Small Steps to Big Resolutions
by Bernadette Sukley
According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is about 80 percent, and most of us lose our resolve by mid-February.
There’s an adage that you can eat an elephant—by eating one spoonful at a time. This is true of resolutions. In reality, resolutions aren’t goals, but steps to big “elephant” changes. Here are six ways to stick to your resolutions—or pick up where you left off:
Step 1: Baby steps. In order to get big changes accomplished. Start small. Rather than say “I’m going to lose 100 pounds,” say “I’m going to lose 3 pounds each week” and give yourself a reasonable time frame. Healthy weight loss plans are available for free at your doctor’s office.
Step 2: There’s an app for that! With technology, your goals are closer than ever. Want to stop smoking? Try quitSTART, a free smartphone app that helps you quit smoking with tailored tips, inspiration, and challenges. Want to get motivated to exercise? Try Walkmeter. This free app has a compete mode to compare your times and speeds along your regular routes. There are apps for just about anything you can think of and they can help you reach your personal goals.
Step 3: Plan well . . . and then have a plan B and C and D. There’s a lot out of our control, so rolling with the punches is a prerequisite for change. Never lose sight of your goal.
Step 4: Do not lose hope. Expect you will fall. The “false hope syndrome” is a crusher of dreams. With unrealistic expectations it’s easy to give up as soon as you hit a snag. As soon as you come face to face with an obstacle, acknowledge it. Then move on. Joel Runyon, founder of IMPOSSIBLE (impossiblehq.com/never-give-up) recommends recognizing the difficulties but not being beaten by them.
Step 5: Treat yourself with respect. All good things begin from within, and a positive outlook on ourselves is a key to attracting more positivity into our lives. Negative thoughts or deprecating comments eat away at your will.
Step 6: Don’t be too hard on yourself. Remind yourself daily that as a human, you will make mistakes or miss goals, and that is okay. What is important is going forward in these situations in a positive manner.
Photo credit by Duncan Kidd @we_the_royal
Bernadette Sukley has been in publishing for over 25 years. She’s written and published fiction and nonfiction books, short stories and articles. Her work has appeared in international magazines, including SAGA, a Scandinavian fashion magazine. She is a member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group (GLVWG) and served a year as the co-chair for its annual conference, The Write Stuff, and has served a year as GLVWG's anthology editor.