Say hello to change when you recognize change is needed.
The self-inflicted stress of New Year’s Resolutions is about to begin in America. Millions will be placing undue pressure on themselves on top of all of life’s other requirements.
People place expectations that are unrealistic and too high on themselves right out of the gate of a new year. Over-ambitious New Year’s Resolutions lead to failure. Failure leads to anxiety and hopelessness.
The American Psychological Association suggests that instead, one small positive change at a time is recommended. Realistic changes equal a better chance of keeping your goals long- term.
WHAT ARE SOME CHANGES YOU HAVE SUCCESSFULLY MADE?
Have you made long-lasting changes? What kind of changes were they? Why were you able to stay the course and not revert back to the old habit?
For me, I was able to stop drinking diet sodas. I replaced them with freshly-brewed, unsweetened iced teas. I drink at least 16 ounces per day. Now I need to try to drink more water than iced tea. But what I learned was that if I could replace something unhealthy with something better that I liked, I could successfully make a change.
By the way, I didn’t accomplish that on January first. I just came to a realization one day that I didn’t want to consume fake sweeteners anymore, and therefore, diet sodas had to go.
STOP THE NONSENSE!
Self-improvement is a worthy goal but think about goal-setting differently so you can be successful. If something is good for you, then it’s good for you right now – period. Don’t focus on the first of the year. Think through what you might need to get started.
For example, say you want to become less sedentary. You will want to have comfortable walking shoes. Maybe you want to decide on a gym membership or a home gym. Make a plan and execute it. Don’t pressure yourself to start on New Year’s Day. That way of thinking sets you up for depressing thoughts when you deviate from perfection even once.
NEVER A CONVENIENT TIME
There is never a convenient time to diet (for example). Holidays, birthdays, and other events happen throughout the year. If you can stay on track throughout the holidays at the end of THIS year, you are more likely to remain unbeaten for the year to follow. By the end of 2020, you will have developed a habit and will be well-equipped for the next set of holidays.
Research by Psych Central shows that if you believe you can change, your success rate goes up. Those who don’t think they can change set fewer goals and are more likely to fail in their endeavors.
Be kind to yourself. Make small, doable healthy changes now. Don’t wait for January. Ditch New Year’s Resolutions that are destined to fail. By saying you’ll start on January 1, you’re saying it is ok to be doing something now that you believe to be unprofitable for you. If you’re waiting for a convenient time to start, it will never come.