Do Resolutions Work?

It’s almost time for the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. I’ve never understood the concept. If something is going to do me so much good, why would I wait for an arbitrary date to begin the transformational process? Why would I not start it now?

broken resolutionsIf you’ve got an idea for a change you’d like to make, maybe even a change you’ve tried before and were unsuccessful with, what can you do to actually make it stick this time?

Here are some ideas that I have found to be very powerful.

  1. Baby steps. Set big goals but break them down into easily attainable baby steps. If you want to lose 20 pounds, think of it in two-pound increments.
  2. Celebrate the success of little steps.
  3. Change the word ‘should’ (which is a guilt trip or something that is inflicted on us) to ‘choose to.’ Instead of “I should lose 20 pounds” rephrase it to “I choose to lose 20 pounds because …”
  4. Fill in whatever comes after the ‘because’ with a highly personal and motivating reason. I suggest that it be a reason that will still be valid in 1 year or 2 years or 5 years. If it’s not, you are likely to not make the permanent changes to your way of thinking that will make the resolution become yours for life.
  5. When you slip, and you will, don’t throw the whole thing out. Instead, pick up the pieces, note what you were doing well, acknowledge what went wrong, decide what you can and will do to avoid that pitfall in the future, and get back at it. You’re not starting over.  You’ve simply learned something new about what works and what doesn’t work for you. Take advantage of that and use it to your benefit.

Regardless of whether you are in the throes of massive change or not with the coming of the new year, I wish you all the very best for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2015.

 

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