Start small. Do more or add more if you want to.
This applies on many levels.
For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, take less than you want. (You can always go back from more but can’t give back what you eat.)
If you’re starting an exercise program, commit to a smaller realistic amount rather than an unwieldy longer time. (You can always add more.)
If you’re cleaning your house, promise yourself you’ll do one room really well instead of the whole house and get overwhelmed. (You can always do more if you want.)
Question: Could the 20-year “you” of so long ago run the complexities of the life you live today?
Answer: Definitely not.
Even if you had your act “together” at that young age, younger “you” did not have the knowledge nor the skills to manage all the details of the life you now have.
As they say, “You didn’t even know what you didn’t know.”
Yet, as you’ve aged and faced a myriad of experiences, you have grown and become wise, learning how to handle what is presented to you, eventually making it part of your routine.
Just because the holidays are rapidly approaching does not mean that we get a free pass on changing bad habits.
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
It’s OK to say “goodbye.”
All things end.
Relationships fade; people move on; even your goals can change. There is no shame in saying “goodbye” to what no longer serves you.