Setting goals that rely on lifestyle changes can be intimidating for many. While you may have wonderful intentions, making a change is difficult, especially when New Years Resolutions have a reputation for failing. It is possible to increase your chances of sticking with resolutions, or lifestyle changes at any point during the year, even difficult ones, by first proving to yourself that you can make a successful resolution. By undertaking a task at which you can succeed, you are reinforcing capability and encouraging yourself to take on bigger challenges in the future. What do you want to do in 2012 and beyond?
Here are eight changes you can work on now that will have a long reach in to other aspects of your life. Take your self improvement anywhere you can!
I had a supervisor years ago who set aside 30 minutes per day to read and was thus always informed about new research and theories in the field. Whether you choose 15, 30, or 60 minutes every day, the pages and hours will quickly add up. Read technical writings to increase knowledge, fiction for relaxation, or even blogs. Listening to audio books instead of the top 40 is another way to increase what you are reading and will drastically change your commute.
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It’s two-and-a-half weeks into the new year: are you still following your resolution? If so, how much longer do you think you can keep it up? Or are you like most of us and did you ditch it by now?
Most people make resolutions that are too hard to stick with long-term. We end up failing and then give up completely. As a dietitian, I’m going to focus on New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight and be healthy. I’m sure you want to be healthier even if you didn’t make a formal resolution.
Ran Zilca is a life coach, the Chief Scientist of bLife Inc, and the CEO and founder of Signal Patterns. For more on Ran’s coaching services visit www.rideofyourlife.com/category/coach/.
Last year I went on a coast-to-coast solo motorcycle trip. A project I call “Ride Of Your Life” – a journey to inner peace. I embarked on this 6,000 mile ride only a year after obtaining my motorcycle license and along the way interviewed scholars and scientists like Deepak Chopra, James Pennebaker, Sonja Lyubomirsky and Byron Katie. I also spoke with dozens of people I met on the road at gas stations, parking lots, restaurants, rest areas, and inns. When they heard that I was carrying out my longtime dream of riding coast to coast, people responded by opening up and sharing their own dreams, aspirations, and regrets. A nameless biker, who lives 4000 miles away, is a great confidante.
Here’s what I found.
People dream about things that are within their reach. No one I met wanted to be famous, go to the moon, or climb Mt. Everest. It’s not that peoples’ dreams are trivial or uninspiring. In fact, it was amazing to hear what diverse futures people dream for themselves: becoming a teacher, writing a short book, getting back in touch with a relative, seeing Japan or New York, opening a car shop, or speaking a second language. These are all things that a lot of people get up every morning and do, yet they can seem unattainable to those who dream about them. To get back in touch with her sister, Sally only needed to pick up the phone and call, but the fear of the response at the other end of the line kept her from doing it. To see Japan, Steve only needed to buy an airline ticket, but he was not sure that he could handle the long flight. My own experience was the same. A lot of people ride motorcycles, yet at first, it seemed unattainable to get a bike and learn how to ride it.