Family Relationships

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day Plus One - Now What?

Earth Day was yesterday. So what do we call today?
Earth Day with earth

In the heat of the moment, enthusiasm for making a change - protecting the earth, creating better family relationships, making the world a better place, loosing those stubborn extra pounds - can be great. But what happens the next day? How can you build on your decision to improve? How do you actually vary your routine and transform yourself? Inspiration is not enough - now you need to implement your choice in a clear and definite way. Here are 8 tips on how to go about it:

Acknowledge your ability to change. Recognize that there may be limits to what you can accomplish but that you can take it one baby step at a time. Give yourself permission to begin the process by setting a realistic goal and without expecting perfection in your results.

Write out specific goals for yourself and break them down into smaller, more manageable short-term objectives. Set up a timeline for tackling each task. The more you formulate your plans and establish concrete steps, the greater the likelihood that you will follow up on them.

List your personal resources and inner strengths
- they will help you attain your objectives and eventually achieve your goals. Draw on them as you have when you made other changes in your life.

Make a public commitment to the change you are pursuing. This will help you take yourself and your decision seriously and increase your motivation to continue the process even when you face barriers along the way.

Maintain your energy by rewarding yourself for each objective you accomplish even as you keep your focus on the future goals you are striving toward. Positive reinforcement will keep you motivated to continue your process of change.

Draw on the support of family and friends. They want you to succeed and will give you the help you need. Join with others who have similar goals - having someone share your journey makes the whole process more enjoyable.

Don't beat yourself up when you backslide. Change can be overwhelming and you need to be patient with yourself. Refine your strategies as you learn from your mistakes. Have a Plan B ready and continue to improvise as you discover what works best for you.

Enjoy the satisfaction and feelings of power that come from making real changes. You've earned it! And you can use your new skill set to achieve success in other areas of your life as well. If you're a Sandwiched Boomer, resolve to use these tips to take better care of yourself.

Want more tips for making lasting changes? Sign up for our free newsletter, Stepping Stones, and receive a complimentary copy of our ebook, Courage and Lessons Learned. Look to the left of this post to subscribe - and begin a new day.

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