I’m a big fan of remembering that life is short, that we have to stop and smell the roses, figuratively – appreciating life and all the wonderful things we have in our lives – and literally – smelling flowers, looking at trees, and even looking at beautiful buildings, as you move past them. At the same time, knowing that life is long helps us to make changes to improve our lives.  Instead of the traditional New Year’s list of resolutions, which overwhelms us, resulting in no (or few) changes made, if we slow down to make the changes, focusing on one every 21 days, three years from now we’ll have made 52 changes. That’s progress!

It’s hard to make changes instantly. By giving yourself 21 days to focus on each goal, you don’t have to be hard on yourself as you work to make the change, remembering that it’s a process, a 21-day path.

I’ve made tons of changes over the years. I’ve changed dozens of eating habits, one at a time.  I’ve changed the way I relate to my family, one new habit at a time. I’m always working on something.

As I post, I’ll periodically report on a habit I’ve adopted over a recent 21-day period.

Here’s one:

Eliminating the use of four-letter words. For years I told myself that I wanted to clean up the way that I sometimes spoke.  My wife had expressed dismay on occasions when I used four-letter words in her presence and I knew that I would be able to communicate effectively without using those words. I finally decide to pursue this change in order to achieve the following results: A better chance of persuading others of my point of view because they would not be distracted by my use of four-letter words, a better relationship with my wife, and the feeling of accomplishment of another goal.

Like most habits, it wasn’t easy to make this change. During the 21 days, as I became more aware of my use of four-letter words, I knew that I was on the right path. Before the 21 days were up, I had stopped using those words. I still thought them occasionally, but I stopped short of letting those words come out.

What are some changes which you’ve adopted this year?