Another year has begun and just a few weeks into it I wonder how many people have made resolutions. I also wonder how many resolutions have been broken.
Why is it so difficult to make a plan and then stick to it? Some reasons could be the plan could be unrealistic. Or although a person feels they should make changes, in reality they really don’t want to. Or perhaps they simply don’t want to do the work needed to make the necessary changes.
Whatever the reasons, history has pretty much shown that real change comes from slowly altering behavior. It is crucial to then reinforce it until the new behavior becomes the norm and NOT the exception.
My sister-in-law Nancy just got a fit bit (This is a device worn on the wrist that tracks a person’s steps throughout the day.) I have worn one for several months. I am a bit shy of the goals I have set for myself, and I tend to have problems motivating myself to do more. With the challenge from Nancy, I now find myself walking those extra steps and taking the time to work out. The reason: I know she can look at my progress and I can see hers. Yes, I accepted the challenge.
Recently I mentioned to a friend that I was starting to walk the treadmill. After we talked, she became motivated and has started working out. We go to the gym together and we go alone. We have given each other that much needed extra boost.
Peer pressure has often been looked upon as negative: drinking, smoking bad behavior is demonstrated when following the wrong people. Peer pressure can be beneficial when we observe those around us doing healthy and positive things for themselves. Hopefully it motivates us be our best selves.
So whether you want to drop a few pounds, clean out your closets, go back to school or change your career, determine what motivates you. Consider joining a class with a friend. Ask a family member to help jump-start you regarding a chore. Offer to donate time to help someone you know who could use the support.
My dad used to say, “Misery loves company”, so get a buddy involved. Don’t wait for a magical date or day to make improvements in your life. Call a friend and make a plan. Chances are, if you agree to meet with someone you will actually show up.
As far as my sister-in-law who takes more steps before I get out of bed is concerned, I don’t plan on competing with her. What I plan on doing is giving each day my best effort. This way I don’t set myself up for failure.
My parting thoughts: Be realistic about your goals; don’t let a bad day define your objectives, and remember these are things you have decided are important to you. Think about that.
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My book 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick will be available to buy on Amazon.com April 8th. With easy to use exercises and examples everyday challenges can be met with success.