Small Steps to Implement Change

By Abigail Edwards

“I want to become healthier.” “I want to save more money.” “I want to take more time for myself.” New Year’s resolutions are large, varied and notoriously hard to keep. Our motivation sparks on January 1st and then as we start to realize just how long we’ll have to keep this commitment, our motivation and enthusiasm wanes. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, only 64% of resolutions make it into February and only 46% last for the first six months. How can we ever tackle a huge commitment for all 365 days of the year? It’s as if we made a goal only to disappoint ourselves.

The truth is that large goals simply need to be broken down into small, manageable short-term objectives that we can face one by one to make up the whole. There are various aids you can put in place to set yourself up for success every day:

Visual Keys

  • Set out the number of water bottles you need to drink throughout the day
  • Put a small bowl of your vitamins next to the coffee pot
  • Create a budget in a notebook that’s easy to carry so you can consult and make sure you don’t overspend while shopping
  • Write yourself sticky notes and centralize them to areas you frequent

Auditory Keys

Notifications on your computer or phone are a good call to remember what you want to accomplish and when.

Set an alarm:

  • To get up and stretch every hour
  • For that chunk of time you can use to schedule your appointments
  • To let you know when you’re free to take a break

Alarms can be used as reminders for practically anything!

Accountability

Find someone who can keep you on track by checking in. If someone is working toward the same goal, work with them. Solidarity boosts both morale and motivation; you’re more likely to stick to your goal when you have a partner.

If that isn’t enough to keep you going, search for someone who has already hit that goal. They’re certain to have wisdom and advice to share for the journey.

Taking these steps will undoubtedly set you up to achieve specific, realistic goals in a timely manner. Another thing to remember is that if you find yourself falling away from your goal, you can always look at your methods and adjust them for another, more disciplined try. What can you do today that you weren’t capable of twelve months ago?

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