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An Alternative to New Year's Resolutions

The urge is almost irresistible, isnít it? New Yearís Resolutions, I mean. We all know there really isnít anything magical about January 1. Yes, itís the beginning of a new year, which makes it feel like the perfect time for some flexible horticulture (turning over a new leaf), but we donít need sociological or psychological research to tell us that a depressing number of those resolutions, well, are never fully resolved. Writing down goals is important (having them in the first place is vital), but it's not enough to create the changes we need in order to accomplish them. If you want to shake up your January 1-January 15, 24, or 30, then once youíve solemnly declared your intentions in a journal, try this incremental revolution.

Yeah, the title of my BRILLIANT system is a little silly. It simply refers to the truth that most lasting change happens over time, in small increments. I first came up with this a few years ago, unhappy with how little I felt I was improving. Pondering these twin facts: 1. it takes 21 days to establish a habit, and 2. Our brains are set up to resist change, I made this plan, confident Iíd see results and would be able to involve my family as well. (For information on just how our brains try to maintain our status quo, see Robert K. Cooperís Get Out of Your Own Way: The 5 Keys to Surpassing Everyoneís Expectations. Link Below.)

This plan is not quite the same as traditional goal-setting. In the Lordís wisdom we are taught and encouraged to set goals, break them down into steps, and give ourselves a deadline. This is an invaluable life tool. What I am suggesting here is certainly not meant to replace this system, but rather to introduce small, manageable changes as we strive toward the desired results of those bigger goals we set.

So here are the basics of the (da-da-duuuuum) Incremental Revolution:


New Yearís is not the only time to introduce real change, but it is as good as any. Remember Slow and steady wins the race, and, more importantly, ďBy small and simple means are great things brought to pass.Ē (Alma 37:6)



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