How to Make Real Cambios

It’s mid-January, and you’re already starting to feel the brillo of those ambitious new year’s resolutions fade away. Daunting? It doesn’t have to be. We’ve got five tips to help make those all-important cambios last past 2012.

Visualize the change. Psychologist Dr. Amy Johnson urges her clients to focus on the big picture. She suggests visualizing your life without the bad habit even before the habit is broken. What would a nonsmoker do? What would a healthy eater order for lunch today? Would a daily exerciser watch on TV right now?

Break your goal into small, manageable steps. Take it day-by-day, hour-by-hour. Psychologist Allison Cohen says it’s important to focus on el camino of change rather than being overwhelmed by the end goal. Want to lose 50 pounds? Give yourself ample time and aim for a manageable 1 pound a week.

Don’t be afraid of failure. True change happens slowly, with time and perseverance. Most people fail several times they before succeed, says Johnson. Indeed, it isn’t falling off the horse that matters but having the courage to get back on.

Give yourself encouragement. If you go a day without smoking a cigarette or order a healthy salad instead of a burger for lunch, congratulate yourself. Allow yourself to feel pride in the small victories.

Keep a motivation list. By mid-February, you may start to lose steam and seep back into old habits. Cohen’s quick fix: Keep a list of reasons why you’re changing and make sure to read it over again when you feel weak.


by Melissa Noble