Setting New Year’s resolutions often means you plan to get life right this year, to massively course correct at a memorable milestone. Instead I suggest mastering do-overs on a smaller scale, as tiny as you can tolerate, restarting again and again as needed rather than linking changes to a specific date with a “pass/fail” attached to it.
1. Smaller changes support successful do-overs.
Initially setting the bar more conservatively allows acclimation to your changes-in-progress. Plus if you fall away from whatever goal you set, you don’t fall as far and can get up more easily. Meanwhile practice patience, a generous acceptance of the here and now, so you can move slowly and consistently toward what you want. As you master small do-overs, large shifts start coming more naturally.
2. Shorter and shorter reset times allow you to accelerate do-overs.
Take the example of changing your eating habits. Say you veer wildly off course eating food you swore to avoid. While you could reset tomorrow after giving up on today because it feels like a lost cause, you could also restart immediately. When you notice your actions don’t mesh with your intentions, you can affirm “I recommit to myself,” realigning you to actions in your best interest. Repeat as needed, remembering mastery takes practice.
3. When attempting a do-over, focus on the “do” and not the “over.”
The past passed. You lose power and energy when you dwell on the unchanging past. You reclaim your power when you recommit to your highest good and act on it. So do something, anything, to get momentum going again. Even miniscule shifts work. Restarting could involve driving by the gym or buying new workout clothes, whatever reinforces your true desire to create a new pattern and gives concrete evidence of your commitment to yourself.
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You could make mastering do-overs one of your goals. As you practice it, restarting becomes a reflexive habit you’ll need less and less as you master making shifts. What tiny shifts can you make? How can you invite self-forgiveness around restarting as often as needed?