New year, same you. And yet…there is something you want to change, right?
We’re all captivated by the idea that we can change. The new year brings with it the opportunity for improvement, innovation, a better version of ourselves. This hopeful feeling is most evident at the start of a year. But really, the desire for change is always lurking in some form, spanning everything from our personal habits to the world around us.
So this week we’re tackling change. Why do we place so much hope in the concept of change? What are the psychological components that spur or prevent it? What do we get wrong about it? Is change really as great as we make often make it sound?
We’ve chronicled and explored personal change, change in the workplace, and a handful of experiments on changing behaviours. In so doing, we hope to elucidate why we care so much about change – particularly when a new year rolls around.
Change Your Identity
First, change from within.
James Clear, author of Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones, argues that there are 3 layers to making change: changing your outcomes; changing your processes (systems) and changing your identity (your beliefs, worldview, self-image and judgment about yourself and others).
We have all ideas about who we are and who we’d like to become. And while these ideas aren’t static, adjusting them can be difficult and, at times, painful. However, overcoming the mental hurdle of change is essential.
Resolution-setting is a way to articulate values, and going through a process to confirm and publicly share them could be more helpful than actually making progress on them.
The growth of the gig economy and precarious work has challenged traditional employment. Now it’s starting to challenge our identities.
Acts of Change
It’s all about what you do.
Changing isn’t just about dreaming up an idea and hoping it will happen. In most cases, it actually involves rewiring your brain through changed behavior. Thinking patterns create neural pathways that can then serve as the foundation of your behavior when you’re faced with a decision. So it’s really not as simple as just “trying not to smoke” or “just not eating carbs.”
A mixture of acetylcholine, noradrenaline, and dopamine prime the brain for learning. Brain hacking can help coax them out.
Breaking a bad habit is no easy task. But, as challenging as it is, it certainly isn’t impossible. Here’s how to make habit changes that actually stick.
Can Data Help Us Move More? A Togglbit Experiment
Coming Friday, Jan 10th.
For one month, several members of our team embarked on an experiment to see if we could use data to reset our daily movement routines. We bought FitBits, defined our goals, and then analyzed how well we were able to achieve our aims. Here’s how we did.
Will Work For Change
How can we manifest change in the workplace?
One of the places where change inevitably hits us is the workplace. Sometimes we experience change we can’t control – a new boss, a round of lay-offs, a change in ownership, a different client. Sometimes, there’s a change within us – we’re no longer happy doing the same role we once enjoyed, we no longer feel we’re growing, we’re not being fulfilled or doing something we believe in.
Have you ever heard of the book “How To Win Friends and Influence People”? This is the exact opposite of that.
Coming Tuesday, Jan 7 th.
If you’ve recently been toying with the idea of a career shift, here are ten telltale signs that there’s no time like the present.