The tendency to throw in the towel and give up after a setback or two is a major challenge when trying to change a behavior or make a resolution stick.
Central to success in making your New Year’s resolution permanent is to realize that this is all about effort, and not about flawless.
As fitness expert Jillian Michaels once said, “It’s not about perfect, it’s about effort, and when you bring that effort every single day, that’s when transformation happens; that’s when change occurs.”
As human beings, our brains are designed for us to default to negative thoughts and patterns. It’s all part of our reptilian brain fight or flight wiring. However, we can choose to engage the part of our brain that keeps us focused on choices, logic and making good sound decisions. The prefrontal cortex, or the CEO of the human brain, which separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom can be engaged purposefully by intentionally making the decision to move to our circle of influence and taking small actions toward our goal.
The solution is to reward small victories and don’t dwell on setbacks.
Setbacks will happen. Accept that and be ready for them. Make the decision early on to forgive yourself when they do come, and to remain proactive in your mindset. Be realistic, however. A reward for a great day at the gym (in the previous exercise example) may be a nice deep tissue massage or spa treatment to pamper yourself, as opposed to a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Victor Frankl who said;
“We who have lived in concentration camps can remember the ones who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from us but one thing; the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances – to choose one’s own way.”
Have fun choosing your new year my friends, and make it a great 2019.
To make lasting behavioral changes and to truly make your resolutions stick, you must:
- Be Open to Change
- Be Intentional and Aware of Your Self-Talk
- Learn Everything You Can About Your Goal
- Focus on Your Circle of Influence
Learn more about the timeless principles in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by registering for a complimentary webcast.
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