New Years Resolutions seem to carry a feeling of pressure and “this is it” kind of tone. I find that clients fall into this idea that they “should” be making changes versus enthusiastically saying how much they are jumping out of their skin to embark on an exciting new relationship with cardio and kale.
So lets just decide right now, together, that this time of year is no better or worse than any other time of the year or month or day to decide to embark on new paths. You can choose at any time you wish to get rid of old habits and conquer and establish new ones. The mark of a brand new year, doesn’t mean anyone is in any better mindset to attack goals then they could be a month from now or in June per se. So lets let go of that pressure first. Then, when you feel you are committed and ready to jump into some new habits, consider it a time for personal evaluation and self empowerment vs a new years resolution.
So lets begin. Whether its jan 1st or June 14th. YOU decide when and how. And here’s a couple of things to keep in mind as you do:
- Evaluate: Take a look at where you are at now. How did you get here and where do you want to go? Have you treaded this path in the past? What worked and why? What didn’t work and why? Are you open to reframing a goal you once had to work with who you are now, what your lifestyle is like now, what your responsibilities are now? The objective is with any purpose, idea or goal you may have, to ALWAYS work with yourself. Whoever you are at any given moment. Who am I today? Am I extra tired, do I feel more overwhelmed today, do I have some free time? What’s happening today and how can you fit in,if not but a small step toward reaching your goal for today?
- Small steps: We hear it all the time. Take small, manageable, bite-sized steps to reach your goals. Its true, going from 0-60 is a challenge and a challenge to maintain, when we haven’t even gone from 0-5. Make sure to break those goals and challenges into fun size pieces. For example: Your overall goal may be to workout daily for 30 min. Excellent. So where are you right now with that? How are you fitting exercise into your day now? How much are you fitting in? If the answer is nothing and I don’t fit it in now, then lets look at where you can start. Work creatively with yourself, with who you are, with your likes and dislikes and start with a commitment of 5 min/day. Maybe choose a time of the day that you want to experiment with as designating for workout time. Maybe its a time of day that you feel the most energetic but you don’t always have the time. Try it at that time anyway and see what happens. If you get into a groove, you’ll find ways to make that time a designated time for you. Experiment with different things to work with yourself and remember to be flexible.
- Be flexible: Be ready for life to happen. Be ready for the poor nights sleep, the added meeting at the office, the unexpected visitor for the weekend, the evening plan you forgot about. Get ready to adjust and be okay with it, recognizing its not the end of the world. Get ready to have your back up and plan B’s, and sometimes plan C’s ready to go. Get ready to be thrown off your routine or to be challenged to stay on your course and have alternatives to making your goals happen – or at least your bite sized steps happen consistently/daily.
- Be Gentle with yourself: Its ok to not have the best of days. Recognize the day for what it was and help yourself learn from it. How can you adjust tomorrow, or for when you may feel like this again. How can you continue to be on the path toward your goal when you feel lousy and you don’t want to? When you over ate or over drank on a weekend? How can you acknowledge and accept your previous choices, learn from them and move on. We get stuck in the all or nothing mentality or the screw it mentality, I deserve X or Y. We lose track of our goals and throw everything to the wind because things didn’t go our way or we are tired or we chose to work against ourselves and therefore we can have tendencies to think we’ve done something wrong and don’t deserve to achieve our goals. None of these are true. We do deserve to achieve our goals and we must recognize that it takes commitment. Instead of falling prey to the “I deserve” mentality, finish that statement more honestly and truthfully for yourself so you can give yourself what you really need/deserve. When we say we deserved a particular food or we deserved to have another drink or we deserved to lay on the couch all day, what we really need to do is complete that. What is it really that you need? Is it that you deserve a break or recognition for your hard work? Is it that you are sore and really need a break physically? Is it that there are so many other demands going on in your life right now, and thinking of a balanced meal to have at dinner is just too much? Its important that we recognize what our real need is. We don’t deserve food or drink or rest. These things are our basic needs as living, breathing, human beings. We don’t have to earn them. We can choose to eat what we want, when we want. And with personal choice and freedom, comes responsibility. We need to recognize and understand, that we do have a responsibility to our bodies, our health and to ourselves to choose wisely, at least 75 – 85% of the time. So when you feel the ” I deserves” coming on, sit with that for a minute and complete that thought. And then really help yourself get your needs met. Maybe you need a nap, maybe you need some me time, maybe you need to just mentally shut down and watch a silly movie or bad TV, maybe you just need some assistance and don’t think you can ask or receive it. Maybe you are lacking connection with someone or are feeling misunderstood or unheard lately. Regardless, the “I deserves” are usually our way of trying to take care of ourselves, they are just typically followed by not the most healthiest ways to go about doing it. And by all means, if you want the cake, you want the cake but have the cake because you have a taste for it, not because you deserve it. Be clear of why you are making certain food choices. Its okay to make them, but define them as they really are and choose to seek solutions to fulfill your needs more authentically. You deserve more joy than a piece of cake can give you. Cake is not a prize, it’s just a sweet food. Take the power away from the cake and give it back to yourself 🙂
- Stay committed: Achieving any goal is tough work. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Making any change takes consistency because we are rewiring our brain to think differently. This is usually a challenge because our brains like it when things stay the same. When it doesn’t have to think more than it needs to because of all the other things it needs to think about. That’s why doing a little each day creates long term change. Its less stressful on the brain to see and do things differently a little at a time.
So keep all these tips in mind. Evaluate where you are for today, this moment. Choose one action that, with repeated action, will get you to that goal. Be flexible in the process with how that will happen on a regular basis. Let go of a time line and be gentle with yourself as you learn new things and are changing current habits. And of course, stay committed. What you do and what you think on a regular basis, you will become. And that is a guarantee!
If you’d like assistance reaching your goals any time of year, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 414-940-6662.
All too often I’ll have clients leave my office super stoked about leading a healthier lifestyle and achieving wellness goals, just to say in almost the same sentence – – “I do really well for 3 weeks and then it all stops. We’ll see what happens this time.”. Usually this causes my insides to tighten and clench and I have this huge desire to say “Waaaaaiiiiiitttt a minute. Sit back down here. We’re going to need another hour. Lets talk about that last comment…..”
What makes the 3rd week any different than the first week? Or the present moment, when one is filled with motivation, gusto and confidence. What happens in 3 weeks?
We have tendencies to have these lavish goals and high expectations simply because we are thinking about making changes. And then comes the doing.
Our brains are designed to create short cuts and work less. It likes the wiring that is there and doesn’t like to change it as much. Every time we choose to do something differently, our brain, our mind and because its all connected – our body, feels terribly threatened. Enter doubt or I can’t or I don’t want to. Now all of a sudden what started out as a choice to improve a lifestyle becomes a burden. Becomes boring. Becomes work. Becomes unexciting.
So what do you do? You regroup. You re-evaluate what is important to you and what isn’t as important to you as maybe you once thought it was. You work on letting go of the expectation of a timeline. And you re-focus yourself on the present moment. The only moment that allows you the chance to make a different choice – no matter how great or small. The present moment is the only time that change can happen, that success can happen and where your dreams and your goals and your desires can happen.
We get very hung up with the future. With shoulding on ourselves. With setting expectations. With setting ourselves up for an all or nothing mentality. We get hung up on doing things “perfectly”. With following this or following that to the letter. And we forget about ourselves. We forget about acknowledging how we feel about it. We forget to give the power back to ourselves and not in a plan or in a list of have to’s.
The power of the present moment is so powerful and we let it go by everyday! So take it back! Do everything to keep it right in your hands everyday! The minute you feel doubt, or you feel boredom or you feel a moment of “weakness” start creeping its way back in. Relinquish that. Its a red flag for you to stop and observe what’s happening for you at the moment. What are you feeling and what is it that you really need. Stop, breathe and allow yourself to make the kind of choice that will leave you feeling powerful versus powerless!
Did you know that the average American consumes 134 lbs. of sugar per year! Yikes! Recent studies have shown that consuming 25% or more of total daily calories in sugar will lead to inadequate intake of micronutrients – calcium, B-vitamins, potassium, vitamins A,C,E etc. Skimping on healthy, whole- food can lead to such diseases as obesity, heart disease, cancer, digestive disorders and allergies.
Rather than avoiding sugars completely, focus on choosing more whole foods with a high nutrient to energy ratio. It is recommended to consume no more than 10% of your total calories as sugar. Example: 1500 calories – 150 calories in sugar = 1 can of soda or a breakfast bar and the new Nourish yogurt shakes. As you can see, 10% adds up quickly. Be choosy on where you want your sugar to come from! Eat as much whole food as possible in a day and enjoy a nice piece of chocolate or a piece of rich candy on occasion versus getting your sugar from hidden sugars in the convenience foods!
Got a healthy bite idea or have a specific health question? Let Nicole know and you may find your questions and answers on the Way Of Life site! To learn more about creating a balance diet to provide you with energy without deprivation, contact Nicole at Way Of Life and make an appointment by calling (414) 940-6662.