New Habits, Who This?: 9 TedTalks to Establish New Habits in the New Year
“I can’t believe this year went by so quickly!”
How many times have you heard someone say this around the end of the year? How many times have you said it yourself? I definitely have (raises hand!) It’s that I had a whole 365-days and still didn’t reach my exercise goals feeling... Well worry not sunshine, you’re not alone. Know this and feel emboldened to go into 2018 with the same tenacity my 6-year old sister shows when learning her ballet routine. I’ve rounded up nine expert-proven tools for establishing new habits and creating lasting change in the new year!
I’m a natural born research junkie and a Health Coach, and on my quest to find the best tools to establish lasting change and create new habits, I stumbled upon 9 TED Talks by experts that dish out their best tips.
1. Eric Zimmer in 'The Battle of Changing Your Behavior' states that studies show that 90% of diets fail and that only 8% of people keep their New Year resolutions. It's no secret that changing behavior is difficult and that when we actually manage to do so it doesn't seem to last very long. But the reason many of us aspire to change our behavior is for one reason- to live a good life. The secret to living good lives centers around having the freedom to choose how we behave and being able to follow-through with those decisions. Many people blame themselves for being unable to create lasting change and believe it's a matter of willpower and discipline and that somehow there's a shortage of both. But changing behavior while creating lasting change is a skill that we can all improve with practice. In his TED Talk, Zimmer explains how the strategies of a popular board game can apply to your life to help you establish new habits and create lasting change.
2. Judson Brewer in 'A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit' tells us that like many people he struggled with focusing and that studies show that most people tend to day dream or become distracted while trying to focus. Turns out we're fighting one of the most evolutionary concerned learning processes known in science. It's a reward based learning process called Positive and Negative Reinforcement that boils down to trigger, behavior, and reward. For example, you feel hunger, eat food and as a result feel good. Creating habits consists of the same learning process and it's the reason why smokers pick up a cigarette or emotional eaters crave cake. In his talk, Brewer explains how understanding this process can break those bad habits by being mindful.
3. What if I told you that by committing to do one squat every time you went to the restroom you could establish a longterm practice exercises (and a plump booty to boot!) Well according to B.J. Fogg in 'Forget Big Change, Start with a Tiny Habit' committing to tiny behaviors followed by celebrating your achievement immediately after can create lasting change. He believes that behavior change isn't as complicated or intimidating as we believe it to be and that with 2 simple strategies you can not only establish new habits but can change your life.
4. In Lena Kay's 'Three Steps to Transform Your Life', she emphasizes the importance of the mind when establishing change and creating the life you wish to live. As a child refugee living in London, a person who suffered from depression and who became ill from a brain tumor, Lena believes she was destined to fail. But she was able to cure herself with the power of her mind, and believes we all have the ability to create the lives we wish to live with the power of our minds. In her Three Steps to Transform Your Life she explains how your reflects that which you expend energy into and that you are the only person who can create the change you wish see.
5. When was the last time you tried out a new hobby? Whether it's biking, painting or learning French creating a new habit or hobby doesn't have to be an arduous process. It can actually be a lot of fun! In 'Try Something New for 30-days' Matt Cutts tells us how he decided to try one new hobby every 30-days. He explains how life not only become more memorable but that he became a more confident and adventurous version of himself along the way. Studies also show that 30-days just so happens to be around the same amount of time that practicing a new habit becomes habitual.
6. Did you know that only about 10% of our lives is dictated by our genes while a whopping 90% is dictated by our lifestyle? Dan Buettner in his 'How to live to be 100+' TED Talk , believes that we can live longer, healthier lives by studying the lifestyles of the world's "Blue Zones," communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age. In his talk, he shares the 9 common diet and lifestyle habits that keep them healthy past the age of 100.
7. This may be shocking to some but studies show that in the US, 80% of girls have been on a diet by 10 years old. Neuroscientist Sandra Aadmodt in her 'Why Dieting Doesn't Usually Work' TED Talk uses her personal struggles with food and dieting to share an important lesson about how our brains dictate our bodies. She analyzes the science behind why dieting doesn't work and is likely to do harm more to women and girls than do good. Aadmodt also provides us with ideas for how to live a less diet-obsessed life by eating intuitively.
8. It's no secret that the we all view people, emotions and even the foods we eat subjectively. Our perceptions of the world mold every decision we make in life. Social psychologist Emily Balcetis in her 'Why Some People Find Exercise Harder Than Others' TED Talk correlates her research on how our vision and perception can quite literally make exercising more challenging for some people versus others. She also provides us with a surprinsgly simple solution to overcome our differences which is as easy as keeping your eye on the prize.
9. Author and speaker, Tom Asacker, in his 'Why TedTalks Don't Change People Behaviors' TED Talk wondered why so many people watch TED talks and yet so few change their behaviors as a result. His answer? That only one of three elements of our irrational, but innately human, decision-making process truly makes for lasting change.
Creating lasting change and sticking to new habit isn't always easy but as these experts have proven- IT IS POSSIBLE! Decide which of the strategies above will work best for you and stick with it. Start 2018 with the mentality that reaching your fitness goals, career aspirations and healthy habits is already a reality!
Did you find these strategies helpful?! Share, pin and comment. Everyone deserves the chance to begin 2018 with a tool built full of strategies to take on the new year with new habits.