It's midway through January....how is that New Years Resolution (NYR) treating you? NYRs are SO HARD TO MAINTAIN ALL YEAR. I see 3 main reasons:
1. All of a sudden on January 1st we decide to change or stop a behavior that we've been doing for a long time. Remember, these bad habits has formed and been sustained for long periods of time, so stopping a bad habit or creating a new and healthy habit is difficult to do with the flip of a switch.
2. Bad habits serve a purpose for us. Unless we recognize it's purpose and consciously replace it with a healthy habit, there will be a big gap that we will likely fill in with our tried and true bad habit.
3. There's no preparation or accountability. We may tell someone about our resolution, but we often don't include progress tracking or make a plan for success.
Okay, so how can we think about things differently and set ourselves up for success?
1. I like to think of a NYR as a LIFESTYLE CHANGE. For some reason, that verbiage feels more long term to me.
2. Make small, incremental changes. Remember when you first learned about setting goals in school and they told you to make them attainable and to start small. Let's apply this to our LIFESTYLE CHANGES. If you drink 3 cans of soda a day, then maybe start by cutting back to 1 can a day, then maybe 3 a week, and then 1 and then cut it out completely? Same idea with working out. Start working out 1 day a week.
3. Tell people about it. Make a check in schedule for yourself where you can track your progress and identify any challenges, and of course to recognize your successes.
4. Remind yourself that progress takes time, and you have 1 full year to accomplish this change in your life. You don't have to be done by the end of January.
5. Reward yourself along the way!
Now get out there and make a Lifestyle Change!