Don’t wait for New Year’s Day

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Many people will head into 2015 with a few New Year’s resolutions, but whether the goal is to start saving more money or to get in better shape, there is really no reason to wait for the calendar to change to start making improvements.
Sure, setting goals and benchmarks in order to motivate progress is never a bad idea, but too often individuals will set lofty, grandiose expectations for themselves that become too much of an undertaking to sustain. In a way, they handicap themselves before they even begin their resolution. This only leads to disappointment and ends up being counterproductive rather than helpful.
Instead of waiting for the new year, people hoping to implement some life changes should start right away and work on making their proposed resolutions a habit.
The best way to make a shift in one’s lifestyle is to slowly incorporate positive habits into a routine every day. After a while, the effort will generate some positive momentum towards a broader goal, and the routine becomes second nature.
The Huffington Post reported that a study from University College London psychologist Dr. Phillippa Lally found it takes an average of 66 days for an action to become routine, which might seem like a long time to do something new or uncomfortable, until that duration is measured against a lifetime.
The real key is for people to avoid putting too much pressure on themselves. If someone wants to lose a few pounds or buckle down at work, then there’s no reason to wait and allow the New Year’s Day resolutions to become a metaphorical giant. Making a resolution for each new day and putting it into effect slowly will keep things in perspective and manageable. Before long, that lofty goal will be in the rearview mirror, and it won’t matter what the calendar says.

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