The Resolutionaries

On January 3rd, I drove into the parking lot at the gym. What did I find? Okay, what didn’t I find? A parking spot. When I entered the gym I did not find an empty elliptical nor an empty treadmill. The resolutionaries were back.

Another new year, another set of resolutions. By the end of March, most of our resolutions will be dissolved. The reason: we jump into our resolutions at the end, instead of easing into them with a plan to ramp up. Let’s take fitness. I read an article right before Christmas that said it is ideal to do 6 hours of cardio per week. I was doing 40 minutes 6 days a week. Not quite enough. I knew that if I bumped it up to 60 minutes right away, it would be too torturous and difficult to keep at it. I made a plan. In December I ramped it up to 45 minutes and then will gradually increase it by 5 minutes so that by April 30th, I will have a routine of 60 minutes 6 times per week. The key – I did not start at the goal, I moved toward the goal, I established small increments, and had a plan.

What were your resolutions? Did you resolve to check email less often? Try every hour for a few weeks, then every 1.5 hours until you meet your desired time. Do you want more time to read your industry news? Start with a 1/2 hour once or twice a week in a place where you won’t be interrupted, then increase the time gradually.

As my good friend Kelli Wilson, of A Simple Plan Consulting says – “small persistent effort” is what gets us to where we want to be. When we create new habits and feel the successes from those small steps, that is what keeps us motivated.

Said the King to the White Rabbit “Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

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