At the beginning of every year, millions of people make plans for self-improvement.  Some people choose one or two simple changes such as exercising more or eating healthier.  Others try to transform their entire selves by taking on multiple changes all at once.  Keep in mind that even “simple” changes do not necessarily mean “easy” changes.  Therefore, I always encourage baby-steps instead of giant leaps when considering self-improvement.

Some people believe that it takes 3 weeks or 21 days to change a habit.  In my opinion, this time frames varies from person to person depending on how long you’ve lived with the habit, how often you do this habit, and how meaningful it is for you to change this habit.

Habits that have been formed over a lifetime can be the most difficult to change.  Also, the more frequently that you perform this habit, the harder it will be to change.

Some key things to keep in mind when considering self-change:

1.  Choose only 1 or 2 things at a time to change. You will likely feel less frustrated if you try working on only a few things at a time.

2.  Consider how meaningful it is to YOU (not someone else).  Don’t try to make a change that isn’t important to you…it’ll never stick!

3.  Keep it realistic.  If you strive too high, you will probably feel let down and frustrated (not a good place to be when you’re working on change).

4.  Consider solutions to possible challenges that may come up.  There is bound to be some barrier that will come up as you try to make your change. But, if you can imagine how you would handle the situation, it’ll make dealing with it a lot easier.

5.  Be gentle with yourself.  Try not to stress if you make a mistake. Instead, try to look at mistakes as opportunities to learn how to prevent yourself from going back to your old behavior in the future.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year and new decade!