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Focus On Little Changes For Long-Term Success In 2016

There are many theories for why resolutions don't work, but most boil down to two reasons: we try to change too much at once and our resolutions are too big to tackle, so we give up. We give up far too easily. In fact, it's the little incremental changes we make that truly add up to monumental gains .
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Resolutions 2016 on Blackboard
Resolutions 2016 on Blackboard

Here we go again; my notebook is out on my desk and pen poised in hand, ready to commit to paper what will be another futile attempt to stick to my New Year's resolutions.

For the last several years I have earnestly tried to commit to a few life changing resolutions and stick to them all year long. But like many of us, I just don't have the willpower to make those promises stay with me past February. There are many theories for why resolutions don't work, but most of them boil down to two reasons:we try to change too much at once and our resolutions are too big to tackle, so we give up.

We give up far too easily. In fact, it's the little incremental changes we make that truly add up to monumental gains over the course of a year.

This year I am going to attempt my top 10 resolution list (yet again), only this time I am going to re-frame the success and goals, and focus more on making little changes daily with the goal of long-term success.

So, here goes....

1. I am going to exercise regularly.

This year I am going to shoot for a daily seven-minute workout. That's it -- just seven measly minutes! I found a great app designed for a sweat-intensive workout that I can easily fit into my morning. This is going to be a lot more achievable than five times a week at 60 minutes. At the end of the year, I'll have clocked in a lot hours and feel proud when I tell people I workout every day.

2. I am going to meditate daily.

No, really, this time for real. I will meditate for one minute daily, that's my start. I will gradually work up to 20 minutes, but I don't care if it takes months to get there. I will start conditioning now for a longer run. Namaste.

3. I will not work on my holidays.

I see you rolling your eyes, but seriously. I plan to make it a general rule to check my phone only twice a day on my holidays. I'll also learn to delegate and resist the urge to respond to inquiries. I have a talented staff working for me; it's about time I bloody recognize that.

4. I am not going to be an impulse shopper.

I will adhere to my "needs" list and not give into my "wants" list so easily. I will start by curbing my excessive spending habits by putting cash money in several mason jars with a just a month's allowance for essentials -- and one little jar for impulse buying. A trick I learned from the brilliant Gail Vaz-Oxlade, when the jars run out of money, I stop spending! Go cash or go home. If I can stick to even a few months, that's a few extra months of not dipping into my savings.

5. I will not engage in stupid fights with my teenage daughter.

Perhaps the toughest resolution on my list, but I will master the art of letting it "roll off my back." I will not allow my sassy, highly intelligent 15-year-old daughter to derail a normal conversation into an argument just because I'm a short-tempered Italia hothead. If I can avert just one fight a week, I'm onto something good. That will be 52 fewer than this year.

6. I will not avoid tough conversations at work.

One of the hardest things for me to overcome are tough and difficult conversations with staff. I have this Sally Field complex of always wanting to be liked, and it's caused me stress and sleepless nights because I want to make everyone happy. For 2016, my goal is to deal with my tough talk's straight on, without emotion. I also plan to keep a bottle of scotch in my desk drawer for any liquid courage I may need.

7. I will not sleep with my mobile phone next to by bed.

Staring January 1, I will move the cell phone to the bathroom. OK, it's technically still in the bedroom, but I would have to get up out of bed and walk 10 steps to check that all important message from that foreign investor who urgently wants to give me $3 million to invest in Canada. He can wait until the morning, along with all the other non-essential messages.

8. I am going to learn to say 'no' more often.

What is it with me? Why am I always saying yes? Here comes that Sally Field complex again, it has to stop. I have allowed myself to buy tickets to things I don't care about, attend social functions that bore me to tears, give money to charities because the cashier guilt's me into it, or move my seat on an airplane because some family booked late and is seated apart. Well, guess what my answer is in 2016? NO! At least I'm gonna try -- or perhaps I'll start with "maybe."

9. I am going to get past my 'mingle phobia'

For me, networking is like getting a tooth drilled without Novocaine. Strike that, I like getting my teeth drilled, so I don't know anything I hate worse than networking. I hate it so much that a number of years ago the New York Times wrote about it in one of their editorials. But this year, I will actively go to one networking event per quarter, alone. I will mingle, say hello to a stranger, strike up a memorable conversation then leave. And I promise it won't be with the server.

10. I am going to tell my husband and daughter that I love them, daily.

No small measures on this one, I just plan to do it. Every day. Period.

Check in with me in February and see how I'm doing.


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