Journal and Ruler2

Happiness Tip: Fail at Your New Year’s Resolution

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Journal and Ruler2

This week is an important one for people who made New Year’s resolutions (I hope that’s you)! If you can keep your resolution for the rest of the week, you’ll be much more likely to end the year having kept it, too.

When starting a new habit, it can be frustrating to fail. But failing is also essential to the process of creating a habit that sticks. Unless you are some sort of superhero, you will not be able to get into a new habit perfectly the first time. You’ll trip and fall and royally screw up. And then you’ll have the opportunity to learn something from your failure that you probably couldn’t have learned any other way.

Faltering is a normal part of the process. It doesn’t matter if you have a lapse, or even a relapse, but it matters how you respond. If you’ve had a slip, don’t get too emotional or succumb to self-criticism.

Take Action:  If you’ve started faltering with your resolution, the first thing to do is forgive yourself. Remember: lapses are a part of the process, and feeling guilty or bad about your behavior will not increase your future success. Make a plan for the next time you face a challenge similar to the one that caused your lapse. What will you do differently? What have you learned? What temptation did you face that you can remove? Is there something that you need to tweak? Were you stressed or tired or hungry — and if so, how can you prevent that the next time?

Join The Discussion: Tell us about your lapses in the comments. Be sure to ALSO tell us how you’ve gotten back on track.

Need more structure? If you want more support in making a change like this one, please sign up for my free online class. You’ll get a worksheet and an email everyday for 21 days that will give you more help establishing good habits like this one.

Originally published at ChristineCarter

About the Author

Christine Carter, Ph.D., draws on psychology, sociology, and neuroscience, and uses her own chaotic and often hilarious real-world adventures to demonstrate happiness do’s and don’ts in action.

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