So, here we are in January! A new year! So exciting! Well, maybe…
so often by this point we’re reconsidering those new years resolutions, we’ve fallen off the new diet, exercise program, mindfulness practices, organization system, etc. We’re trying, we really are, but change can be hard!!!! That’s not just me whining, it’s the truth, change can be hard, so here are a couple of tips to keep you on track, and when needed, bump you back into play.
Gradual slopes are easier to climb- which is to say, make slow steady changes instead of doing everything at once, cold turkey. Often times we want to change so many things, so many BIG things, that we convince ourselves we need to clear the whole tabletop in one swipe. Well, according to success research, that’s not the best way. More often than not, people find that making small changes, and doing them consistently (at least 3-4 times a week) lead to better results. Add one thing at a time. there is no need to change your entire eating program, while adding 6 days a week workouts, 3 hours a week of yoga, meditating everyday, all at once. That’s just crazy making!!! Do one thing for a month, and then add another thing. Allow yourself to make one new thing a routine, and THEN add another. Remember each thing you add takes time, so PLAN for how you’re going to fit each new thing in. which leads me to my next tip.
Schedule it! – by now you’re old enough to realize that time is finite. Only 24 hours in a day, and sleep still needs to be 6-8 of those. When we’re setting ourselves up for success, we have to schedule that success. Trust me on this, you won’t just magically “have time” to fit all your new habits into your already full life. Most of us work, have spouses/partners/children/families, activities, etc. life is full already, so where are you making time for your new habit? I’m going to bet you have a cell phone. Did you know they have calendars built right in??!!! SO COOL! Yeah, so you need to get out that calendar, or if you’re still kickin’ it old school, like me, you have an actually paper calendar. Put those bad boys to use! Schedule in your new behaviors and be practical about the time its going to take. 30-minute workouts don’t just take 30 minutes. It’s the getting there, getting dressed in your sporty clothes, work out, shower, redress, go home. An hour is shot on a 30-minute workout. Be practical, think it through. This isn’t about giving your excuses to get out of it, it is truly about setting yourself up for success. If your new habit doesn’t sync with your life, you’re not going to stick to it long term. And we’re in this for the long term!
Give yourself a break – when you’re in something for the long term, the “damn, I messed up” isn’t the end of the world. Let’s not throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. Too often, our ego convinces us that if we mess up once, we’re doomed. We’ve ruined everything and we’ll never succeed. Lighten up! Making changes that are truly about moving you forward, and building a better you take effort and attention, and in the middle of that, LIFE happens. Its not going to be perfect all the time, and it doesn’t need to be. as I tell my clients, “its about progress, not perfection” and “some is better than none, any day of the week”. If its about exercise, remember exercise is just moving for a period of time. walking, gardening, running up and down the stairs, anytime you’re up and not sitting, you’re moving, and it all adds up to you heading the right direction. At my house, I’m trying to get back into more whole foods/home cooked. We’re a pretty busy family, and the holidays were long and tough on our daily diets, and my gut is feelin’ it! So, I’m cooking more, simple foods, whole foods. Its not a perfect world, and next week we’re on vacation, down South. Man, I miss Southern cooking! Its not going to be perfect, but its about the balance. Whole foods can be found away from home, I know this is true, and while I want to taste everything, a “taste” is just a taste, it does not have to be the whole bucket of southern fried chicken. There are three of us, and we know how to share, and we’re only gone a week, and then we’re back home to normal. Its fine, we’ll be ok. Remember, LONG HAUL.
Lastly, from a coaches standpoint, but specific about what you’re going after. If its about exercise, how much and how often, and what kind. Food. What, where, how? Meditation or self care anyone? Again, when, how long, what are you doing for yourself? Write out a plan, and be clear about what you’re doing, how long you’re doing it, and how will you know when you’re achieving some success? we an instant gratification society. Make sure you have places to land along the way to your goal. You’ll want a feeling of success before the big goal at the end, or staying power will be hard to come by. Put markers in along the way. What will you see, feel, notice, think that will tell you you’re building success? write it out and have a plan. If you want to be successful you have to know what “success” IS in regard to that one thing, because its different, for everything we do. How we measure our success or fulfillment, changes based on the subject we’re talking about. So, be clear!
Implementing these few simple tips can and will help you get yourself on a healthy, happy, successful track for 2019. We’ve got 11 more months to go folks, let’s enjoy the ride!!