Breaking the Cycle

Eudaimonia Tip # 12 – Start with mini solutions to achieve your resolutions.

It’s an all to familiar cycle. You wake up on January 2nd and vow, no resolve to make significant changes in your life. Lose 20 lbs in 20 days; exercise twice a day every day; purge and organize your house in one day. You guessed it. It’s resolution season. We’ve all been there more times than we care to admit resolving to do or not do something in the coming year. But why is it that we focus all of the change that we want to make in January only for February to arrive carrying all of our bags of disregarded resolutions.

I get it. It’s a new year which means a clean slate, but great resolutions are the same old recycled attempt to achieve change. Now if your the kind of person that resolves to do something and executes it on a schedule this post is not for you and you are an anomaly to the human race. For the rest of us ordinary struggling people, keep reading.

Of course, wanting to change, improve, or better yourself is a good thing! If you read my previous post (Perfectly Crafted 2019), you would know that I’m all for self-improvement.  It’s important to have goals in life, but how we go about achieving those goals needs a new approach. Talk to any fitness or financial guru, and they will tell you that if you bite off more than you can chew, you are sure to fail.

I can attest to this from personal experience. Each new year I wake up with the same resolutions as years past, jump on the detox bandwagon and hope that this time it sticks. See, the problem with big resolutions that require you to radically change your way of life and evoke some magical form of willpower is that they lack sustainability.

To break the cycle, I’ve forgone grand resolutions and implemented mini solutions instead. Mini solutions are small incremental steps to achieving your big goals. January for me is akin to an old steam train starting to gain momentum. Steam trains move slowly at first until they can build up enough, well, steam to keep them going. Mini solutions are the coal required for your fire to build up your own steam. The trick is to keep adding fuel to the flame. Below are the four steps to achieve mini solution success.

Pick your first mini solution: Find something to add/remove from your life. Some examples of this would be committing to drinking eight glasses of water a day, not eating after 9 pm, or walking 15 minutes a day. For my first mini solution, I chose to cut out was this fantastic gluten-free bread from Costco (thanks Costco).

Set your time frame: 
When you figure what your first mini solution will be set a time frame from a few days to a week to measure your success and determination. It’s been a week now since the breads been gone and honestly, I don’t miss it. The shorter the time frame, the easier it will be to add up successes.

Write down your wins and losses:
There is no fancy algorithm for this step. Of course, you want to write down each day you stick with your mini solution, but don’t stop there. I write down all the things that I’m proud of each day and things that I could have done better. For example, I went to dinner this past Friday and said no to dessert. I even said out loud “this is going down as a WIN for today.”

Keep adding to your successes:
Once you’ve accomplished your first mini solution, add another. Remember, you need to add coal to keep the fire going. I cut out bread and then committed to drinking ten glasses of water a day for five days. I’m two for two and ready to keep adding to my win’s pile! I’m already seeing improved energy now that I’m starting to cut out carbs and staying hydrated.

Not only has this mini solution approach set me up for success, but it’s also given me the momentum I’ve been missing for a while now. This approach may not be for everyone, but it’s helping me move towards my bigger goals, which is what it’s all about. Remember, the key to mini solutions is to keep them simple building upon each win. In this case, seeing is believing. When you see the small improvements in your life add up you will start to believe that this is the year your goals for change will finally be realized. From there it’s anyone’s guess what you can accomplish in life one mini solution at a time.

http://Photo by Gabriela Palai from Pexels

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