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No Resolutions… But Perhaps Small Steps?

2014As the New Year approaches, the focus tends to turn toward reviewing the past year and planning changes & improvements for the next. So often, it seems this focus is short-lived as resolutions, goals and other self-improvement efforts fall by the wayside in just a few short days or weeks after getting started, which is why I personally tend to shy away from making any official New Year resolutions.

Perhaps we’re trying to do too much, too fast.

Making significant life changes or tackling a big project can easily become overwhelming, especially if we’re trying to do it all at once. Getting started tends to be the easy part… it’s sustaining the effort after the initial excitement wears off that is the challenge. And I’ve found that too many unfinished or unfulfilled goals tends to weaken the resolve for future efforts.

But I’ve been thinking a lot about a different approach. What would happen if we spent just a few minutes everyday …

  • jotting down thoughts in a journal?
  • taking one great photo?
  • writing and sending a thank you note?
  • trying a new activity?
  • cleaning & organizing a corner of our home or office?
  • walking, running or pursuing other fitness-related activities?
  • reading for education, enlightenment or pleasure?
  • taking concrete action on a big project?
  • testing a new food or recipe?
  • writing a paragraph or two of that story we’ve been longing to share?
  • practicing something we wish we did better?

Now what if we continued our chosen activity for 30, 60, 90 days? Perhaps even a full year?

Spurred on by talk of New Year’s resolutions and year-end reviews in the media and elsewhere, I’ve been giving this a lot of thought the last several days. Quotes such as the following really resonate with me…

A year from now, you will wish you had started today.

While I still don’t feel compelled to make any New Year resolutions, I do find that having a time-limited goal with a specific start date is motivating. For obvious reasons, January 1st is a tempting starting date. There are also many areas in my own life where I know that focused and sustained effort would be beneficial, many of which prompted the list above.

So I’ve been toying with the idea of choosing a new goal to tackle… one small step at a time for a specific time period … in lieu of making any “resolutions” for 2014.

As I continue to mull this over on this final day of 2013, I’m curious…
What small steps would help YOU get where you want to be over the long-term?

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