Welcome to the the third week of January. By now most women have determinedly made a list of New Year’s resolutions, expected to smoothly sail through them, got frustrated with them and abandoned them in despair.
In the past few years a new movement is emerging; the anti-resolution revolution. More and more authors, teachers, coaches and bloggers in the health and self growth movement are speaking up against the practice of making New Year’s resolutions.
Here is why this is a wonderful and welcome trend that will actually help you achieve your goals in a more realistic way.
Little Shifts Create Miracles
The statistics show that the top 3 New Year’s resolutions are all connected to our health:
Eat healthier/Lose weight
With every passing week the rate of people who stick with it drops.
Most people think of new year as a clean slate, a chance to start over and make themselves over. They see themselves as “flawed” and fantasize that on January 1st they will be able to be magically “fixed”.
The remedy: think of what you want to achieve as a life-long goal and take small steps to start and slowly and gradually increase.
For example, instead of saying:
“On January 1st I will start going to the gym 5 days a week”
Think of your life-long goal:
“I am an active woman who enjoys living an active life”
Then think of a small first step towards that vision:
“I will go to the gym on Tuesday and for a walk in the park on Friday”
Every week think of that vision and the gradual steps you can take to make it who you are.
Change Is Part Of Every Day Of The Year
Making positive changes are not exclusive to January 1st. Or Mondays. Or your birthday. Or special events.
Thinking that you can create a ‘new you’ on certain dates leads to temporary short-lived results. It creates a past that you want to discard and a future that you dream of achieving. Non of which empower you at the present. The results of your past are still here and will be here for a while. You get frustrated that you are “working hard” and not seeing fast enough “results”, which leads to discouragement and giving up.
The remedy: live in the present.
Understand that change takes time and that it is part of everyday. Make changes because they make you feel good now and empower your life, the results will come later. When you plant a seed you don’t expect it to be a fully grown plant within a day or a week, you don’t dig it out in frustration, you nurture it and wait. The nurturing becomes the important part of the process.
For example, instead of thinking:
“I need to lose 20 lbs for my sister’s wedding or I will feel horrible”
Change your attitude to:
“I am prioritizing my health everyday, I am learning to take good care of myself and my body and I am feeling good about myself. I am looking forward to celebrating my sister’s wedding with my new BFF – me!”
The #1 Killer Of All Positive Changes – The “All Or Nothing” Attitude
Because of our past history of failed New Year’s resolutions (think about it, if they would succeed we wouldn’t need to keep making them) we have a built it fear of broken promises to ourselves.
Every time we “slip” it reminds us that we can’t “stick with it” and we feel like a failure. We expect perfection, going in a straight line towards our goal without any detours. We feel elated and successful when we overcome our “weaknesses”, but eventually they get the better of us. This attitude is disastrous and will always lead to a ruin of your plan.
The remedy: expect slips and imperfections. In fact, celebrate them because they are an important part of the process and a golden opportunity to grow and learn.
Instead of declaring:
“This is useless, I swore off overeating, dairy and gluten and now I’ve gone and ruined it and made myself sick by eating 3 slices of pizza! I am a total failure!!!”
Gently remind yourself:
“Those foods and quantities don’t feel good in my body. I wonder what was going on. Let me be extra gentle with myself now, choose some lighter foods that will make me feel better and maybe treat myself to a slice of gluten free pizza once in a while and see how I’m doing with that.”
Remember, your beautiful goals deserve to be accomplished. It will not always be smooth sailing but by adopting those new attitudes of taking it a small step at a time, making a healthy choice here and now and being OK with imperfections you will reach them with a joyful heart.
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