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One Bite at a Time

You given up yet? Statistics show that 43% of people who didn’t keep their New Year’s resolutions have already given up by this point in the year. A whole two weeks have gone by and we in masses begin to throw in the proverbial towel on our big 2018 dreams of eating better, exercising more, spending less money, reading more books, or trying a new hobby.

January 1st, a day filled with so much hope, seems so far away now. That big hope those jeans hanging in the back of the closet that haven’t fit since goodness knows when would finally zip, gone. The hope that by sticking to a budget, you’d finally get that dream vacation to Jamaica you’ve always wanted, totally gone. The hope that you’d finally learn to play your granddaddy’s guitar that’s been collecting dust in your attic, completely and utterly gone. Two weeks in, and all hope is lost.

WHY? So many of us wakeup January 1st with the notion that from Day 1, right out of the starting gate, we have to be perfect, eat perfect, exercise perfect, spend perfect, save perfect, do it all right right from the start. I don’t know about ya’ll, but the idea of perfection overwhelms me to no end. Try as I might, I can’t get everything right all the time. Perfection can’t be achieved. It’s impossible and it frustrates the you-know-what out of me.

Don’t worry, though. There is hope. Consistent gradual changes over time yield big results. That little phrase I think I just came up with ought to be trademarked and printed on a snow-capped mountain self-help motivational poster and hung in break rooms all over the world. It may not end up being as common place as the “Don’t Worry Be Happy” motto, but it’s true nonetheless.

If you resolved to fix your finances, it’s awful daunting to up your 401K contribution by 3%, start saving boo coos each week, cut down on spending to stick to a budget, become debt free, and learn the ins and outs of the stock market all by the end of the day January 1.

If you set smaller goals like cutting out the super expensive designer coffee and putting that money in your savings each week, or eat one less meal out and throw that extra cash at your car payment, suddenly, it doesn’t seem so impossible to fix your finances.

If you resolved to be lean and mean, it’s pretty intimidating to cut carbs, cut out sugar, deadlift your body weight, and run a marathon all in a day, but if you decide to drink water to curb your Coca Cola consumption, walk around the block a few times each night after dinner, and refrain from fast food on your lunch breaks, suddenly a healthier you seems achievable.

Daddy always told me the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time; and while I hope I’m never tasked with chowing down on one, I’ll know just how to do it: one bite at a time.

The way I see it, you’ve got 340-something more days to eat your elephant. Get to chewing.

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