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新年立下的决心很难持之以恒

新年立下的决心很难持之以恒

New Year’s resolutions are hard to keep.

  Midnight on New Year’s Eve is the traditional time to make great resolutions: ‘I really mustn’t drink as much as I did last year,’ or ‘This year I am going to start exercising.’ But in the cold hard light of New Year’s day, it is easy to decide that the promises we made to ourselves are just too hard to keep.

  When we fail to live up to these goals, we walk away a bit damaged. The experience of not carrying through a personal goal chips away at our self-esteem and makes us feel less successful. But the difference between good intentions and failed intentions comes down to one thing: knowing that self-change is one of the hardest things we will ever do.

  If you’re making a resolution, then it pays to do a bit of planning and give yourself a better chance of succeeding. If your resolution is to start running every morning then give yourself a hand: the night before your run, lay out those running clothes beside your bed. It will be easier to get yourself into the routine of getting ready and getting yourself out the door. Strategies like these are called ‘implementation intentions’ and they help you get the good habits started.

  It’s also a good idea to get used to new habits at a gentle pace. If you want to stop smoking and you’re a “pack-a-day” person, then don’t go the whole hog and give up entirely overnight. Part of you will still want that cigarette, so wean yourself off them gradually. Start by cutting down and give yourself realistic goals to achieve every week.

  One more thing to remember is that everybody slips up sometimes. There will come a day when your resolution slips and you find yourself sliding back into those old bad habits. Don’t take this as an opportunity to give up completely, tell yourself that tomorrow will be better. It always is.

  除夕夜的半夜是立下伟大决心的传统时刻:“我真的不该像去年那样喝那么多酒。”或者“今年我可能要开始运动。”但在元旦清晨的冷光中,很容易就会判定自己许下的承诺实在太难维持下去。

  当我们无法实现这些目标时,我们就会有点受伤地离开。没有将个人目标坚持下去,这样的经验渐渐消磨掉我们的自信心,让我们觉得不太成功。但是好的意图和不成功的意图间的差异会消失在一个认识里:改变自我是我们所做过最难的事之一。

  如果你正在下决心,那么花一点功夫做个计划,好给自己较大的成功机会,这种做法是值得的。如果你下的决心是每天早晨开始去慢跑,那就帮自己一个忙吧:在你去跑步的前一晚,把跑步服装摆放在你的床边。这比较容易让你养成习惯,做好让自己出门的准备。像这样的策略叫做“执行目标”,这会帮助你开始养成好习惯。

  慢慢适应新习惯也是个好主意。如果你想戒烟,而你是个“一天抽一包烟”的人,那么不要在一夜之间就彻底戒烟。你还会有点想要香烟,所以要让自己逐渐戒掉。从减少数量开始,每个星期给你自己实际的目标去完成。

  还要记住一件事,每个人都会偶尔出差错。某天你可能会忘记你所立下的决心,你会发现自己重拾那些坏习惯。不要把这个当做完全放弃的机会,而应告诉你自己明天会更好。明天总是会更好。


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