This guest post by Katie Elliott shares the impact a smile can have.
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
There are 11 more days until the ball drops in New York's Times Square and we ring in 2017. Have you started thinking about your New Year's resolutions?
Each year, millions of us make promises to ourselves on January 1st. According to this recent article on StatisticBrain.com, 45% of Americans make resolutions, and only eight percent successfully following through.
THE TOP 5 RESOLUTIONS ARE:
- Lose Weight
- Get Organized
- Spend Less, Save More
- Enjoy Life to the Fullest
- Stay Fit and Healthy
Is it any wonder resolutions fail? These promises are overwhelming, vague, and extremely difficult to measure.
WHAT'S THE ALTERNATIVE?
I am proposing a year-end habit challenge. What does that mean? Rather than waiting for New Year's, start a new habit NOW. Start it today.
By New Year's Eve, you will be well on your way to having a new, positive habit, without the pressure of an overwhelming, unrealistic "resolution." Instead of agonizing while sipping champagne, why not relax and enjoy your evening?
HOW DO YOU START?
Pick a new habit that will take you less than 5 minutes a day.
Five minutes is short enough that you will not be able to use the excuse "I didn't have time." We can all find 5 minutes each day for a little self improvement.
Here are some suggestions (but please do anything that works for you!)
2. Two 30 second planks.
3. 5 push-ups.
4. Make 3 entries in a gratitude journal.
5. Write down one thing you have done for someone else.
6. Get at least 7 hours of sleep.
7. Meditate for 2 minutes.
8. No soda.
9. Compliment someone.
10. Don't sleep with your phone next to your bed.
Even if you are tempted to do more…JUST DO ONE THING!
It is helpful to print out a blank calendar and cross off each day to mark your progress.
DON'T BREAK THE CHAIN
The "Don't Break the Chain" theory is often attributed to comedian, Jerry Seinfeld. As the story goes, a young writer asked Seinfeld how he motivated himself to write each day. Seinfeld pointed to his large wall calendar and explained that each day that he wrote, he would put a large X through that day.
After a few days, a chain would start to form, and he did not want to break the chain. So he kept writing.
Although Jerry Seinfeld claims no credit for the concept, it still makes a lot of sense. Give it a shot and see for yourself.
On the first of December, I started a 21 day challenge (using #5 above.) You can see my calendar... one more day and I will have created a new habit!
WILL YOU TAKE THE CHALLENGE?
What would it take to decide on one small thing you could do differently between now and New Year's Eve? It's only 5 minutes a day...maybe less... and on New Year's you can celebrate ringing in 2017 with a new, positive habit well underway.
Let me know how it goes!
For more great tips, check out these recent blog posts: