Is your plan is place? An earlier post gave a few what not to’s for your resolutions this year (NY Resolutions: A Counselor’s Perspective). Here are a couple of suggestions for resolutions that work for you. Don’t worry if you haven’t developed a well-defined resolution or set of resolutions. Now is the perfect time.
Be specific. Broad generalizations are not your friends. Set specific, measurable goals with a specific verifiable, objectives along the way. If today is day one of your new program, you should do something today toward your goal and feel good about it.
Give yourself two months. What you are trying to do is replace a disorganized, unfocused, or unhealthy habit with the habit of your choice. Research indicates that you need to practice a new behavior about 60 times before it becomes a habit. If you are talking about an everyday discipline, that means you’ll need about two months to turn a new behavior (cleaning the kitchen every night before bed, walking every morning, not smoking on the way to work, not placing clothing on the floor of your closet) into an established habit.
Reward yourself along the way. Feel good starting day one. Recognize that the change you are seeking is already underway. Imagine how good you’ll feel at day 60. Think about it. How you get there starts on day one and continues for every day thereafter. Think about spreading that good feeling of accomplishment out, from day one to day sixty and every day in between.