You have a goal. You’re going to change this time. Maybe it’s for the new year. Maybe it’s just because you’re tired of the bad habit. Maybe it’s because you want to accomplish that goal you’ve always had. Regardless of the reason, you decided it’s time for a change.
Only, that nasty little voice inside of you says you’re going to blow it again. You’ve tried before, and you’re right back to the beginning. Here are three tips to make this time the time you actually do change.
1) Make the time limits reasonable.
This falls into two categories. One is the daily time limit. Don’t say you’re going to go to the gym and work out for an hour unless you actually think you can find an hour to do that. Instead, say that you’re going to go to the gym and work out for fifteen minutes. Maybe it’ll go longer. That’d be great! But you don’t have to. You’re committed to fifteen minutes, and you can walk out. Simple as that.
The second category is the frequency. Don’t say you’re going to do this every single day. Life happens. Things get in the way. Say you’ll do this goal four or five times a week. This builds in some wiggle room without making you feel guilty for failing if, for example, you get stuck in traffic behind a three-car pile-up on the way home from work.
2) Take on one (maybe two) life changes at a time.
New Years is known for setting ourselves up for failure. You make five or ten goals that you want to accomplish, try to do them all at once, and fail. Life is a process of change and forming habits. You can’t form ten habits at one time. You can form one or two. Pick the one that is the most important to you and, once you made that a habit in two or three months, add another. You got this. You can do this. But habits take longer than overnight so don’t push yourself for the impossible.
3) Celebrate the victories.
So you didn’t go to the gym six days this week. But you went for four, which is better than last week. Or you ate fast food once this week but that’s better than you have been doing. Don’t beat yourself up for the failures. Celebrate the victories. Celebrate what you accomplished and just try to do better next time. Most importantly, don’t give up just for a few failures. You’re making yourself into a better person.
Remember: change is a process. It’s hard. It’s also worth the struggle. You got this. You can do this. And you’ll be a better person for the struggle to change as much as for the final result.