By BLC guest blogger, Rob Quinn
We just passed the halfway mark in the year and now is an ideal time to revisit your New Year’s resolutions, to get back on track if necessary. How are they working out? Are you closer to achieving your goals?
Resolutions, or lifestyle changes, are hard work. But they are attainable. We are all capable of achieving success. The only thing holding us back is ourselves. Once we achieve our goal, the more challenging part of the journey is maintaining the goal.
According to a December 13, 2013 study published in the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology, 8% of people are successful in achieving their New Year’s resolutions. The same study showed that 75% of those people maintain their resolution through the first week, and 46% maintain their resolution past six months.
Here is my getting started question. Who decided that I must go by the calendar year, or January 1, as the start of my new year? In my opinion, every day is an opportunity to start a new year. 2015 is not a leap year, so we all have the same 365 days for a new beginning – for moving forward. So instead of “waiting until next year” to start over if I stumble early on, I can make a fresh start that same or the following day, week, or month and see where I am at a year from that date.
So, let’s get started. First, I must make an effort to change something that I can actually change. In the words of my friend Lynn M., “Control the controllable.” For example, I cannot change the fact that I am HIV-positive. However, I can change countless lifestyle variables or co-factors that affect my health, will enhance my happiness, and improve my overall well-being – such as a new platform for my life’s purpose, stress reduction, improved nutrition, sleep, and more.
Here is my five-step action plan on getting started, and more importantly staying motivated, in attaining my personal goals. First, identify that which I can change. Second, I must take that first step – the hardest step. Third, keep it simple and fun. If I am not enjoying what I am doing, what is the use? Fourth, keep it specific and attainable. Fifth, reward myself along the journey.
Knowing me, most likely I will stumble somewhere along the way. In fact, I am certain that I will – more than once. However, that’s okay! No guilt. No sense of failure. It does not have to be all or nothing. I’m not a believer in perfection, as I believe that there is always opportunity for growth. I frequently share with others that as difficult as it may be to stay on track, it’s a lot harder to fall off and try to get back on. I truly believe that we can all overcome and grow from obstacles when we learn to see them differently.
Challenge yourself to move forward, instead of holding back. Go ahead and take that first step – the hardest step. See where you are on January 1, 2016 or YOUR New Year!
Believe in YOU, like I believe in YOU!