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New Year's Resolution? But I Don't Want to Change!

Each new year seems to begin with a flurry of resolutions, most of which will be abandoned by the end of the month. Why? Because they require that we make changes and we resist change more than almost anything else. On the other hand, change is an irresistible force. You'll probably agree that there is no growth without change, so we might as well embrace it and do our best to shape it to our advantage.

Alan Deutschman, author of an excellent book titled Change or Die, writes, "Most often we don't change until the benefits of going through the change are greater than the benefits of staying where we are." We often know what kind of change is needed so what can we do to succeed when we have come up short so often?

Deutchman suggests three things that can help us make it through the next change, and perhaps to hold on to the resolutions you have made. Here they are, Deutchman's Three R's.

  • RELATE: To make a successful change it's important to build strong relationships. Every challenge is easier when there is support from an individual or a community. If possible, and it almost always is, don't go it alone. Surround yourself with encouraging people who will inspire you to keep moving in your new direction.

  • REPEAT: There must be repetition of the change you have chosen. In fact, it takes a lot of repetition over time before this new pattern of behavior will become natural to you.

  • REFRAME: You must reframe your situation so you see it in a new way, from a new perspective. Whether you're going to give up a bad behavior or embrace one you consider more healthy and helpful, you'll need some new ways of thinking to make it work.

Now for Danny's One R, which stands for Reality - in two parts.

  • First, it won't be easy. The easiest part of the change you choose may be making the choice in the first place. It's the next step, and the next one, and the ones after that where you'll find some of your biggest challenges. (That's the first part, the bad news. Now for Reality Part Two, the good news.)

  • You've done it before and you can do it again. Don't despair. Unless you're an adult who is still sitting in someone's first grade class (and I sincerely doubt that you are), you have already made it through many changes and you can do the next one too. Isn't that good to hear? So, whatever change you're facing today, whether it's one you chose or one that someone else or circumsances chose for you, you're a pro at making changes so you might as well get on with it.

Let me know how it goes.

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