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How to Make Change Last

A new year begins, and we inevitably make a resolution or two. The fact the year is passing creates a "fresh start effect," which may help us overcome our willpower problems. This, combined with "temptation bundling," could increase our likelihood of success. However, none will be as impactful as defining a tangible outcome. Often, the end is our best place to begin.

Take advantage of the fresh start. Recent studies in behavioral economics have shown that temporal landmarks such as the beginning of a new week, month, year, holiday, or birthday inspire people to take a big-picture view of their lives and motivate new behaviors.

Define your outcome. Creative visualization will help set your intention and make your outcome more tangible. Pick someplace quiet; close your eyes and imagine what you want to experience. What does it look, sound, feel like to have accomplished your objective? Linking your outcome to a well-defined state of being will strengthen your intention and create supportive behaviors.

Ignore conventional wisdom. There is no set length of time to develop a habit. Complicated behaviors take more time to develop. A reasonable expectation for a less complex behavior would be 2-3 months.

Try temptation bundling. This is an idea of linking two activities - one you should do but may avoid with the one that isn't necessarily productive. For example, I'll skip something sweet after dinner and then watch my favorite TV show.

Adjust often. Review your objective once a week. What can you do more of or less of to support your commitment? Do you have the right tools? Have you asked for help?

Take a step.  Join me at Power Camp or invest in 1:1 coaching.

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