When it comes to resolutions, just wait a minute

By Ken Weizer, N.D., Providence Integrative Medicine

When you think of the new year, it's not hard to think of resolutions. Resolutions to exercise more, eat less, become vegan or go paleo, never say a naughty word again, say naughty words more often, lose 10 pounds of fat, gain 10 pounds of muscle and so on. But we all know how the enthusiasm for New Year's resolutions can fade quickly as they get filed again (and again) for the next January 1. As a result, it's very easy to associate New Year's resolutions with failure.

So, let's change that. Let's associate New Year's resolutions with success – raging, continuing success. How do we do that? Wait a minute!

Yes – wait a minute.

I bet that every day you waste at least one minute on the Internet, or with some other activity or worry. So I am going to assume that you have one spare minute a day. Great. Pick a minute. Pick a time that you commit to, every day, at the same time.

Let's say it's 8 p.m.

Tonight at 8 p.m., take one minute – no more – and write down what you commit to do for your health. Here's the key for making this work – pick the simplest and most attainable thing possible. Pick something that you cannot fail at. And choose something that you actually want to do, not something you think you should do. In my case – for one minute a day, at precisely 8 p.m. – I am going to have a cup of tea. I can do this. I have a new teapot. I like tea, and 8 p.m. is when I sit down with my neighbor to chat every night. So – a one-minute tea break it is.

The reality of change is that you have to actually change for anything to change. And teeny, tiny steps are the key to success. Look at Apple. They come out with a slightly smaller and faster phone, and they sell millions of them. Incremental changes lead to an elegant refinement that really does add up as time goes by.

So think small, aim low and take a teeny, tiny step into your future health with your one-minute miracle. Have a cup of tea. Meditate. Spend a minute with your pet or kid or mate (or all three). Laugh. Take a one-minute nap or a one-minute walk. The possibilities are endless.

And who knows, after one minute of continued success, you might venture out into the next minute and then the next – one successful step followed by another – and before you know it, you have some real change. That is a New Year's resolution worth having – one that works.