More Advice Regarding New Year’s Resolutions

Sam Obitz / December 26th, 2014 / No Comments »

The past four years I have written entries on why New Year’s resolutions fail and how to get better results. I highly suggest that you take a look at all of them before reading this article (or after if that is more practicable for you). They can be found here, here, here and here. These articles all suggest helpful strategies you can use for achieving any type of behavioral change goal you may have.

The typical New Year’s resolution is repeated often and it is not uncommon for people to have the same resolution for ten years in a row or more. This is why I often say there is nothing resolute about a New Year’s resolution. The majority of resolutions are normally abandoned in under 12-weeks and forgotten until it is tried again the following year and usually results in the same pattern as before.

One of the reasons many people get stuck in this cycle is that the way they structure their New Year’s resolution, which is big and broad, like quit smoking, quit drinking, lose weight etc. When we attempt big changes, we rarely succeed. Big changes usually happen as a result of a series of small steps. Once you start with a few small steps they will often lead to bigger changes once you can successfully complete them.

Everyone knows that eating less food can be a very important part of any weight loss program. The problem is that they try to cut out too much or the wrong things first and end up failing before they gain any momentum. If you are a person who enjoys dessert after your meals and your first step is to eliminate dessert, the odds of your success are close to nil.

We like to make big moves like this at the start and assume it is the best way to accelerate our progress. In fact, that is what usually ends up leading us to be discouraged and give up. Now rather than giving up dessert first, why not cut down the portion size of some other part of your meal such as bread for starters. When you scale back incrementally your brain may not even notice enabling you to have success, build some momentum and move on to scaling back another portion of a different item.

Before you know it, you will be on your way albeit slow and steady. It may not be the unrealistic miraculous change we start out hoping for, but it is much more likely to bring the end result you crave. One other thing that helps is to state publicly what your New Year’s goal is and ask for support in your efforts from those around you. Studies have shown just having one person support your efforts increases the odds of your success dramatically.

Make it a Happy New Year!

 

You can follow Sam on Twitter @SuperTaoInc

 

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