Just because the holidays are rapidly approaching does not mean that we get a free pass on changing bad habits.
If 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
Just because the road has bumps doesn’t mean it’s not the correct road.
Difficult times don’t throw us off; it’s mistakenly believing that we wouldn’t have difficult times that throws us for a loop. If we think it’s a straight shot from here to there, when we do hit a barrier we think, “It’s all over! I’ve lost my mojo.” Expect that there will be difficult times – and also expect, just like you would with an important relationship, that you’ll work through it.
Close the back door.
Don’t leave yourself an escape route. Make it as easy as possible to move forward and as difficult as possible to stop.
Too often we keep our goals secret. That’s a mistake. One of the best ways to close the back door is to tell anyone who cares about you what you’re doing and how they can help. Take them along on the journey with you.
Don’t sneak into success; leap loudly with as much noise as possible.
Speaking of others, let’s be honest, if you could achieve your goals on your own, you would have already done so, right? Nothing changes if nothing changes.
Each of us is at times a teacher and other times a student. In some spaces we lead. In other areas, we must be guided.
There is no shame in learning and there is great courage in asking for help.
Reach out; there will always be a hand ready when you need it. (You’ll repay the favor later if need be.)
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