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Take a New Approach to New Year’s Resolutions

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changeIt is hard to believe that we are less than two weeks out from Christmas, and less than three from New Year’s. The general trend we will see over this time: Eating…Drinking…Merriment…until we can’t take it any longer…which propels many of us into a fast and furious resolve to make change on January 1st. As much as I like to subscribe to the resolution tradition, I’ve come to realize over the years that often, they don’t stick. The reason is simple: it is human nature to bite off more than we can chew.

Change, even that which is positive, is difficult. Yet, we assume it should be achievable within a very short period of time.  Unfortunately, the instant gratification we crave is exactly what hinders us from attaining success. The key is to acknowledge and accept that change takes time and requires a longer-term commitment…and no matter how noble our intentions, it isn’t going to happen all in one day on January 1st.

If you’re embarking on a resolution for big change in the coming new year, I’d like to propose you take a new approach: trade in the big and lofty change for small, yet meaningful modifications. Over time, you’ll have made many small steps towards the big goal. This approach is more successful for the following reasons:

1)    One Big Goal = Many Small Steps. Every big goal, such as weight loss, requires many smaller actions, such as cutting out bad foods, exercising, and eating healthy foods. Breaking a big goal into smaller components makes the process more manageable.

2)    Extremes Don’t Work: Overhauling our life, or more simply put – going from all to nothing, or vice a verse – causes burn out. Taking a step-by-step approach, however, makes change seem less overwhelming.

3)    It Feeds Our Need to Succeed: Attempting to do everything at once, but ignoring each small step we take along the way, doesn’t give us a sense of accomplishment. Allowing ourselves to master small adjustments, gives us an opportunity to feel successful, and the motivation to forge ahead towards the bigger goal.

Stay tuned. I’ll have more to share…one step at a time.

Have you been thinking about the New Year? Have you started thinking about what you’d like to do resolution or anti-resolution wise?

finalcoversmallAdapted from 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You

Make real, lasting change with this easy to follow, week-by-week guide to healthy change. Get it now in time for Christmas at Amazon.com.

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Posted in Brett's Blog, Change / Reinvention, Hot Topic, Mind-Body