Note: We recently launched of a seminar series, “Five Things You Must Know To Make Your Life Better.” As part of that series, one of the things we went over were the “10 Commandments of Changing Habits.” This is one of those “commandments.”
At this very moment, a frustrated, frightened middle-aged woman is standing on a scale in a state of disbelief.
She hadn’t dare climb upon it for years, afraid of the number she’d see — and terrified of what it would mean. Today however, after finding nothing in the closet that fits, the anxiety of not knowing overrode the faux safety of denial.
Her fears were realized.
As she continues to stare at the number between her toes, confidence is dwindling. Lost, she understands she needs to do something. She’s also not sure she can.
Today, a foreman will unexpectedly be put face-to-face with the unpleasant reality that he isn’t as young as he used to be.
Long ago, feeling uncomfortable in ever-tightening pants, he shifted from a belt to suspenders. After all, he didn’t need to buy larger trousers; this was a temporary situation. As a million times before, he’d drop those “few pounds” as soon as things “settled down.”
Funny thing, that; they didn’t, and his belly now is profound. Having not been witness to his toes in a blue moon, moving has become laborious, bending a chore, and breathing — well, it’s just not as easy as it used to be.
Before today’s calendar changes pages, in the midst of a frustrating conversation with a client, his shortness of breath will ramp up severely; he’ll begin sweating profusely, feel light-headed, and become unmistakably aware of an overwhelming pain in his arms and back.
The day will end not at all the way he planned. [Read more...]
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Note: We recently launched of a seminar series, “Five Things You Must Know To Make Your Life Better.” Each week we’re taking a quick look at each of the five.
#2: Take Ridiculously Tiny Steps.
Small steps done regularly will always generate better 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.
Avoid saying “I will try” or referring to your lapses in the third person (such as “the weight is just not coming off.”) If after saying, “I will…” you’re not sure you can or you really will, that step is probably too large.
Make it small enough so that you have no excuse to not do it.
If your inner critic is telling you’re not doing enough, you’re probably on track.
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One can always tell the time of year by the dominant color at the greeting-card stores.
Starting with Spring, we begin the pastel season. We advance without delay into the “red, white, and blue” period; followed by “Orange and Black;” with a brief flurry of “Brown, Red, Orange and Forest Green” in November. (The colors for the latter part of the year shift quickly because the “Red Green” season dominates everything.) We conclude this colorful journey with the “RED!
RED! RED!” season, a period into which we are now firmly ensconced.
Aside from romance, this time of year also sadly signifies a type of break-up; the ending of well-intentioned resolutions proudly and honorably stated just four short weeks ago.
I have never been a big fan of resolutions. I’ve never done them; I don’t think I ever will. Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely firmly believe that making commitments and setting goals are essential if I want to direct the changes in my life. I also don’t have a problem in the world with making them in January. I mean, sure, why not? January’s as good as any month.
But that’s the point: January’s as good as any month. Why do we feel that if we “blow it” in January, we can’t reestablish them some other time? Why not put forth a “February commitment;” or honor the father of our country’s honesty with a “George Washington Day Promise;” or pick Valentine’s Day to state my “love-myself-enough-to-change” vows? Granted, they might sound ridiculous; but are those dates of any less value than January 1?
Choosing goals basically because it’s a “that time of year” (and that’s when everybody does them) makes us less inclined to achieve them. Why? Because they’re not driven by an inner aspiration, but rather forced by external dynamics.
Long-term change (does any other type matter?) must be borne from within, not pushed upon us by outside forces. Yes, external drivers, such as weighing a certain amount, not fitting into your clothes, crossing a landmark age, going through a break-up, or losing a job; can be powerful triggers. Each will get you moving, for sure. But, once the initial pain has diminished, so does the drive to continue the very behavior which caused its dissipation.
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Progress, not Perfection.
It’s actually a very simple formula to move forward when stuck.
Step one: Determine where you’re headed.
Step two: Take one step in that direction.
Step three: Adjust for barriers (emotional & physical)
Step four: Repeat as necessary.
Remember “Think 1st.”
Pick 1 thing (not several), make it Small enough that there’s no objection in your mind to doing it, make sure you do it Today.