Action list for Habit Change

Just because the holidays are rapidly approaching does not mean that we get a free pass on changing bad habits.

Fat man holding a measurementIf you’re trying to change your lifestyle, don’t make the mistake of waiting until “after the holidays.” After all, they’ve been going on for over 2,000 years; they’re not stopping anytime soon.

So, for those dedicated souls who wish to enter next year without regret about having “blown it” during the last two months of the year, here are several strategies to navigate your way to a new you in the new year.

Be “sparklingly clear” about what your definition of success looks like.

How will you know you’ve arrived if you don’t know what it looks like when you’re there? It’s true; the result might look different than expected. However, one doesn’t begin a trip without at least an idea about where he’s going.

Describe success in as much depth as you can. Use numbers whenever possible while also focusing on the feelings that will result from your hard work. Use concrete descriptions in defining your goals.

Instead of “I will lose weight,” try (for example) “I will wear a perfect size ten comfortably by January 15.”

Take ridiculously tiny steps.

Small steps done regularly will always generate more results than large steps done intermittently. In other words, it’s better to walk a block and really do it than to swear you’ll run a mile and never get around to it.

If after saying, “I will do (whatever),” you’re not 100 percent absolutely dead-on totally confident that you really will do that, then that goal is too large. Make it small enough so that you have no excuse to not do it.

By the way, a good indicator is that if your inner critic is telling you’re not doing enough, you’re probably on track.

Embrace the rough patches

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State Your Intention Clearly

What is your intention?

yelling-guy-with-megaphone

The spoken word is the least important part of communication.

Studies have shown that over 90% of communication is non-verbal, such as tone of voice and body language. So, since attitude obviously communicates, make sure you attitude is “clean” before talking to others.

Ask yourself, “What do I want to come from this communication?”

For example, some intentions might be:

  • I want someone to know how I feel
  • I need more information
  • I want to “teach a lesson”
  • I am looking for a deeper relationship
  • I want to resolve a conflict

Notice how each intention will change the outcome of the communication.

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Celebrate Your Age

Celebrate your age!

Yes, it can be frightening growing older.

old coupleAfter all, we’re entering the great unknown.

As I heard someone say long ago:

“Yes, there are people who are older than me, but this is the oldest I’ve ever been.”
A few days after my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I asked her how she felt about knowing that she didn’t have long to live. My mother, who always believed in “The Greatest Good at All Times,” did not changer her life-long philosophy because of her fate.
She said,
“I’m frightened and I’m going to miss you and your sister. But, I have to believe that the greatest good is at play and I cannot give it up here. Besides, it’s kind of like life’s last big adventure. I’m curious to see where it goes.”

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Birthday Cake Ban

I hate being one of those crotchety old people who hears a story, shakes his head in disgust, and says, “When I was a kid…”

grumpy-old-man-with-caneYet, I find myself in that position (hopefully I am not crotchety however).

“When I was a kid…” I don’t remember parents bringing birthday cakes or cupcakes to classrooms. I just don’t think it was done way back then; maybe they melted on the stagecoach ride over. Who knows? Yet, times change and it appears to be standard operating behavior for parents to do so nowadays — that is, unless you reside in Northern Kentucky.

Burlington Elementary School in the Bluegrass State revised its wellness policy.

The end result is a ban on food for school birthday celebrations. We’re not just talking about cakes; rather — in the interest of promoting healthier food choices — ALL other snacks are now verboten. Non-food “treats” such as pencils, balloons, erasers and book-marks are suggested. (“Happy birthday Johnny, now blow out your bookmark!”)

The intention is laudable; they’re actually doing some-thing to combat the ever-burgeoning obesity crisis and attempting to shift the focus of celebrations away from food. Good on them for that. And there are indeed health concerns involving food allergies; not to mention, I imagine it’s purt’ near impossible to school a child redlining on a sugar buzz.

Yet I have concerns.

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Video: God Only Knows Beach Boys Remake

I’m not much of a Beach Boys Fan.

I like their “big hits” but I could always take them or leave them. This video however is not only beautiful to watch, but it goes to a great cause. Big stars each sing one line of the classic song. (I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t recognize a lot of them – and I used to be a DJ!)

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