Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Resolutions: Think Small and Steady

Do you have a New Year's resolution? If you're like me, and like most people, chances are that you will break your resolution. In fact, four out of five people break their New Year’s resolutions—and a third of people break them by February

I finally found a technique that helped me create a positive new habit without too much difficulty. I hope this blog post will equip you to make small but steady positive changes that can help you overcome the negative effects of hyperhidrosis.

The technique I mentioned comes from Dr. B.J. Fogg, a Stanford researcher specializing in behavior change. He sponsors an ongoing experiment called 3 Tiny Habits.  

3 Tiny Habits promises behavior change without relying on willpower or motivation. His goal is to help people learn how habits work. He believes that people can create new habits by changing their environment (your surroundings) and taking baby steps.
The behavior should be

  • ·      Easy
  • ·      Quick
  • ·      Specific
  • ·      Scheduled at a certain time each day or prompted by a trigger
      Once you accomplish a small change, you can build on it to accomplish slightly larger changes. For example, instead of setting the resolution to "lose weight," you could set the more attainable goal of "brushing your teeth every night immediately after dinner" to prevent evening snacking. This action is easy, quick, specific, and prompted by a trigger (finishing dinner.)

What would be a small change to help with the social anxiety that results from hyperhidrosis? The change, to be successful, needs to come from inside you rather than from someone else. But I can suggest the kinds of behavior changes that have worked for me in hopes of inspiring you to come up with your own.

One of the negative effects of hyperhidrosis is hyper-focus on oneself. This impedes one's ability to socialize and build relationships and rapport with other. One tiny habit that might help would be when you meet someone new to notice their eye color. This would help you focus on them rather than your own anxiety. Another tiny habit that could help would be when you meet someone to say "Nice to meet you (repeat their name)." This would help you focus on and remember their name. 

One of the most successful changes I have been able to make is, as my head touches my pillow at bedtime, to say three things I'm grateful for. This helps me focus on what is most important in life and to better appreciate the people around me. It doesn't cure hyperhidrosis, but it is an attitude shift that helps one live better with the condition.

What tiny changes will you make in 2014? Whatever they are and whoever you are, I hope you have a great year.


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