New Year's Resolutions - a tradition we all seem bound by every year - and one which is usually followed by another, equally widely held tradition - breaking those resolutions.
It seems nearly 90% of us break our resolutions every year! How can this be? How come it’s so difficult to stick to something we’ve resolved to do? Looking at the research, the only conclusion can be that we let our emotions sabotage us. Well here’s the good news: researchers have also studied ways to keep resolutions, and here a few to keep you going:
1. Focus on the positive! Most of us get discourage and even depressed when we are unsuccessful and then we focus on that, the negative – and our internal dialogue might sound something like this “See! There you go, you can’t even keep up a simple task!” This will just re-enforce the failure, making success even less likely. Instead, focus on finding the positive. For example, ask yourself what is working (whenever you do achieve a task) and how can you do more of that? You can also ask yourself what you can appreciate about your task at hand, your intention or resolution, and/or the anticipated result.
2. Make your resolution a habit! Check whether the time of day you have scheduled to adopt your resolution (if this is appropriate), is the best time. Then think of it as adding a habit, like brushing teeth, showering, making coffee, etc. Once it becomes a part of your routine, it will be easier and easier to keep up.
3. One step at a time! Go easy on yourself and don’t embrace too much in one go. You will be more likely to succeed if you take it a bit at a time. For example, if your resolution is to eat healthier, start with having a healthier breakfast, then after a few weeks, address lunch, and so on. OR, cut out starch first, then sugar further down the road. You will feel better about the changes and yourself!
4. Last but not least,; Appreciate yourself! Each time you succeed, no matter how small the change, acknowledge yourself. Look in the mirror and say to yourself; “Well done! You did it again!!!!” SMILE to yourself ….. it truly IS something to smile about!
And may 2014 be the happiest, healthiest and most prosperous year for you yet!
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