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Health & Spirit

A New Year's Revelation! Tiny Habits Lead to Big Changes

Marilynn Preston on

THROW AMBITION OUT. Carter believes the most important thing you can do when you are creating a new habit is to "ditch your ambition to do everything impressively." Carter was overambitious when she set a half-marathon as her running goal. Better to train for a 5K and succeed.

START SMALL, AND BUILD SLOWLY. Carter wanted a morning meditation habit. Her first goal? Just 30 seconds on the cushion. Thirty seconds is ridiculous -- which is just the point. The trick is to do something that requires so little effort that your brain won't put up any resistance. A new neural pathway will begin... and eventually it will build into an unshakable habit. It takes the time it takes. Be patient. Now Carter is a regular practitioner and forgives herself when she misses a day.

SEE RELAPSE AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BEGIN AGAIN, STRONGER.

Failure happens. Happiness experts such as Carter know that setbacks are part of the process of making new habits. I like her image of "an upward spiral that has circled back to where it began but now one level higher."

"It may feel like you are back at square one," Carter writes, "but neurologically you aren't. You're actually in a better place" -- armed with new knowledge, more likely to succeed the next time.

Love those spirals.

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ENERGY EXPRESS-O! WHAT NEW HABIT DO YOU WANT FOR YOURSELF?

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -- Lao-tzu

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Marilynn Preston is the author of Energy Express, America's longest-running healthy lifestyle column. Her new book "All Is Well: The Art {and Science} of Personal Well-Being" is available now on Amazon and elsewhere. Visit Creators Publishing at creators.com/books/all-is-well to learn more. For more on personal well-being, visit www.MarilynnPreston.com.

Copyright 2018 Creators Syndicate Inc.
 

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