New Year’s Resolution: Dry-Run

At the gym yesterday, I did something out of character, and was called on it (I was nice and lacked my usual dry humor, totally outta character). My response was “I’m trying something new.” My friend said it wasn’t even New Year’s yet, I had a few more week for my ‘old ways.’ I told him I wanted to try it out before I had to commit to a whole year! A dry-run so to speak.

I got to thinking: wouldn’t that save a lot of failed resolutions? If we tried it out for a few weeks (or in my case once) maybe we would go into the new year a little more confident about the resolution we decided upon!

I know part of the whole new year resolution is a ‘cold turkey’ start, or stop, to a desired behavior, but isn’t the cigarette industry still thriving because cold turkey doesn’t work, for long anyway? You are thinking, but ‘tobacco is addictive.’ So is any habit.

Not going to the gym is a habit, not eating right is a habit just as spending money, drinking, and partying are habits. What ever joy you receive, or pain you avoid, is the addictive ingredient. Going to happy hour rather than doing cardio is a drug. The questions from your friends, the thought of what you are missing while slaving away at reaching a seemingly phantom goal are the withdrawal symptoms. It starts with ‘I’ll go earlier’ or ‘I’ll just do half, at least I came,’ or ‘I’ll do extra tomorrow,’ and tomorrow turns into next week, which turns into after March Madness, which turns into after vacation, which turns back into after the holidays.

My solution? Start today! Do what ever new behavior you want to adopt, or stop what ever you want to quit, for two days this week. Do it two days next week. Can you do it two days a week? Start there, continue it, when it becomes the ‘new habit’ go to three days, until you have succeeded in your resolution…it may take a week, it may take a year, but you have succeeded.

Cold turkey is exciting in the beginning. It gives you power, it gives you hope, but it sets you up for failure. Make 2010 the year for success!