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.
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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