Happy New Year!
Is January off to a good start for you?
As many as 75% of us decide that a new year is a great time to focus on an area of our lives that we want to improve, with most people citing the areas of "Health" and "Self improvement" as the main 2.
It kind of makes sense, doesn't it? A new year is a new start, a blank slate! We might as well choose to do something different with this year! So why is it that only 8% of people who set New Year's resolutions actually achieve them? Why do we set resolutions or goals in the areas of health and self-improvement, that are so important to us and then we don't achieve them? Well it gets hard! It becomes challenging! We slip and we slide. I think sometimes we may set goals or resolutions for ourselves that are going too vague to actually achieve. Have you ever set the New Year’s Resolution to look just like J Lo by your birthday? No? Just me on that one? Well, it’s all well and good setting the intention, but what about the actual steps to get there?
My New Year's resolution for this year is to be more sparkly! Now obviously I’m having a little bit of fun saying that, but I got a new sparkly case for my phone, and I have new sparkly nail polish and I'm achieving my resolution as I sit at my desk right now because I am more sparkly and that makes me feel good! And guess what - if I feel good, I'm more likely to do the other things that I want to achieve as well! Snowball effect?
One of my goals for this year is to complete my very first marathon. Notice I didn't say “run” a marathon because I will not run the whole way. But I am going to complete my very first marathon. Now I could have set myself a New Year's resolution of running three times a week. I could even have set my New Year's resolution as maybe losing another 5 pounds! As completing my marathon is going to allow me to achieve these goals too.
A lot of people have “lose weight” or “get fit” as their New Year’s resolutions and then fail to achieve it, because it’s so vague! My husband actually signed me up for the marathon. I'm doing it in July. It is set in stone. So now I'm going to be running three times a week to make sure I can achieve my goal of finishing that marathon in July. To be able to complete the marathon, I had to look at the steps I need to take to get there. My training schedule is printed out and up on my fridge. It starts in a couple of weeks (watch out for the vlog of my marathon training coming soon!). I'm ready to go and I know what I'm going to be doing.
Running three times a week and increasing my mileage, so that I can complete a marathon may well lead to me losing 5 pounds because I'm going to be way more active than I have been. Therefore, I could have set a resolution of “lose weight” but I wouldn’t have had the plan to achieve the goal.
What I'm trying to get across to you is the fact that just making a resolution, just coming up with an idea of what you want to do, whether it’s “make more money” “lose weight” “get fit” “be more healthy” “get out of pain”, these are great but without the plan of how to achieve that, it’s just an idea. It's a dream. But the plan to get there needs to be put in place as well.
Maybe you need some help with that, some accountability. Maybe you need to hire a personal trainer three times a week so that you actually go to the gym and workout. Maybe you need to sign up for Weight Watchers to have the accountability of the scales. Maybe you need to join a running club or a fitness class (I teach an awesome one!). Maybe you need to get a CPA on board to really help you with your finances or a physical therapist to guide you to a pain free life. Whatever area of your life it is that you have focused on (maybe not even verbally and out loud) maybe you need some accountability, some coaching, some assistance with that so that you can see the steps. You can see the bridge from where you are right now to where you want to get to.
Did you know that this weekend is one of the most challenging weekends for our New Year's resolutions? The first weekend of the year is tough for us to continue on with eating well or continuing to stay off the booze or to be hitting the gym - this is when things start to tank. Now if you've got that knowledge maybe you can use it and think right OK what strategies can I put in place to make sure that I don't slip?
When we're building a habit, and that's really essentially what a New Year’s resolution is, it's a habit that we want to form, you may have heard that it takes 30 days to build. So, if you can get to the end of January with your New Year's resolution intact, you've got a great chance of continuing on with that great new habit for the rest of the year and even into next year!
One of my resolutions from 3 years ago was I wanted to meditate and journal every day. It was hard to find the time between two kids and work and being busy with everything else, so I now get up early before everybody else and I have half an hour where I can do my meditation and I can do my journaling. If I take a day off I feel out of whack all day because I've not done my meditation and my journaling like I normally do. I've been able to keep this going for 3 years now.
It's just taking baby steps. Don't think about the whole year, just think about today. Do it today, then tomorrow you're just going to think about tomorrow. But as you continue to build your habit you're going to see the results of your effort and as you see the results of your efforts it's going to get easier to continue on with because you're going to feel better. You're going to look better. You're going to be happier. You're going to have that sense of achievement, which is huge and once you start getting that then you're not going to want to not do it. It's just going to be part of your lifestyle. It's going to be part of what you do and that is where you want to get to.
A book that was recommended to me by one of my dear patients is called Atomic Habits by James Clear. If you've not read it, it's a really interesting read. It's all about creating good habits, positive habits that are going to help you lead a more enjoyable life. Isn't that what we all want? Shouldn't that be everybody's new year resolution?
I hope this has been helpful and know that I'm here to hold you accountable if you need it. Don't hesitate to reach out if I can help you in any way. We're all in the same situation of trying to lead a better life, be a better person and have more fun!
Let's be more sparkly!