Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Not the same auld lang syne

The auld lang syne -- the old times fondly remembered -- are with us. Yep, it's January 6 and believe it or not, lots of people have already given up on their new year's resolutions. This is true nearly every year. Depending on whose statistics you trust, within 6 to 8 weeks, 87% of those resolutions will be out the window.

Going to the gym in January can be a challenge. All those "resolutionaries" are in there and the place is packed. I just take a few deep breaths and remind myself that by March, only about 1 in 10 of them will still be showing up.

So how do we break the cycle and be part of the minority who truly change our lives? Here are some quick tips:

Get support. Find someone who will walk the walk with you and is going for similar change or someone who will "hold your feet to the fire" when you forget why you're doing this.

Write down not only realistic and attainable goals, but incremental ones, as well.

Look at the stumbling blocks of the past. Did you resolve to spend less money -- but fail to create a budget? Notice what snagged you last time and do it differently.

ake it a habit. I once read that if you do something 21 times in a row, it becomes a habit. This appeals to me. So if I resolve to -- for example -- eat healthily for 21 days and long before day 22, I no longer have to think about it. It's part of my life! (This works in reverse as well -- NOT doing something 21 times is like magic to break a bad habit.)

Plan for setbacks and how you will get back on course afterward. We have our agenda and life has its. The true learning comes in dealing with the things we don't expect.

Celebrate each success -- but not with something you will have to make another resolution on next year! In other words, don't make your celebrations around food or spending money. Celebrate by paying attention to how you achieved your goal and noticing what it took to do it. This will provide true fuel for moving onward.

So . . . did you make any resolutions? If you did and you are off track, it's not too late to get back on track!

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