If you want to get me going, tell me about your New Year’s Resolution. If you REALLY want to get me going tell me about the fad diet you’re starting. We’ll save the fad diet for another time.
I get irritated that the other 364 days of the year don’t get taken as seriously as opportunities for change and improvement. What’s so great about January 1st? Is it really a random date on the calendar that prepares you for significant lasting change? How many of you know when making those commitments on January 1st they’re something you’re going to do for the short term – not for the rest of your life?
Begin contemplating what changes you want to make and why. Now contemplate these things EVERY DAY instead of one day out of the year. You’ve got to stay focused on what’s really important. You need to keep it front of mind.
Here are a few more strategies you may find helpful in making significant lasting change:
1. Defy “All-Or-None Thinking”
Instead of trying to make a dramatic change or overhaul, chose a small handful of behaviors that are fairly easy to do – they are new and different, but perhaps not a 180 shift for you – that you can consistently do for the rest of your life. These smaller shifts in behavior done consistently over time, will add up to make a dramatic difference.
For example, instead of telling yourself you’re going to workout an hour a day every day, how about you make a commitment of accumulating 30 minutes of physical activity over the course of the day, 5 days of the week? Getting 30 minutes a day, 5 times per week over the course of the year will make a considerably greater impact than putting in an hour a day every day for the month you could actually keep it up.
2. Figure Out the “Why”
You have to change your mindset before you can change your behaviors. Change for the sake of change will not be long lasting. As soon as it becomes difficult or challenging, we got back to our old behaviors…habits that are comfortable.
Exercising to lose weight is not a significant “why”. If it was, everyone would already be eating and exercising appropriately and I would be out of a job. Unfortunately, I have job security like you would not believe.
Unless you can connect your new behavior to something REAL AND SIGNIFICANT that truly matters to you, don’t bother.
Why do I exercise 5 times per week regardless of my travel schedule?
- Because if I don’t I get edgy, critical and impatient. My daughter and partner do not need me to be edgy, critical and impatient. It’s important to me to be a loving, patient and caring person.
- If I don’t exercise regularly, I don’t have good energy. I’ve got a lot on my calendar that has to get done. Not having enough energy to get things done is not an option.
- If I don’t workout I don’t sleep as well.
- If I don’t sweat, I feel nasty, clogged and toxic.
- A low body fat percentage and high level of fitness are great too, but the other benefits far outweigh them.
3. Stay In The Present Moment
Didn’t live up to your commitments yesterday? So what. It’s over. It can’t be changed. It should have no bearing on what you’re going to do today. You can’t fall off the wagon, because there is no such thing.
Focus on the now. What can you do RIGHT NOW that will move you in the right direction? Even if it’s an inch in the right direction, it’s progress, versus completely giving up and not going anywhere or even moving backward. It’s a long life (hopefully) and it’s about consistency over the long run.