It is January of another new year. The time for making resolutions and setting goals. New year, new you! Go big or go home, right? Well, for most people, it’s “go home.”

On the New York Post website, they state that the average person has given up on their resolutions by the time February rolls around.  A report on the Ohio State University Business of College blog states that 43 percent of Americans have given up on their new goals by the end of January.

These studies, among others, point out several reasons we fail when it comes to implementing lasting change such a obstacles, challenges, busy schedules, lack of accountability, and lack of self discipline.

So, should we just throw in the towel and accept defeat? My personal research uncovered three books which all say a resounding “no”! Change is possible. It can be challenging, but we can tip the odds in our favor by implementing one simple trick: start small.

While some may succeed with big goals and drastic changes all at once, the statistics just don’t support that as being successful.

In the New York Times best seller, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, author James Clear points out that change is possible by making small changes to our daily habits. “It is so easy to…underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis.” He writes. “Meanwhile, improving by 1 percent isn’t particularly notable…but it can be far more meaningful, especially in the long run.” Furthermore, he points out that “habits are the compound interest of self-improvement” and that “the effects of your habits multiply as you repeat them.”

This strategy is effective. However, many give up before seeing results because the pace of change is slow. Because results aren’t seen immediately, many give up all together. Clear says that mastery requires patience. “Breakthrough moments are often the result of many previous actions.”

In another New York Times best seller, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything” author B. J. Fogg, Ph.D., writes that “creating tiny positive habits is the path to developing much bigger ones.”

He lists several benefits of tiny habits including the fact that they are fast to implement and perform. They are easy to start right now. They also don’t rely so much on motivation or willpower but on a decision to make small, actionable steps. And finally, Fogg states that “tiny is transformative.”

And lastly, in his book Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results,  author Stephen Guise shares his own experience about learning how to make long-lasting, positive change by utilizing the “mini” habit. He says that the mini habit’s “too small to fail” nature makes it “deceptively powerful.”

Each of these three books explains not just the “what” of habit formation but the “why” and the “how.” All three have scientific data as well as personal experiences and testimonials with the given system to show how small, daily, positive action can accumulate into long-lasting, effective results.

So, if you feel overwhelmed by all the changes you hope to make, take heart. You don’t have to make drastic changes all at once. Start small, stay consistent, and results will follow.

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