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Get SMART in the New Year

Happy New Year!

The start of a new year is always an exciting time as we reflect on what we have accomplished and dream of what a new year can bring. Many people make resolutions or goals for the coming year. Health-related resolutions are the most common; however, by March most resolutions have been abandoned and our old patterns re-emerge. Maybe the resolutions were too complex or unrealistic or maybe we tried to do too much too soon. Changing behaviors takes time and consistency.

BJ Fogg, a researcher, and professor at Stanford University, has learned that changing our behaviors requires us to “have an epiphany, a change in our environment, and/or taking baby steps.” Out of these three things, having an epiphany is the least in your control. Focusing on your environment and taking baby steps is what will set you up for success. It is also important to get specific about your goals. The more specific you can make your goal the easier it will be to accomplish it.

A SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Bound) goal is a great way to make a goal that is very specific. Let’s see how you can put this into practice.

The intention: I want to start a meditation practice in 2022.

S: In 2022, I want to include meditation in my weekly routine.

M: I will meditate for 5 minutes in the morning three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

A: I can set my alarm 5 minutes earlier three days a week to start my day with meditation.

R: I may miss hearing my alarm and I can set a second alarm to make sure I wake up.

T: I will do this for the month of January and evaluate how I did.

Use an anchor moment and new tiny behavior to create a baby step to help you achieve your goals and change your behavior.

(Anchor moment) After I turn off my morning alarm, (new tiny behavior) then I will open my meditation app.

Focus on no more than 1 behavior change at a time and be realistic. Focusing on less allows you to accomplish more. Dream big and take baby steps to accomplish your goals! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2022!

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