Well, here we are wrapping up the end to another year and today also happens to be my birthday. As I reflect upon the 2019 I can say I have definitely learned a lot about myself, becoming more clear on who I am, what I want for myself, and what I need to work on. This is the time of year when everyone starts considering resolutions to do or stop doing something for the near year. I prefer to set goals throughout the year instead of just proclaiming a resolution where I am no longer going to continue a bad habit or start a good one. The true success behind accomplishing the desire is the game plan and action behind it but most of all, making it believable and achievable in your mind.
To state your are going to lose 50 pounds or quit smoking is a big commitment right out the gate. I find setting small goals is the best way to find bigger success. Maybe set your goal to lose 6 pounds by Valentines Day and another 4 by St. Patrick’s Day. So by mid-March you are already 10 pounds down! If you want to quit smoking just steadily cut back when and where you smoke. Be realistic so you can stick with it, for example, if you want to drink more water and you barely drink one bottle of water a day now…then you probably will not be able to go straight into drinking 7 bottles of water daily and sticking with it long term. Actually, I highly recommend habit stacking when setting a goal like increasing water intake. I always drink a bottle of water when I first get up in the morning (I have it by my bedside ready) and then another on my drive to work. Usually I drink another on the commute home as well, so that is a guaranteed 3 bottles that I just associate with other activities I am already doing. I have done it for so long that I just automatically have a bottle by my bedside and always grab one when I head out to my car to drive anywhere. Habit stacking is one of the best tools I have found for building productive morning and evening routines. I highly recommend Atomic Habits by James Clear to learn more.
Too often I see people looking for the quick and easy way to success only to end up with more problems than anticipated. I have a friend who has been on prescription sleep aids for over 30 years and the side effects of those medications are not good. When I ask him what else he has tried to help the situation I realize it isn’t much, he has just chose to take the pill because it’s easy. The real work is in the healthy option which would mean, cutting back on alcohol, losing weight, exercising more, removing the electronics from your bedroom, having a healthier night-time routine and not eating or drinking caffeine too close to bedtime. The easy button is not usually the best way. How bad do you want it? What would your life look like when you do accomplish this goal? Being able to fully imagine and believe the positive affects of the success in your life is helpful when trying to stick to the steps of a goal. However, we are all human and setbacks will occur.
Be gentle with yourself and understand that change is not an overnight occurrence. It takes time to build good, healthy habits and routines. You may start off determined and strong for a month and then have a whole week where you are tired and just don’t care. Instead of beating yourself up over that one week and giving up, get back on it and start again. If you continue to do well three weeks at a time and fall off on the fourth, I promise at the end of the year you will still be better off than where you started. Our whole lives we have been falling and getting back up again, why is it acceptable for children but not adults? We are all experiencing each new day for the first time. I have never been 42 before! I am navigating my life at 42 years old for the first time today and I can promise you I will probably fuck something up! Hahaha! So give yourself grace and learn to laugh at the learning process, but never give up and never stop setting goals to better yourself.
With love, health, and happiness for the new year,