There are dates on the calendar that tend to prompt reflection of how your life is going; your birthday, your wedding anniversary and New Year’s Day. There may be more, but they all have the same sense of a new start. New starts also imply that things can be better. And that’s a good approach to everything you do in life as long as you don’t wallow in self-critical examination.

GoalsEverything you have done had a good intention behind it. You may not know what that was, but at the moment the choice was made, it was the better choice.

That’s why resolutions to do better, be better, are really a choice by choice venture. If you truly want to lose weight, you can run out there and jump into a new exercise program and a new diet. But when you make big changes like that, it’s hard to stick to over time. Sticking to your plan becomes a battle with will power and you though you feel energized in the beginning, it can become quite a chore to stay on task.

It is good to reflect on what you changes you want to make. But to stick to them, try understanding why the change you want to make is important to you. How will it make you feel once you reach it? How will it impact you and those who are important to you? What is the cost of not making the change?

Then instead of jumping into too many changes all at once, address every choice you make in regard to changes you want to have. For instance, when you go out to eat and bread is placed on the table, you normal have a slice or two. Instead, ask the waiter not to bring bread or instead of eating it before your dinner arrives, wait until you have food in front of you. This way though you still eat the bread, it is combined with vegetables, proteins and fat to reduce the impact on your blood sugar. Even just that slight change can help make a difference.

There’s a book called The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson and John David Mann that speaks to this. Every choice you make either moves you toward your goals or moves you away. There is no straight line to follow. If you want to lose weight or make any other changes, you can reach your goals by making small shifts in your choices consistently over time. It’s won’t be fast, but you’ll get there. Big swings of focused intention followed by big swings of “falling off the wagon” tend to only make you miserable and not likely to reach your goals.

Do you have a strategy for reaching your goals you would like to share?  Share your experience and insights in the comments below and help others feel confident.

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