A saying once heard has remained in my memory: “It’s not how you start but how you finish that matters.”
It’s that time of year when starting over or starting anew is here. With an entire new year ahead, people go to all lengths to re-invent themselves, break unhealthy habits, apply renewed effort, quit things, take up things and, of course, take off pounds.
Where will all this resolve be at the end of 2013 or even by the end of February?
Don’t misunderstand the power of having this “jump-off-place” or New Year’s epiphany moment. New Year’s can inspire an inner firework explosion for change.
Experience and research reveals that in spite of this resolution-making time, general enthusiasm and motivation begin to deflate about three to four weeks into the New Year. Life gets busy and folks fold into complacency and sigh a relief as they abort ambitions and forget resolutions – especially when it comes to major changes such as quitting smoking, losing weight, getting regular physical activity and holding back in the cocktail department.
A recent home experience of mine may help you understand the nature of change and how old patterns remain in place for a time. Re-arranging kitchen drawers to make my kitchen more efficient resulted in moving utensils into the drawer which held tea towels, while moving tea towels into the utensil drawer.
For the first week or two of this small change, every time I went to get a utensil, I opened the drawer which now held tea towels. This small example portrays the nature of habits and patterns. It takes more than a resolution to change.
Change and self-improvement requires time and patience, especially in regard to reducing weight and creating a healthier lifestyle. Returning to old habits may happen until the old has been usurped by the new; don’t give up when you have a slip up.
The brain, mind and body are all involved in creating new patterns; it’s not just a matter of willpower. Change involves cognitive and behaviour concepts to rewire our brains and bodies for making life adjustments that last. Test yourself and this concept by changing a drawer in your kitchen and observe what happens for a couple of days.
Let me know what happens. Exciting new programmes to help you keep your promises and resolutions are now starting.
Remember, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish that matters.