Frustrated because all your New Year's resolutions are falling by the wayside? How can you keep yourself on track as painlessly as possible?
It's time to not just kick an old, bad habit but add a new one. You need the habit of habits, so to speak.
What can habits do for you? They don't just change your life, they keep it changed. You know how to keep a bad habit, but how do you obtain a new one?
It takes twenty-one days to form a new habit, one that actually sticks. Start small. To keep your new habit of creating habits, you don't want to jump in too fast.
What is one thing you can realistically promise yourself you'll keep doing for the next twenty-one days? Don't think extravagant. Think small. Tiny, even.
Too tiny to count is just fine. It's more important that you keep the promise twenty-one days in a row than it is that it's a difficult promise to keep. You want success your first time out.
Got your promise? Need another moment to think about it? Okay. Found one that's small enough to be do-able? Let's begin.
How will you keep it up the next twenty-one days in a row? What practical groundwork can you lay in place now so you'll have an easier time of it each day with your new habit?
Is your new habit to eat less salt? Can you right now go and take the salt off the dining table? That way, even if you add salt while cooking, it'll be harder to add it while eating.
Is your new habit to take the trash out of the car each day? Can you right now go and put a plastic grocery bag in your glove box? That way, when you fill up with gas or come in at the end of the day, you can gather up odds and ends with no problem.
Maybe your goal is saving money. Don't wait until you miraculously save up a bazillion dollars toward your dream vacation. We're just building habits right now. Choose something small and attainable. To start your habit of saving, stick an extra change purse in your bag. (Even a ziploc will do.) Each time you get change back from a purchase, deposit the change into your new "savings account."
Whatever your new habit is, lay the groundwork right now so that tomorrow (and for the next twenty-one days) you have a good dance of genuinely putting your new habit into practice.
If your new habit works, or even if it doesn't, write us and let us know. We'd love to hear from you.
We just celebrated Martin Luther King Day which not only reminds us to dream for ourselves but for society as a whole. However, change can't happen on a personal (or world wide) level unless we learn to focus our dreams into goals.
But, how do we even know what our true dreams are when they've been so watered down by the trials of daily life?
One useful tool is the vision board. Liz is co-facilliating a workshop Saturday, January 21 to help people learn to use this valuable technique. For those of you who can't make it to the workshop, you might want to try making one at home yourself.
Gather together some old magazines, a piece of cardboard, scissors and a glue stick. (And a cup of coffee, if you like) Sit down with the magazines and cut out words or photos that resonate with you. Don't worry about why you like it or what it means to you right now. Just go with your gut and cut out the pictures and words you are drawn to.
Now, begin arranging them on the cardboard. Do you want to group them into themes? Or, perhaps you prefer a mishmash of color and action? Either way, you're half way through.
Once you've settled on your design (or lack of it, as the case may be), glue the pictures down. Now, take a sip of coffee and look (gently, please) at your new creation.
If you tend to be too hard on yourself, you may want to pretend it's someone else's at first.
What ideas stand out at first glance? What does this person seem attracted to? Are there certain words or pictures that are repeated? Are there any interesting juxtapositions of words and images that strike you as symbolic?
Use your new vision board to help you acknowledge your dreams for yourself. Once you've gotten an idea of what they are, you're that much closer to making them happen.
Well, it's the new year and time for those pesky resolutions. But, what if you could bypass the resolutions (at least for now) and simply ask yourself a few questions? As long as your answers are honest, you'll have a good idea of how you did last year and what you can expect in 2012.
David Allen is well known for being the one who can ask just the right question. For an easy shortcut, let's follow his advice. First, he focusses on several areas. You can be brave and attempt them all at once, or just dip your toe in and pick a few. No one's watching.
about Liz Logan
I'm a professional organizer in Atlanta, fighting the good fight on my own home front and sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly.
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