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Starting a New Year

December 28, 2016 • JAK's Place

Are New Year’s resolutions really a good idea? It depends. Change can be hard. New Year’s resolutions are all about changing our habits, and nothing resists change harder than a habit. If we try to change too much at once, the result is all too likely to be failure.

Instead of making an overly ambitious hit-list of everything that’s “wrong” in your life and trying to fix all or most of it, you might want to take some time in a quiet place to sort out what’s most important. Think about what you do that is good for you already, and how you could improve on it just a little here and there. Is there any one thing that is causing serious problems?

Focus on what is most possible. No one changes overnight. Work on small things. Never mind the big picture; it’s time to sweat the details. Just not all of them at once. Cleaning up a mess means sorting things out one at a time, not taking a bulldozer to the whole works. Let go of the guilt feelings that make you attempt too much and fail, thus reinforcing the guilt and regret.

Take one small step at a time, rather than wishing you were at the end of the journey, and you will not stumble. The journey never ends. January First is neither the end of your old life nor the beginning of a new one. It’s only one of many milestones along the way. Don’t think it’s the only one that matters. Becoming more mindful and aware of your habits all year long will do more to help you change them than any one-off New Year’s resolution.

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