The other day someone asked if I were going to make any New Year’s Resolutions. I said no.
It’s not like I have anything against change or improvement. But for me change doesn't occur overnight nor depend upon a certain date. Like New Year’s.
Change isn't a simple process. Like deciding I’ll do it, and it happens. No, for me change is a gradual process. An example is when I quit smoking 28 years ago.
Once I made the commitment I began making slow changes in my smoking habits. I went from unfiltered to filtered cigarettes. After that I progressed to cigarettes with less tar. Then I tapered to less than ten cigarettes a day. And when the time came to quit – July 25, 1984 at 9:00 am, I was ready. I’d armed myself with Nicorette gum and took the plunge. I've never smoked anything since.
I admire those who change overnight – but I don’t have their fortitude. That’s not my nature.
Each change comes slowly. With exercise, I started light - with few repetitions - and not a lot of weight. Twenty-two years later I’m still at the gym six days a week and enjoy a decent level of fitness. I kept at it because I didn't hurt myself. Nor did I have unreasonable expectations about what my badly-abused middle-aged body could do when I started working out again in 1991.
Same with diet. I gave up meat 22 years, but slowly. First beef and pork. A few years later chicken, then fish. Today I eat virtually no animal products. But I couldn't have done it over night.
To incorporate changes in our lives my recommendation is take baby steps.