by Kacey Mya Bradley | February 8, 2016 8:48 pm
1. You’re Only Human
One mistake is not complete failure. If it were, no one would ever learn to read, do math or write a sentence.
Essentially, you’re learning something new, and that takes time and practice. Resolve to try again, but don’t beat yourself up over an ordinary stumble.
2. You’re in It for the Long Haul
A resolution is not only about what happens today or tomorrow. It’s about a long-term change. You’re modifying your behavior to experience benefits that will extend throughout your life.
Keep your eye on the big picture, and don’t get overly discouraged when you drop the ball. Pick it up and start again.
3. You Have Short-Term Goals, too
Making a real difference in your life only comes by adding up all the successful days you’ve had. Though you may falter, remember all the times you prevailed. Celebrate a little at the end of a successful day. You’ve earned it.
4. You’re Not Alone
You’re not the first person to try to lose weight, control your temper, improve relationships… whatever you’re working on. Why go it alone? Tell someone close about your efforts. You’ll get thumbs up when you’re successful and encouragement when you occasionally mess up.
About 92 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions slip up, so you’ve got company if you’re not always successful. But by adjusting your thinking, you can feel better and increase the likelihood of a permanent change.
You might also seek assistance from someone who’s been there before and knows what you’re going through. The depth of understanding and empathy you receive is powerful.
5. You’re Busy
One of the reasons change is so hard is because lives are so full. Many resolutions, such as going to the gym or eating more healthfully, need more than effort. They require time.
Don’t sabotage yourself by assuming or hoping you can easily fit the new behavior in. Start over by rearranging your schedule, giving yourself the time you need to thrive.
6. You Don’t Have to Do All or Nothing
If you screw up, don’t just give in. Start over immediately. Don’t abandon your efforts; double down.
Sure, you may have eaten a forbidden dessert tonight, but remember: the rest of the day you stuck to a sensible eating plan. Don’t dishonor that by giving up.
7. You Deserve a Reward
The change you’ve planned is going to have positive effects in your life. But the individual steps get you there. Reward yourself when you reach small milestones. That’ll ease the disappointment of going off track a little.
You’ve lost a pound? Stuck to your budget this week? Give yourself a little treat. Just be sure that the perk doesn’t undermine your overall goal. A piece of cake isn’t a good bonus for losing weight.
8. You Can Track Your Good Work
Not only can you monitor your efforts; you should. Keeping a written account of how well you’re doing has two benefits. Not only are you more likely to be successful, you’ll have evidence of all the times you didn’t backslide.
9. You Can Think
No one likes to dwell on mistakes, but it’s worth taking a look at why you messed up. By examining the circumstances, you identify the triggers that helped you — momentarily! – break your resolution. Then plan how to deal with them better. Analyze, correct…and move on.
10. You Can Think Better
One of the reasons it’s so difficult to change a habit is that your brain is used to it. When temptation rears its ugly head, your brain automatically takes the familiar path…unless you purposely sidetrack it.
Just “saying no” may work in the moment, but it also reinforces the unwanted behavior. You need to develop new ways of thinking. Instead of obsessing “I’m not going to spend that $20 in my pocket, no matter what,” think, “It’s so great to put extra money in the bank.”
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