On New Year’s Day most of us figure out some resolutions – changes we want to make and things we want to let go of. Then we get busy hyper-focusing on them.
My time managing fitness centers taught me that by Feb 14th we would have enough towels, lockers, and parking spaces again. People burned out on their focus and quit those new years’s goals within 6 weeks of making them.
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Over the years, I learned a few things to make sure that burned out shooting star is not what I do:
1st – Sustainable change happens in small steps. Research shows solid consistent change in about 10% increments is the most predictable sign that someone will really shift their lifestyle. Sometimes it is hard to get started you can sign up with a coach, online program, or even do therapy focused activities at home.
2nd – Tracking works. I can hear your groans. Many of my clients are very audible when I bring this up. However, again research shows us that by just tracking your current behavior you will change it. Begin just counting how many times / day you do X behavior.
It can be one you want to let go of or one you want to increase. Just becoming aware of what you are currently doing and why (triggers for that behavior) will shift your consciousness around it.
Consciousness is the first step to change.
3rd – Be compassionate, toward yourself and others. You know I love this statement … research shows … compassion is a bigger driver of successful change than castigation.
However, many of us were taught to use shame and punishment to impact someone’s (including our own) behaviors.
The reality is, it just doesn’t work as well as kindness and love.
Find that place of feeling content and appreciated for what you have accomplished thus far, even if you feel that’s only .1% of your life. It’s from this place of feeling cherished that you will make the most progress toward your goals.
As we turn the corner on another year, enjoy your day, your people, and whatever activities you have planned to being the new year.
Here’s to a healthier you in 2022!