27 Mar

So it’s the third month of the New Year.  Are you feeling proud of keeping to your New Year’s resolution(s) or grumbling to yourself that you’ll never set yourself up for failure by proclaiming resolutions again? You’re in a win or lose frame of mind right now. Actually, there is a third possibility if you are willing to give yourself a break.

Hopefully, you set up baby steps towards achieving your goal. For example, if you wanted to lose weight, the first week of January you replaced your sugary afternoon snack with fruit, week two you started walking around the neighbourhood a few times a week, week three you replaced your pastry in the morning with an egg-white omelette, and so on.  If you jumped in wanting to lose 50 lbs. by this month, starved yourself and attended your cousin’s wedding at which you ate half of the guests’ portions of wedding cake and then gave up on your diet; well then you’re probably not feeling very good about yourself right now.

Here’s when giving yourself that break comes in! So the New Year’s Resolution didn’t pan out. You realise it wasn’t realistic anyway, right? So start a habit TODAY that will steer you back in the right direction. Try drinking 2 extra glasses of water every day. In addition to the numerous health benefits the water will give you, you probably won’t have that extra snack or meal portion because you’re so full! Do this for a month until you don’t even think about it anymore and then add another healthy habit.

This strategy will work with almost any difficult goal you set for yourself. At your job, those monthly budget reports you were never going to be late with again, but projects got in the way and January’s report hasn’t even been started? On your calendar, write in one day every week to jot down the figures for the week, so that at the end of the month you just need to fill in an outline. Just getting that reminder set up today will get you back feeling “I can do this” track and soon you will be accomplishing this task without seeing the reminder.

We are all creatures of habit. Traditions like New Year’s Resolutions are really lifelong habits anyway.  So let’s change to “New Year’s Habit”, but for now, don’t judge yourself too harshly. Be proud of any small accomplishments you’ve achieved and remember that the New Year is a fresh start but so is TODAY!

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