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If you want to become more active this year, move your office to the attic. If the restroom is on the main floor, now several times a day you're climbing up and down the stairs.
If you want to increase the number of miles you walk each week, let your neighbor or kids borrow your car a few days a week so you HAVE to walk to the convenience store instead of drive. Or join a softball team where everyone expects you to show up every week.
That's sure to be worth a few pounds, isn't it?
Those are system changes to your environment. They are far more likely to be done and become habits than resolutions are. Because, resolutions usually involve adding a new, completely optional activity. (Like rolling out of bed early and going to the gym at 6am when it's cold and dark out).
Notice the difference between using "willpower" and System Change:
Willpower: "I'm going to try to waste less time in my inbox this year."
System Change: "I'm removing myself from 90% of the mailing lists I am subscribed to."
Willpower: "I'm going to try harder to not lose my temper."
System Change: "I'm going to attend yoga a couple times a week because when I do that I'm so much less stressed."
Will Power: "I'm going to watch less TV this year."
System Change: "I'm going to cancel cable and only watch a couple of shows on my laptop."
Will Power: "I'm going to try to be more organized all year so my taxes are easier next year."
System Change: "I'm going to bring materials into my accountant every month and if I don't show up ask him to call and remind me."
Because we all have a finite amount of energy and willpower to expend, the notion of 'trying harder' will only get us so far. System changes are better because they only require the initial willpower it takes to put them in place.
Resolutions based on "try" fail 80% of the time.
Resolutions based on changing the system succeed 80% of the time.
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