Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Starting Off the New Year with You in Mind

“It is never too late to become the person you might have been.”
- George Eliot, English Victorian Novelist

A new year, a fresh start. You have lots of ideals in mind. You are going to do better this year than ever before. You are determined to set goals for yourself and achieve them. But how? What will make this year different from any year in the past?

Here are a few guidelines to make 2011 your year:

  1. Commit to Thirty Days - Four weeks is all the time you need to make a habit automatic. When you make it through the initial phase, it becomes much easier. A month is a good block of time to commit to a change since it easily fits in your calendar. 
  2. Stay Consistent - The more consistent you are, the easier it will be. If you want to start exercising, try going at the same time, to the same place for your thirty days. When cues like time of day, place and circumstances are the same in each case it is easier to stick.
  3. Associate With Role Models - Spend more time with people who model the habits you want to mirror. You become what you spend time around.
  4. Use “But” - A great technique for clearing negative thought patterns. When you start to think a negative thought, use the word “but” to interrupt it. “I’m no good at this, but, if I work at it I will get better.”
  5. Do it For Yourself - Don’t worry about all the things you “should” have as habits. Instead tool your habits towards your goals and the things that motivate you. Weak guilt and empty resolutions don‘t work.
Whatever changes you implement, do so with your heart. Place your intentions on the person that you want to be and the changes you want to make. Plan your actions, then take that first step. Once you get your momentum going, the rest becomes easier and easier.

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