Updated: Mar 25
It's the dead end for those first-quarter New Year's "Resolutions," hallelujah! With no need to "punish" yourself into restrictive submission to all things "perfect," it's a great time to spring into April-May-June with gentle, do-able habits. It's SO tempting after Sunday brunch to be all-in (in your primitive mind) for a Monday do-over, with bedside alarm set for 5:30 a.m., a refrigerator stocked with "diet" food and a to-do list a mile long. After all, it just takes discipline, right?!
Well, that's a hard "no," or the health clubs that were so jam-packed in January wouldn't be bereft of bodies, now broadcasting calming tunes over their speakers vs. pounding dance music at the outset of 2023.
Pull out, order--or better yet listen to the audio version--of James Clear's fruitful bestseller, Atomic Habits. "Atomic" is for tiny and powerful, as in your first step off the starting line. If your perfectionist brain needs permission to take a more moderate but successful approach to the goal or transformation you seek, well, "thank you, James!"
Start as you intend to continue using his approach (or others, see books listed below) so your Monday night mantra isn't, "Well, nobody's perfect, but I'll just restart tomorrow ..."
Sure you will (not).
If, in the pursuit of doing-it-right, being perfect or pleasing others, then you're doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results ... hmm. And I bet that anticipation of it being so hard translates into procrastination to do it, or anything to move you toward your goal, your desired result.
One of my first and favorite coaches, author Elizabeth Benton, often shares this impactful quote from spiritual master Rumi:
"Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?"
Take just one do-able step through that door now, pat yourself on the back and keep walking in 2023.
Books about effective habits (verified by the reader in me)*
Charles Duhigg and Mike Chamberlain: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Gretchen Rubin: Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
*I've included amazon links above, but with this disclaimer: I encourage you, whenever you can, to support your local independent bookstores!