Sunday, January 18, 2015

Embracing the new year

Well, we made it. 2015 is here and already nearly three weeks old.

The, so-called, silly season is over and a lot of us are already back at work. Here in NZ the kids will be heading back to school in another week or so and we will all be back into our normal daily routine.

But what if you want something different?

What if the same old, same old is getting just that, old? Sure you may have set some new years resolutions But most people have given up on them within the first week of January - some might make it to the end of January, if they are lucky.

The truth is change is hard.

We didn't set up our lives the way they are now overnight. No, it took numerous small changes over a long period of time in order for our life to look the way it does now and the truth of it is that most of it was done by default.

Just like when you buy a new phone or computer and it comes with its default settings that you spend ours trying to figure out and change to reflect you - or you give in and get your teenager to do it for you ( great plan , until they all leave home!). Your life is the same and the default settings are ones you picked up from your parents, who picked it up from their parents, and you can see where I'm going with this can't you?

Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

So how do you change it?

Ahh! now that is where it gets interesting.

Most of us look at the new year as a blank page, a fresh canvas on which we can write large the life that we dream of. We start off with a hiss and a roar, all Gung Ho and excited at the limitless possibilities - only to run smack up against the old belief
that change is hard.

Its not... but it does require persistence and here's the thing,we just don't value ourselves enough.

Think about that for a minute.

We really want to change. We make moves in that direction: we start going to the gym, we eat better, and then we skip a day... and then another and before we know it we are back where we started  so what happened to our commitment? What happened to the enthusiasm and passion we had for the changes we wanted to make?

Somewhere deep (deep,deep) inside us we don't feel that we deserve the good things in life. We don't feel we are good enough for the new version of ourselves and our dreams for our life. So we settle back into our rut of comfort and put our dreams back to sleep; with food, alcohol "just a glass of wine to unwind at the end of the day", with television and we carry on with our mind numbing same shit different day routines.

You see it is easy to let ourselves off the hook. We wouldn't do it our best friend, but letting ourselves down is a whole different ball game and something we do to ourselves over and over again.

 Here's three easy steps to make your resolutions stick

(1) Don't try and change it all at once

Take one  resolution and break it down into actionable steps. For example if your goal is to lose weight then decide that you are going to do ONE thing to aid you in that goal such as swapping water for soda.
That's it . That is all you are going to do for the next month.
Just that one thing.
The reason we give up on our goals so quickly is that we try to change EVERYTHING all at once and our sense of safety is shaken to the core so just take one small step, daily in the direction of one goal.

(2) Write that shit down

Write it out, all your goals and the steps you are going to take to do them and then commit to reading them over each day. This gives you the chance to tweak them as necessary because, let's face it, things change and what seemed like something you really, really wanted at the beginning of the year seems like more of a "Meh" goal by March.
Review your list in the morning and the evening. At the end of the day ask yourself "What did I do today to move me closer to my goals?" Write that in your journal and answer it daily to hold yourself accountable.
Some days the answer will be "nothing" and that's fine. It is only when the answer is "nothing" for days in a row that you may need to re-evaluate whether this is really something that you want to make happen or whether fear is making you procrastinate.

(3) Give yourself a time frame

If you don't set a date for when you want to have achieved X then it will just be something that you get around to "some day". Here's a clue for you: Some day is not a day on the calendar.

Be realistic. If your goal is to lose thirty pounds and your time frame is a month from now chances are pretty great that you are not going to hit it without some serious consequences.

Remember to be gentle with yourself - each day is a fresh start and you are still Fabulous!

 

 

 

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