To Resolve or Not Resolve? Its Up to You!
New Year’s 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 proclaiming how great they are going to feel this year because they are committed to making choices that support feeling alive, feeling joyful, feeling well, sleeping better etc…See that difference?
So let’s 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 let’s 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 right now. How did you get here and where do you want to go? have you walked 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, in order to work with who you are right now? Or with how your lifestyle is right now? The objective is with any purpose, idea or goal you may have, is 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 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 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: It’s 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? 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 a balance of nutrients. 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. 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 timeline 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!
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Nicole is recognized state-wide and nationally as a Registered Dietitian and is also a Certified dietitian through the state of Wisconsin. She is also a Board Certified Sports Dietitian and a Certified Personal Trainer and Physical Fitness Instructor.
Nicole’s areas of expertise include: Wellness and lifestyle coaching, weight management, behavior modification, eating disorders, vegetarian lifestyles, gluten-free living, sports nutrition, recipe and menu design and development.