The second week of January has come and gone and our burning enthusiasm for New Year's resolutions has dwindled to a chilly dread. But all you have to do is hang on for one more day.
Then, day after tomorrow, hang on for the day after that. Then one more day, and so on and so forth until you have 21 days under your belt.
This delay technique could make the difference on whether you get to your goal this year or not.
There is a reason you have never heard the saying "365 apples a year keeps the doctor away." One day at a time, one pound at a time, one thought at a time is the way to transform your life.
Here is the one plan you need for your New (or not new) Year's Resolutions.
Resolutions are all about changing your habits. Habits are just things we did yesterday and the day before and the day before that.
The same can be said about beliefs that we hold. Beliefs are just thoughts that we keep thinking over and over.
And since it takes 21 days to instill a habit-or a belief-and only 72 hours to break one, the only big commitment on your part is to tow the line for three weeks.
That's it. All you have to do is make it to January 21.
If you can get three weeks under your belt, you will make profound changes that over time will lengthen and improve your life.
Here's what you need to do.
I use the acronym S.M.A.R.T. as a way to getting to your New Year's goals even if you've never been able to stick with it before.
S--Make Specific Goals, such as "I want to lose 2 pounds per week for a total of 20 pounds weight loss," not "I need to lose all this weight I gained after the baby." Be specific, the more details the better.
M--Measurable Set goals that you can measure. "I will run 2 miles in 20 minutes. I will do 30 minutes on the elliptical at level 6," not "I'll work out more every week."
A--AccountableTell loved ones about your plan. Ask them to help keep you on track in a loving way. Give your buddy a 100 bucks and tell him to give it back to you at the end of the month if you stick with your plan. Or get a wellness coach like me to keep you on your plan.
R--be Realistic Don't try to weigh what Matthew McConaughey weighs. Don't expect to fit into your wedding dress in two months if it took you 20 years to get out of shape.
T--Trackable Keep track so that you can see your progress.
Mark it on the fridge calendar so you can admire the little check marks every time you open the fridge. Track your progress so that you can see your improvement over time
Habits, good or bad, make us who we are. The key is controlling them. If you use these tips to change your habits, then even a small effort creates big improvements, including helping you not get diabetes, arthritis, have a heart attack or get cancer or any other age-related, lifestyle-related disease. Did I mention staying younger for longer, which includes not dying sooner?
If you want to stop coming into the kitchen after 8 p.m. at night, pick a trigger (some coaches call them anchors) like counter push-ups or deep breathing with stretches and vow to do 20 of them if you enter the kitchen after 8pm. This reinforces your good new habit of fitting in exercise and reminds you of your commitment to ending night time eating.
Little changes, over the course of months, amount to big improvements, it's a matter of just getting through today and of being SMART about how you tackle your goals.