The first weekend of the New Year has passed. Are you still committed to your resolution?
Whether you’re a resolution person (I’m not) or an ongoing planner (I am), I’ve found the most effective way to implement change is in an incremental fashion. Many times, we want the change overnight, but it overwhelms our nervous system – fight, flight or freeze kicks in. It is one reason resolutions tend to go out the door almost as quickly as they came in.
To be successful, we need to work in the zone of proximal development. In the zone of proximal development, you are continually moving yourself forward from A – Z, but doing it via steps a-b, b-c, c-d, etc. it is when we try to jump from A directly to M or Z that we stress our nervous system out. It is too much change all at once. I explain it the same as trying to lose weight. One cannot lose 30 pounds today, we have to do it incrementally.
In my workshops I teach Tiny Two Minute Tools that can be implemented throughout the workday so that mindfulness becomes part of who you are. The same can be true for whatever resolution or goal you would like to achieve, plan for small incremental changes that you can implement day in, day out. For mindfulness, I suggest people start with whatever they can 100% commit to everyday. That can be 1 minute a day, come on, you can do that right?
Not that there’s anything wrong with long meditation sessions and in fact over time, I encourage longer practices for different benefits, but to begin, it is most effective to make gradual changes.
If your resolution already went out the door, try again. This time, with whatever you decide to incorporate into your 2020 vision, break it down into bite sized pieces and hold yourself accountable for daily implementation.
What are you going to commit to?