Personal Improvement – ‘New Year, Totally New You’ May Not Be The Most Successful Approach

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Another new year!

One of the first trends I noticed for the new year were sarcastic memes about “New Year, New You”…it made me think about why these are popular.

This week we are going to discuss making changes for the new year. Comparing and contrasting the typical approach with what is more likely to be a more successful approach to making changes.

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A Totally New You for the New Year!

You realize there are things you don’t like in your life. You decide to change them. These thoughts usually seem to occur at the end of one year or the beginning of the next, hence the popularity of New Year’s Resolutions.

The common approach is to decide to change everything at once. This, in turn, sets you up for failure. Because the volume of things to change is large, it can be hard to figure out where to start in addition to being perceived, mentally, as a tedious task. Because of this, we tend to have little follow-through on these resolutions and end up abandoning them early on due to little demonstrable success.

These are some of the reasons why most people don’t keep up with their New Year’s Resolutions.

I once joined the gym, went on a diet, and decided I was going to get up at 06:00 every morning. This was many years ago…back when I was single. I went to the gym once, then never went back because I felt that if I didn’t get up early to go to the gym, there was no point in going. The diet didn’t even last that long. It was too much for me at the time.

There is a way to be successful at it and achieve your goals.

An additional thought on Resolutions – Many political bodies make resolutions all the time. Most are ignored. And we wonder why we have trouble keeping New Year’s Resolutions! Instead, choose Goals. Goals are attainable. #CandyForYourSubconcious

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The Incremental Approach

The end of the year is a good time to take stock of your life, but you don’t have to wait until then to decide on changes. You can decide on changes at any point. To paraphrase sage advice “The best time to change was in the past. The second-best time to change is NOW!”

The key to making successful changes is to make them incrementally. You don’t start out an exercise program by running 10 miles, doing 500 push-ups, and 20 suicide sets. Start with a small immediate goal. Get that to become routine, then expand it.

 

By making incremental changes and incorporating them into your routine, they become habit. By becoming habit, they are more likely to turn into permanent changes.

 

So, instead of joining the gym, going on a diet, and quitting smoking, in addition to taking karate, yoga, and crossfit classes, try one at a time. Build it into your routine. Let it become habit. THEN tackle the next goal.

New Year’s Goals

My New Year’s Goals are as follows:

Spend less time commuting – Since 2012, I commuted from Houma, La. To Lafayette, La. Roughly about a 215 mile roundtrip commute. At the end of last year, I proposed that I start working at the company facility in Houma. My supervisor and his supervisor both approved, so that goal is more or less accomplished.

Spend more time with my family – This will be facilitated by having eliminated my commute.

Do more exercise – Now that I have eliminated the commute, I joined the local Planet Fitness so I can get more exercise.

Find my “New Normal” – With all the changes to my health near the end of last year, I have not adjusted my “drive” to match my “bandwidth”. I am still trying get the medications adjusted and wrap my head around my limitations.

What are your Goals for this year?

 

And, as always, let me know what you think in the comments. Ask questions, tell your story.

 

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