We all start out the new year with good intentions. But those intentions tend to be large, overreaching goals and by this time we have fully given up. Does that describe anyone you know? We may have intended to lose 20 pounds start running 30 miles a week or save half of our paycheck. It is not that goals are not good things, it is that we set ones that are too high and then give up when we feel like a failure. Change comes in small increments. For example, when you were a baby you did not get up one day and just walk across the floor. First you had to develop eye and had coordination by reaching for items and successfully getting them to your mouth. Slowly you learned how to use your stomach muscles by rolling over and eventually sitting for small periods of time. You gradually learned how to pull yourself up to a stand and fell many times. You crept along furniture to gain strength. You held someone's hand to practice balance and eventually let go and took your first wobbly steps until you fell down. You did this repeatedly as you gained confidence and kept trying. This is what all change is like. Even self care. There are many almost imperceptible steps that take place first that are the essential building blocks that must take place first. Many people dive in head first with out focusing on the preliminary baby steps and then feel discouraged and beaten down. The next time you resolve to change, break the task down into the tiniest components and spend time perfecting and celebrating those first. Get those under your belt and then move onto the next. Continue the process. For example, hiring someone to come stay with your loved one. First, get three good referrals from a trusted source and make the calls. Then interview each agency. Make a decision. Or have a trial with each one. Don't even leave the house. Just sit and have a cup of tea and read a magazine. Stay the first few times just to make sure you feel comfortable. Eventually go down the block, even if you just sit in the car. Over time you can go the library or store. Change doesn't need to be drastic and bold. It can be done in small increments which we find is more likely to stick and be successful. Setting ourselves up to succeed is the best gift we can give ourselves. And even if you had a New Year Resolution and three weeks in it feels as though it is another failure, there is no rule that says we cannot try again, using a new effective strategy.