Ah, New Year’s resolutions, they’re hard not to make and even harder to maintain. Even if you’re in the I don’t make resolutions camp (which I am very much a part of – unless it includes reading more books) I’m sure you’re thinking about possibly trying to keep your house tidier or going on a no-spend spree.
So, if you’re in the New Year’s resolutions camp or you just want to spend less money – I have the BEST piece of advice I have ever heard when thinking about a goal you want to attain.
Eat An Elephant
What do I mean when I say eat an elephant? And what does that have to do with New Year’s resolutions?
So glad you asked!
How does one eat an elephant? The answer: One bite at a time.
I think we all know that trying to completely change our behavior or our comfort zones or our will for that matter in one giant change doesn’t really work. Hence why almost all New Year’s resolutions end up dying a slow death before January is even over.
So, instead of quitting cold turkey or deciding to take up running five miles a day every day – eat an elephant.
And the only way to eat that elephant is to do it one bite at a time.
Personally, I hate cleaning. Like, loathe it. BUT the way I am able to truly force myself to clean as I do like a clean house is to put a timer on for 20 minutes and clean for that twenty minutes. I set a limit on myself (just like taking one bite of my elephant) and know that as soon as my twenty minutes is up I am DONE cleaning. Sure, I may clean a little bit longer if I’m in the middle of sweeping but I don’t make myself clean the whole house.
Because mentally – if I knew that I had to clean the ENTIRE house I would NEVER ever clean because that feels impossible. It isn’t actually impossible it just feels that way. This is why similarly to New Year’s resolutions or eating an entire elephant the end result seems IMPOSSIBLE.
BUT taking one bite today, or five minutes today seems very manageable.
So, if your resolution or goal is to not spend any money on anything that isn’t essential maybe try not spending on anything that isn’t essential for a week, and at the end of the week give yourself $5 to spend on something. You can save it for next week or get that latte. Baby steps. One bite at a time.
Or if you’re trying to move more – decide to go for 3 thirty-minute walks a week and that’s it. Once that feels like a breeze add another walk or walk for thirty-five minutes.
Maybe you want to read more – give yourself a twenty-minute time to read every day.
Get the idea?
Before the end of the year you’ll have the consistency you need to crush your resolutions AND you’ll have finished eating that elephant.
One tiny bite at a time. No matter how small the bite, you’re still making progress.
Cheers to NEW YEAR’S Resolutions and a New Year!