleep interrupts our ability to make good decisions and stick to new habits. A low-quality sleep influences our physiology to crave unhealthy foods, stimulates our appetite, lowers energy and increases stress hormones. No matter our resolutions, improving sleep provides a huge advantage in taking the steps to actualize our resolutions!
- Habit Stack
Habit stacking is process that uses a current habit to create a new habit. To habit stack all you have to do is identify a habit you already engage in such as making coffee or brushing your teeth. Next you identify the new habit you wish to implement. For example, maybe you want to meditate more often. Start by meditating after you brush your teeth and eventually that will become a cue that subconsciously tells you to meditate - making It second nature.
- Be mindful of language
How we speak to ourselves influences our neurological pathways, and on a fundamental level long-term change is rooted in new neuronal pathways being formed and utilized. Use present tense language when talking about your goals. For example, if you want to start running start saying “ I am a runner” not “I want to start running” and watch what unfolds as your brain begins to believe this and rewire accordingly!
- Use Supplements
Supplements are a fantastic way to support physiology and override the biological mechanisms that stop us from achieving our goals. Research shows that stress for example, is related to reverting back to old behaviors. This is because when we are stressed we are in survival mode, which doesn’t provide the energy to the brain needed to create change. The easiest way to modify stress in the short term is use supplements that bring down levels of stress hormones.
Our favorite fast acting stress reducing supplements
Cortisol Adapt reduces cortisol, the main stress hormone and brings the body back into a calm state. This conserves energy and starts to transaction the body out of ‘fight or flight’ also known as survival mode.
A combination formula with the main ingredient rhodiola, Rhozvia is unqiue as it lowers stress hormones and increases energy at the same time. Using Rhozvia elevates mood, which has been shown to be correlated to better success reaching goals
Nutrients that support the brain, and specifically those that facilitate the formation of new neurons and neural pathways help to create change quicker because we are modifying physiology, which is the root of change, in a much faster way with nutraceutical support than we can do with repeated behavior change.
Our Top Pick for Brain Health
Astaxanthin is able to cross the blood brain barrier, where it helps to increase nerve growth factor (creating new neurons) and it supports healthy tissue in the cerebral cortex- which is where the ability to make rational, sound decisions comes from!
The bottom line is, when we feel good we are more likely to engage in behaviors that support us. Feeling good is an emotional state that can be supported through optimizing physiology, increasing energy at a cellular level and supporting brain structures that are responsible for mood and decision making!
Whether you are reading this as we close out 2021 or are wanting a little motivation as 2022 progresses- we hope these science backed tips help you to achieve your goals and make the process a little more fun and contribute to your success!
Author: Lisa Kowalyk, CNP, B.kin.