If you’re already struggling with your New Year’s resolutions on this second day of the year, you’re not alone. Need a few suggestions to stay on track? “It’s exceptionally hard to make life changes,” says Alan Deutschman, author of Change or Die. According to Deutschman, even though most people have the ability to change, they rarely do, “and our efforts are usually doomed to failure when we try to do it on our own.” After the jump, four strategies to avoid failure and increase positive results in change regimens.1. “’Start with big changes, not small ones,’ a strategy likely to yield immediate, noticeable benefits that inspire more positive change.”
2. “Act like the kind of person you are trying to become; even if you hit the jogging trail with 30 pounds of flab, think of yourself as the jock you want to be.”
3. “‘Reframe’ the situation. Recovering alcoholics, for example, have a higher chance of success if they reframe their sober life as a divorce from a tumultuous love affair with drinking, because they can then look back at their old life as a romantic adventure, rather than a sinkhole of regret.”
4. Don’t do it alone.
Unfortunately, even proactive strategies can only go so far in helping us keep our New Year’s resolutions. Studies show that six months into a year, 55 percent of participants give up on their resolutions. This year, more of us should try self-acceptance. [NYTimes]