by Julia Scalise, DN, PhD
“If you act the same, do the same, and think the same, you will continue to experience the same. Are you dissatisfied in any area of your life, whether physical, mental, emotional, social, financial or spiritual? To improve any aspect of your life that is unsatisfactory to you, you must commit to change. Success in achieving any goal is as much about commitment to change, as it is about the actions needed. By committing to change, you flip the off switch to on.”
This comment is an excerpt from my book “Do One Thing Feel Better/ Live Better” from the chapter Commit to Change.
There are 5 steps to consider if you want to be successful in any New Year Resolution or Life Resolution that you make.
1) COMMIT TO CHANGE:
I often hear about dissatisfaction in life from family, friends, clients and colleagues and I can only offer that the first step to changing whatever aspect in life they find less than optimal is to first Commit to Change. For the most part, the only person that can fix what is broken in your life is you, but first you must make the commitment to fix things, even if requires drastic change.
2) BE REALISTIC AND PLAN FOR THE LONG HAUL:
Depending on the area or aspect of your life that you want to improve, be realistic in your initial goals but also plan for the long haul.
- If you want to lose weight, start with a realistic amount of pounds and a time frame to achieve it. For instance, aim for a size smaller in 4-6 months.
- If you want to improve finances, start cutting out or back on unnecessary expenses where you feel you can. Consider going back to school to improve future career opportunities, but understand, it will take some time till “graduation”. So start out with a course a semester and watch the credits towards your degree accumulate.
- Want better relationships? Consider investing time and effort to read self-help books, get counseling for yourself and/or your significant other if necessary but understand that it takes time.
- Want better health? Cutting out donuts or fast food for a day or week will not dramatically change your health status. But if you commit to a realistic and doable nutritional or exercise program going forward, day after day, week after week, and month after month, in time, your health status will definitely improve.
3) DO THIS FOR YOU:
Change is difficult. If what you wanted to achieve in your resolutions was easy, probably you would not have to make a resolution to do so. It would come naturally or easily to you. But take note, if you are making a resolution solely for your partner/spouse, children, parents, friends, boss, or anyone, you also give them the power to sabotage your efforts. Relationships change, circumstances change, and behavior towards you in those relationships and circumstances change. So don’t give the power of YOUR successful outcome to anyone else. Enlist others as cheerleaders or additional motivators, but don’t give them the responsibility of the success that only you are responsible to achieve.
4) EXPECT OBSTACLES:
As we all know, events happen, stress and temptations will arise. The best offense is to expect that there will always be obstacles and excuses and reasons to surrender your ultimate goal. If you consciously know that something or someone will come along to try to, or will actually trip you up, planning for the speed bump is the best insurance to prevent failure.
5) HAVE PLAN B AND PLAN C :
This is the most critical step to consider for a successful outcome for any New Year or Life Resolution goal. Committing to change may be the catalyst, being realistic and hoping to stay in it for the long haul is important, doing this for you is your best reason, but to sidestep the obstacles and remain motivated is to have Plan B and Plan C in place before you begin.
- If exercise is your resolution, what do you have in place for the days you can’t get to the gym due to weather, work, or personal commitment?
- If you want to lose weight, how do you plan to circumvent temptations at restaurants, events, or social gatherings?
- If you change jobs and an employer is currently paying for education, how do you continue along to get your degree?
So the most important step you can take, before you begin, after you have made the decision to improve any aspect of your life, is to have a minimum of 2 alternate plans.
Living your best life is up to you. So commit and then plan on how you intend to achieve it.
For additional beneficial, easy tips to improve your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual vitality, read my book “Do One Thing Feel Better / Live Better”.