Every January, Americans make resolutions to eat healthier and exercise more. By mid-January, many of us have given up because the resolutions were too big and too unrealistic. Are you really going to climb the Stairmaster for 45 minutes every day? Really? You’re going to drop 10 lbs this year? You could! You just have to take baby steps.
In their book, The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval offer some suggestions on how you can trick yourself into keeping those resolutions through the year; “smaller, more attainable goals will…give you quicker, more frequent mini-rewards. Those early successes, and the sense of satisfaction they bring, will spur you on to the next task and the next.”
Linda despises her Stairmaster, so instead of setting the timer for 45 minutes she sets it for 10 minutes. When the ten minutes are up, she resets for 9, then 8, etc. on down the clock. She’s still working out for 45 minutes, but because she made the intervals shorter, she tricked her mind into feeling motivated to continue the exercise.
Need to drop some weight? Don’t fret about starting a cabbage soup diet or getting your stomach stapled; all you need to do is reduce your daily caloric intake by 100. You could lose 10 pounds this year just by making that small change to your diet! You probably won’t notice that you cut out that extra glass of juice or second cookie, but you will notice the change in the way you look and feel!
So, before you give up on that resolution, learn to take baby steps this January.