Resolutions out the window?
February 20, 2017 by Kay Grossman


What a year this has been—already! No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, your attention, like mine, has likely been pulled to the state of the nation. No small matter.

Many of us started 2017 with firm ideas on how we were going to make our lives better. Yet, with so much drama and distraction it is difficult to focus on what’s important day-to-day. If you went the resolution route and are finding that you are not on track, here’s another approach. (It will work even as you figure out ways to save humanity!)


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Resolutions out the window?

Have you already discovered that (just like in previous years?!) your New Year’s resolutions aren’t working? If so, you are in the majority of people who attempt them. Statistics vary, but most reports of success range from the single digits to the low teens.

The most effective way of forming a habit is to pair the new behavior with something you already do on a regular basis.

For example, if you want to start journaling, do it right before or after you take the dog out the last time before bed, or right before or after you brush your teeth at night, or as your coffee is brewing in the morning.

Use environmental cues as reminders. Keep your journal next to the leash or your toothbrush or your coffee pot.

Some new behaviors can effectively be sprinkled throughout your day. If you want to increase your activity level, use going through a doorway as a signal to do jumping jacks. If you want to express more gratitude, use red traffic lights or commercials on TV to signal a time to state one thing you are grateful for.

In sum, to successfully create a new habit:

  • Choose a behavior that will improve your life in some way (duh)
  • Choose one that feels important to you
  • Choose one that is DOable
  • Start small. This is part of DOable. Remember that small changes often produce significant effects, and that massive changes only come with small steps, anyway.
  • Set up environmental cues or reminders
  • Celebrate your success each and every time you do the behavior (self-acknowledgement—”good one!” – is helpful)
  • Increase your odds for success by writing your intention down.
    Click here.

I wish you a 2017 filled with happiness, hope, and healthy habits!


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