Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Small Steps to Big Changes

Ahh…a freshly minted new year! Doesn’t it feel great to begin a new year? For weeks you have more than likely been telling yourself, “Next year I will lose weight, exercise more, be on time, start writing in my journal” or any one of a dozen other promises. But stop for a moment and consider what it would like to actually make these changes. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t panic! Before you make any drastic changes and then crash and burn in a month or so, consider taking smaller steps to making change. Let me explain:

Before You Change Anything, Figure Out What’s Already Working

Remember the old adage, “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke?” Beware of the bright and shiny new idea or the system that will change everything and make life perfect. If your method of paying bills, creating shopping lists, or exercising is working for you, do you actually need to make a change? 

Make One Change at a Time

If this year you intend to lose weight, step up your fitness regime, get places on time, get a new job, and buy a house, consider taking on these challenges one at a time. For example, start with your weight loss goal and when you feel confident you
have a good system in place, then consider the fitness regime.

Count Every Tiny Step

Many people I work with are hyper critical of their accomplishments. It seems easier to focus on what didn’t work or what didn’t get done than what did get accomplished. Don’t wait until you’ve lost the first five pounds on your new diet to congratulate yourself or give yourself a (non-food) reward. Changes take time and patience. Stop and acknowledge yourself every single day.

Extend the Deadline, Don’t Nix the Goal

It can be extremely difficult to measure progress. Rather than dropping a goal because you didn’t finish it when you anticipated, try extending the deadline. If you are making any progress at all, even slow progress, you are moving ahead. Think about a baby learning to walk. Just because a child takes 14 months instead of the anticipated 12 months to begin walking, she doesn’t fall once and just sit there. She gets up and tries again.

Be Around Positive People

Sometimes without meaning to, we find ourselves around naysayers and people with negative energy. Once you realize this is happening to you, move on. Negativity begets more negativity as positive energy begets more positive energy. There is a time and a place for critical feedback, but the tiny beginning steps of change require love and nurturing, not criticism.

All good wishes for a happy, healthy and productive New Year!

Take good care,


PS: If you find yourself wanting some support in figuring out how to accomplish your goals this year by creating bite-size, doable steps, contact me for an informative discovery session via phone or in person. Phone (800) 552-WRITE, that's (800) 552-9748 or write to me at susan@susanborkin.com to find out more.

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