Each new year brings a fresh excitement, this year will surely be better than last!

Your thoughts may be similar to this;

This year I will lose that weight,
this year I will have better relationships,
this year I will live the life of my dreams!

Sadly this year will remain much the same as last year and the year before and the year before that because that is what is comfortable, familiar, easy and safe. Your conditioning, habits, and behaviours have created strong neural pathways that will override your resolution without the support and a plan of action.“Failure to launch” New Year’s resolutions leads to more self-criticism, more negative thinking, frustration, internal embarrassment, and sadness.

Instead of bringing yourself down I invite you to spiral up creating more sustainable, positive change.
The method I teach all of my clients is called the 1% solution. 1% makes an enormous incremental difference by the end of the year. The benefits include continuous positive self-reinforcement, feelings of success, positive self-recognition and more happiness! Most resolutions are grandiose, I want to lose 50 pounds, I want to look like Christie Brinkley, want to cook Like Julia Childs, I want to play like Billy Joel.

Don’t get me wrong – having long-term goals is important, but if they’re always out of reach you will be left unsatisfied. Let’s try the percent solution 1% to 50 pounds is half of a pound – that’s it! Can you release one half a pound this week? Yes, you can, because this is tangible, doable and achievable. Let’s apply the 1% solution to increasing your fitness, let’s assume you currently are inactive your New Year’s resolution might have been robust, for example, If you plan to run 5 km three times a week you are going overboard.

The 1% solution might suggest you walk around one block, that’s it! Walk around one block, assess how you feel, go home feeling satisfied because you did it or carry on for two blocks and assess how you feel. You can go as far as you like as long as you complete that first block you have successfully achieved your goal. Maybe your New Year’s resolution was to save money or pay off a credit card, here’s where small things can really make a big difference. Maybe your resolution is not to consume as much takeout food. Again, using the 1% solution maybe you will create one meal per week. As you become comfortable, feeling safe, positive and successful you can gently increase your 1% to the next doable steps.

For me, this year 1% resolutions will begin with:

  • one additional yoga class per week,
  • an extra one hundred meters at the swimming pool,
  • reaching out to my long-term, out of town friends on a monthly basis,
  • reading one book for pleasure every two weeks,
  • making one new recipe every two weeks, and
  • writing one gratitude letter per month.

I invite you to take a look at what you want for yourself this year, dream big small actions!

Slow down, embrace what is and be happy now.

To Your Outrageously Happy Life!

Elizabeth Manuel