Are the resolutions you made for 2017 forgotten or ignored? Did you resolve to make changes this year? Are you succeeding in keeping your resolutions?
Ever notice in coffee shops how many people order coffee instead of flavored lattes in January? Many people buy less sweets, such as pastries and treats. Most likely New Year resolutions were made to lose weight or to eat healthy. Slowly, most individuals return to the sweet drinks that they favor.
It makes me wonder how many individuals succeed in keeping the resolutions made and how long the success lasts.
Resolutions can be made any time of the year and for any length you choose. It is possible to restart your day, your week, or your year. One lapse does not mean the entire day is a “failure”. Begin it again! A setback can be quite temporary.
Those who are Christians and participate in the Lenten season have a built-in second chance to keep any resolutions that were made for the new year. If they have not succeeded, Christians can start over on Ash Wednesday as Lent begin. It is easier to think, I will give up (fill in the blank) for 40 days versus an entire year or that I will do this (exercise, meditate, etc.) daily for 40 days rather than 365 days.
I was never very good at that part of being a Catholic. My choice was to choose to do something positive during those 40 days rather than give up something. Either way, change may occur.
People want to change or many people desire personal change and growth. New Year’s resolutions or Lenten practices never worked well for me personally. I am not sure why.
Individuals resolve to –
Be kinder today
Not spend money needlessly so he/she can save for a vacation that is desired
Apply for three jobs this week
Make time to read a book
Contact a life coach!
The above are only a few examples of how others resolve to change. One time resolutions or daily ones can allow us to reach a bigger goal. The satisfaction you feel from accomplishing small goals will propel you forward!
How do you achieve change? What motivates you? Are you motivated by intrinsic or extrinsic factors or both?
We all have faults. Character defects is the term used in 12-step programs. Survivors that I know tend to be quite hard on themselves. We, survivors or not, are human beings. Perfection is not needed!
Be aware of when you do something … note it … witness it … accept that you respond in a certain way. Do not judge. Are you compensating for stress in your life?
Do you try to stop a “bad” habit or do you attempt to instill a “good” habit in place of the not so good one? How many days does it take to form a new habit? Is it 21 days or 66 days or more? One article which speaks to this issue is titled, “How Long Does It Really Take to Break a Habit”. Read: http://www.hopesandfears.com/hopes/now/question/216479-how-long-does-it-really-take-to-break-a-habit )
Twelve-step programs for alcoholism and drug addiction strongly recommend a person attend 90 meetings in 90 days. This substitutes a different behavior than drugs or alcohol (at least for an hour). Also, many meetings have a meeting after the meeting. That is where people often go out for coffee to connect further with each other and to give each other support.
I think articles and the opinions of others are informative; but, have you experimented for yourself? Try it.
Start with something small. Take a small positive goal and perform it every day. When does it seem natural and second nature? How long does it take to become something you do without much thought (similar to brushing your teeth)? If you do not perform that positive habit for a day, does it seem odd and not right? You know what works for you. Trust yourself.
Small changes often lead to bigger ones. Small steps beget positive, bigger transitions. Your first step to find a new job may be to writing a resume and recognizing your personal skills. A first step to buying a house may be saving a certain amount each pay check.
There are times when taking the focus off of oneself actually brings change within oneself without much effort.
A life coach or a non-judgmental friend or a therapist can support you and your desire to make changes to improve your life. It is easier many times not to travel the road alone. A support person or a support group can add perspective and freshness to old “problems”. Try it!!