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Make Positive Changes this New Year

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Make Positive Changes this New Year

The Power of the Will

Brace Yourself: According to science write, Jonah Lehrer, 88% of all New Year's resolutions end in failure. He also says that making a list of New Year's Resolutions is exactly the wrong way to try to change your behavior. Before you abandon hope, rest assured that bad habits can be broken and new habits can be developed. 

First the definition of willpower: It is the ability to ignore temporary pleasure or discomfort to pursue a long-term goal. However, willpower has its limits and is weak, so it must be strengthened, like a muscle. 

Leo Babauta, author of the Power of Less, has a few simple tips to help you get a jump start on making positive changes as we begin a New Year. On a personal level Leo has harnessed his own willpower and accomplished the following in a two-year time period: quit smoking, lost 40 pounds, became a vegetarian, went from non-runner to a marathon finisher, tripled his income, wrote a novel and non-fiction book, all while helping to raise his six kids. 

His techniques to form new habits include:

1) Select one habit per month and start with an easy goal. For example: Eating a healthy low-carbohydrate breakfast each day of the week.

2) Write down your plan and ensure that you can measure its success. What is your goal for each day? When will you do this? For example: I plan to eat a 2-egg omelet with sautéed vegetables each morning at 6:30am.

3) Post your goal publicly. Tell as many people as possible that you are trying to form your new habit. 

4) Report on your progress daily. Each day tell the same group of people whether or not you succeeded at your goal. 

5) Stay Positive! 

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