New Year’s resolutions always bring up the subject of behavior change. We all have our own comfort level with change largely formed by past experience. I would say I’m moderately comfortable. I like variation, new things, new routes, medical jobs with daily changes. I’ve moved often and had two marriages and two careers.
Most of us have had varying degrees of success with New Year’s resolutions and many have just sworn them off. All change has to start sometime. It is challenging to have a cold turkey change, yet some have black and white willpower. Distinct start dates can lead to over-indulging in the days before. A desired change may be more easily approached with a Kaizen attitude and slow build up. The Japanese tradition of Kaizen (small steps) can ease one into change with high level success. Even the smallest step- walking one block, leaving work on time one day a week-can initiate the most important step THE START.
By gradual increase and embracing the knowledge that success is built on failure, one can stay the course. Knowing there will be hurdles and using self-compassion, the change is happening. With more time (always more time) you can create change. Successful people know there will be failures but they continue anyways.
Six success boosters for change:
- Small Steps
- Ease the path of success
- (don’t buy the sweets, alcohol; hide the remote, etc)
- Link to other behaviors
- (gratitude statements in the shower, parking space meditations, walks around the soccer game field)
- (appreciate the newness, beginners mind, embrace life-long learner)
- Share your progress
- (friends and family really do want to share in your journey)
- Reward your progress
- (build markers of success-celebrate!)