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I have got to get off the dime, which has morphed into a half dollar due to body inflation. I’ve spent the last two months in a bon bon shit storm. Was I in some kind of competition with my glutton of Christmases past?

Normally I would have launched my self-improvement plan by now, but maybe New Years Day falling on a Thursday and a day off on Friday and a football game on Saturday rolled me like a burrito right past Monday and into the middle of this week. I’m getting zero traction. But have I mentioned that I’m up to season 4 of the Gilmore Girls?

You hear a lot about forming new habits this time of year. According to James Clear, somewhere between 81-92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. If you think yours is in the 10%, don’t get too smug–you’re not even two weeks in. But you go, Girl. (I never promised you a life coach.)

The experts say that if we want the meat to fall off the bone, go low and slow. Start with a tiny goal. Example: floss one tooth at a time for a week, then two the second and so on, until you are a model flosser by the time you’re fitted for dentures.  This small-increments-for-lasting-results strategy seems to run counter to our cultural intuition. We are an all-or-nothing people.

Women worry about making sure there’s plenty to eat and worry about eating too much. We bungee from no fat to no carbs to no gluten to no soy (is the jury still out on whether soy prevents or causes cancer)?  All this following rules and breaking them—and the anxiety that results–fails to make us thinner or happier.

A therapist (from my own season 4) told me I was caught in a guilt-anger-shame cycle. I refer to it simply as GAS. Right now I am very gassy. I can tell because I’m sharing my shower with James Brown singing gotta, gotta, gotta and shoulding all over myself.

That’s right. And it’s so wrong. And so many of us do it.  So let’s quit. Let stop shoulding on ourselves be that one resolution we keep.  I’ve got a plan.

For starters, morning mantras—little thought bubbles—delivered to your inbox for 21 days (the length of time it takes to form a habit). Look for them beginning January 15.

Stay tuned to this blog.  Follow the true story of a reluctant reformer.

PS–If you’re not a subscriber yet and want to hop on the bandwagon, click here

Holly Smith-Berry
Holly Smith-Berry
Like you, I’m a shape shifter, living as many roles as an umbrella has spokes: marketing exec, entrepreneur, parent, daughter, friend, sister, yogi, writer. Most of my career I’ve worked in the Housewares Industry developing new products. Sometimes I’ve taken them all the way from the gleam in an inventor’s eye to America’s kitchens.
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Showing 4 comments
  • Julie

    You are so damn funny. Geez. I’m still coughing because I laughed so hard. Woof

    • Holly Smith-Berry
      Holly Smith-Berry

      Julie, I never replied to your gratifying comment. There is no better feeling in the world than making you laugh.

  • Colleen Nolan Armstrong

    Just what I needed to read this morning, Holly. Had never heard of the Guilt/Anger/Shame cycle (GAS love that acronym!) – consider me a “gassy” soul sister. Time to shed that cycle . . .and the “should” storms (with your umbrella) Happy to be a subscriber – seeing your blog’s name in my inbox makes me smile at its lightness and sense of fun. Thank you.

    • Holly Smith-Berry
      Holly Smith-Berry

      Hi Colleen, I am so honored you are here. I love, love, love your writing. So eloquent, honest and brave. I hope you will consider a guest blog. We need voices like yours. Thanks so much for your encouragement.

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