As the year draws to a close, most of us have begun to reflect on ourselves and any potential New Year’s resolutions – losing weight, quitting smoking, or vowing to keep the house cleaner in case of unexpected visitors.
Now, you and I both know we don’t always accomplish these goals or resolutions. So, what can you do this year to change that? Use the power of your own body language, of course!
A recent study suggests that standing in a powerful pose for as little as one minute not only leads you to perceive yourself as more powerful and a decrease in the level of stress hormones in your body, but also increases your tolerance for risk (Carney, Cuddy & Yap, 2010). And starting a New Year’s resolution can definitely be seen as taking a risk! Resolutions often involve a change in habits and a change in lifestyle; for many of us, that can be quite a risk as habits can be hard to change.
What do you need to do with your own body language to bring out this sense of power and become a risk-taker at the turn of the New Year? (I’m not necessarily talking skydiving and bungee-jumping risk-taking, but if that’s your New Year’s resolution, then go for it!) First, let’s review a couple of basic power moves.
Now, think about a New Year’s resolution you’d really like to take control of this year. How about the very popular “start exercising and get fit?” As 2012 nears, think about your resolution, stand in front of the mirror for a minute or so and take on one of the poses mentioned above. (Well hello there, good lookin’!) Then, when you take it one step farther and are getting ready to actually go to the gym at the turn of the year, do the same thing. By standing confidently, you’ll increase your risk-taking tolerance and hopefully jump on that treadmill and be confident that you will become fitter as you continue to develop your new habit. Not only can you turn your gym-going into a new habit, but your power move can become a habit!
Apply these power moves to work, too. Want to work harder this year in order to get that promotion you’ve been wanting? Stand and sit in confident poses at the office to show that you mean business and aren’t a pushover or someone who doesn’t take your work seriously.
I know what I’m going to do once I decide on a resolution, and I hope you do too! Until then, enjoy the holidays!