Today is the second day of the new year, Monday, 2017, and for the majority of us it is day twelve in the countdown to the end of our new years’ resolutions.
On average, new years’ resolutions last less than two weeks before they get lost, forgotten or watered down to something less than our best aspirations. In spite of our very best intentions this will happen to the greater majority of us because the bite we are taking is far too large and it takes too long to chew. Whatever we resolve to do must be able to be maintained throughout the habit forming process.
The first thing about a resolution is that it must be achievable in the long term, but that is not the target for day one. Going cold turkey or hitting the maximum straight away will only set you up for defeat. Let’s say your resolution is to get fit by doing a five mile run every morning. If you have never run before, heading out the door and staggering down the road in a zombie like imitation of a person running won’t cut the mustard. Break that down into bite sized chunks and achieve each one progressively. For you the simple act of actually getting up at five or six in the morning could be a major struggle, so make that your first goal. Get up with the alarm and put your sports gear on. Achieve that and then give yourself a little reward. That’s it!
Do that for a week or so until its feels comfortable, then the next step may be to get up, put your sports gear on AND go outside and walk to the corner and back. Achieve that and then give yourself a little reward. Don’t try and rush ahead of yourself, work out a programme of bites to take and only move on when each one is well chewed. You will know when it is time to move on when doing that chunk feels comfortable, so then you up the game and walk the whole block.
Keep upping the game and keep rewarding your achievement and in a few months you will be running five miles every morning and feeling as fit as a buck rat!