Changing Lifestyle

“Rome was not built in a day and sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can pretty much change our life.”

This applies to me quite well. My surgical mentality makes me a very impatient person. When I see a problem, I want to fix it quickly and get to the next one! My son thinks that’s cool!

But life outside operating room is different. My son is too young to know that. But you and I know how difficult it is to make changes in life. Quite often these changes have to do with our habits and lifestyle that have been part of our life for many years. Then comes the month of December and all hell lets loose. By the time we finish the New Year’s eve party, we are deep into guilt and self-mortification.

Next morning, we decide to change our whole lifestyle. We think it can be done overnight. After a well-intentioned weekend, we open the newspaper on Monday morning. Experts are already out there predicting failure. They feel we are half-hearted, poorly organized individuals whose actions fall far short of the intentions.

So, it is left to us to prove them wrong. How can we do that?

Lesson No.1: Be prepared. Most people’s resolutions are about lifestyle changes: quit smoking, lose weight, exercise regularly, eat healthy, spend more time with family, learn to say no to excessive demand on time and many more. None of these can be done in isolation. So when we try to make one change, we have to be prepared to make changes in many more areas then we expect.

Lesson No.2: Know the benefits. We should have convincing reasons to change from the current situation. Take a moment and write down the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed change. If there are no obvious benefits then don’t do it.

Lesson No.3: Look at the ladder. Once the decision is made to go ahead with the proposed change, then make a list of the steps required to implement the change. This will require help and understanding from family, friends, and most important your co-workers.

Lesson No.4: Join a group. Ask yourself if you are going to do this on your own or join a group. It is easier to do it in a group – may be formal or informal. A little bit of competition and monitoring helps achieve the desired results and keeps the motivation going – if he can do it, so can I.

Lesson No. 5: Be patient. Rome was not built in a day and sometimes it is the smallest decisions that can pretty much change our life! Say it 10 times a day and keep smiling! Pick reasonable targets and be positive. Think of what you want – NOT what you don’t want.

The other day, I was looking at the book “Born to Win”. The back cover says, “Every person has the potential to be a winner: to be an authentic, alive, responsive, fulfilled human being.” You are that person. Go ahead. Plan it and do it!

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