You wouldn’t be the first person ever to choose a New Year’s resolution and struggle in the first few days. For what seemed days or weeks before New Year’s Eve there was a passion building for a fresh assault on a crucial goal. Now it feels hard and foreign.
You seriously wonder if you have the strength to sustain the changes you’ve made.
I’ve found that the first four days are the hardest in the change-of-habit process. But then there are temptations after this period, until about the forty-day mark. If change can be sustained until then, there’s a great chance of the new practice becoming habit. But still there are temptations. There always are, until sufficient months have passed that mean we know we can easily get through the temptations. In fact, that which used to tempt us no longer has any power.
It was always months that I needed whenever I gave up smoking. It was the same when I gave up drinking. I probably didn’t get entirely comfortable, though, until the year mark or more. With diets, vigilance was needed for only a short time until the brain knew what the routine was. But, importantly for weight-loss diets, I’ve found that creep is the biggest hidden temptation – to get soft on standards, by eating a little more or by allowing forbidden foods, until eventually the healthy diet is non-existent.
Some change-of-habit regimens seem so easy compared with previous efforts. It’s important not to get complacent. Some change-of-habit routines are hard from the get-go. Every day is arduous. But there is a rich reward ahead if we continue…
ONE DAY AT A TIME
Once the challenge is set, we hold in our minds vision of what success looks and feels like. The more we do this, the more we make failure unattractive. And, focus on the process. Process focus cuts failure out of the equation.
Whatever you set yourself to do, you can do, if you just keep doing it.
A positive challenge requires courage which fills life with passion and purpose. To have made a resolution is a great thing! To stick to it through some days of pain, is to be filled with an inevitable joy because of the success we ultimately taste.