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New Year’s Resolutions

You’ve probably heard this one before. I think it may have been inspired by New Year’s resolutions.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.”

Now, some of you may be smart like HB. She figured out long ago that almost all New Year’s resolutions are history by mid-February. That’s why Valentine’s Day is the best time to buy exercise equipment. Classified ads are crammed with Christmas treadmills and rowing machines. They’re practically new and half price.

I’m not so smart. I used to resolve to get healthy every year. “This is the year I get back into running… lose that weight… start eating healthy.” That sort of thing. Unlike the exercise machines, I rarely made it to Valentine’s Day.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s okay to set challenging goals. But plan to get there in baby steps. Take pushups, for example. I think I mentioned I do 100 almost every morning. But I started with baby steps. The first week, I did one.

Small steps lead to big changes. For every guy I know who’s given up drinking, I know a hundred who’ve quit cold turkey at least a dozen times… and still drink. There’s an easier way.

Let’s say you have a couple of drinks a night. So, one night, you fill your glass a half-inch less than usual. Do that every night for a few weeks. Then fill it a half-inch less for a few more weeks. Etc.

Before you know it, you’ll be drinking half as much. Shortly after, you’d be down to a nearly empty glass. But that will have become your habit. And it’s a lot easier to give up one swig than it to kick a two-drink-a-night habit.

Or maybe desserts are your weakness. Don’t quit cold turkey (unless your doctor advises it, of course). Start by having ¼ less every night. Or cutting out dessert only twice a week.

The same goes for adding healthy habits into your life. Take small, manageable steps. Change a little at a time. If you try to take up jogging, eating salad three times a day and meditation all at once, you’ll probably crash and burn.

Instead, make a small change, let it become a habit, and then make the next one.

Most of us could stand to make a lot of healthy changes in our lives. The trick is to make them stick. Taking one small step at a time increases your chances of success.

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