It is the beginning of the calendar year and many people participate in the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions which typically involves changing habits or setting personal goals. Whether you choose to embark on new goals at the beginning or middle of the calendar year, we want to remind you that when setting goals or beginning new habits, it is best to focus on making good decisions, not perfect ones. A good decision moves you in the direction you want to go–it does not catapult you to your desired outcome. Perfectionism can paralyze the decision-making process and keep you from achieving your goals.
To make good decisions you will need to adopt flexible thinking which will help you on the days that do not go as planned. When life happens and competing responsibilities arise, you are faced with choice points. In these choice points, you can practice flexible thinking by making a good decision instead of what you might consider a perfect one.
While a small change is not going to be as rewarding as the instant results of drastic changes, it will lay the foundation for a new habit that you can integrate into your daily life. When your next choice point comes up, try thinking of one thing you can do that will steer–not catapult–you toward your end goal. For example, you planned to get up early to exercise for 30 minutes but you overslept and you have a busy day. Rather than throwing in the towel, make the choice to try to get in some physical activity that day, even if it is a 10-minute walk.
Consistency is key to habit formation. The SMART goal template is an effective strategy to help you map your way toward the desired goal. Remember that sustainable behavior change comes down to our ability to choose consistency, joy, and flexible thinking.
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