We are now officially one month into 2012. How are you doing with your resolutions so far? In the last post I addressed one of the most common pitfalls we make. Here are some others and simple solutions.
2. We struggle to keep it positive and can’t sustain the initial motivation.
Often when we look at changing something in our lives it is because we see a negative behavior and an outcome we don’t like. Naturally, this causes us to set our intention of change in that tone. For example we will say “I need to loose weight” versus “I am going to be thinner”. Doing this starts us off with a negative mindset and it isn’t sustainable motivation. Making changes to run away from something instead of running towards something will not give you as much long-term drive. This negative energy we create with these phrases fuel our inner critic and we will eventually give up. Look at your resolution. Is there a way you can reword it so it is more positive? Make it uplifting and motivating instead of critical and negative. You should avoid words like don’t, can’t, won’t, stop, etc. Rephrase it now and repeat it every day- it will help keep your focus and your mind in a positive space.
3. We try to make gigantic changes with one big leap and they should really be taken in small steps.
We want everything yesterday. It is a product of our times that we are constantly looking for a way to get somewhere quicker. With this in mind, we usually decide to make he changes in one giant leap instead of easing ourselves into it. We cut ourselves off from our old habit instantly then wonder why it is so hard to maintain. Human nature is habitual. Trying to make a big change usually involves multiple habits so it will take time to adjust. It is believed that it takes 21 days to form a habit. That is a long time to sustain changing multiple habits so start small. For example, if your goal is to get healthier and be thinner then start with your eating habits. Take one thing out at a time, or add in one good thing. Then look at your exercise. Add in one day versus going 5 days immediately. Although the progress will be slower it will be easier and more sustainable.
4. We build up to “the day” and the minute we stumble after that we give up hope and let go.
We put so much pressure on January 1st. We expect that day to make everything different when in actuality it is as hard to make changes that day as any other day. We think about it and talk about it for weeks and months leading up to it. Then we expect to switch things instantly at 12:01 am. It is not only unrealistic; it is setting you up subconsciously to decide any failure after that is a waste. Any time you make changes understand it is normal and expected that you will deviate here and there. Don’t believe you can only change at the beginning of the year, month or week coming up. Change now. You ate something bad for breakfast; so what? Eat good for lunch and going forward. You don’t need to make a particular time the “right time”. Start with the next available opportunity!
Hopefully these tips will help, or at least give you a new perspective when you are looking to change something in your life. Good luck! J