New Year, Same Old Story?
We often get asked, “How do I stick to New Year’s Resolutions?” and I think people are often surprised by our response, “Don’t set them in the first place!”. Like crash diets, they might work for a week or a month, but it’s usually not a long term fix, here’s why…
Resolutions on repeat
We often set big New Year’s Resolutions for things we think we should do. Get fit, lose weight, get a better job, eat better, get more sleep...sound familiar? They’re often the goals you have set for more than one year! I had ‘learn to meditate’ on my list for about 5 years solid before I actually did anything about it - it was right up there alongside, ‘get fit’. So why wasn’t I following through? Why was I one of the millions who would join the gym in January and then have lost my membership card by the second week of February? If something is that important to us, why do we not make it happen?
Drop the ‘should’
Thing is, telling yourself you ‘should’ do something is a surefire way of guaranteeing your internal rejection of it! When faced with an internal voice in our head that is the equivalent of a parent standing with a finger pointing in our face - our natural response is to say rebel against it and find every reason under the sun to avoid, reject or defer achieving it! Never ‘should’ all over yourself is a great rule to live by - when you hear yourself saying this, observe your response...it’s never positive, motivated or inspired action that follows!
It’s all about the why
Unless you have a really compelling reason for making the change (especially if there’s a lot of effort involved in the goal you have), you’re highly likely to give up at the first sign of discomfort. Remember, anything that involves some level of change is going to be met by your subconscious resisting the change at some points so be prepared for that! It likes being comfortable so the resistance is very normal. So, setting goals (notice the lack of word ‘resolutions’) that really mean something to you, is the way forward. You can do that by working out what your real reasons are for wanting that particular goal. Play the why game. First outline the top three goals you believe you want to make happen in the next year. Then for each of them, simply ask yourself, “Ok, why is that important to me?”. When you answer it, write it down, then ask yourself again, “And why is that important? What will that do for me?”. Do this five times. Notice what happens, what responses do you have, do you notice any physical discomfort, any emotional reactions to your responses?
When you dig a bit and go under the skin of the initial goals, you may come up with a blank - that’s ok, then just rule that out as a goal for now. Literally rule out having that as a goal, put a line through it - give yourself a break from it! If you don’t have a reason why you ‘should’ do it and it’s been on your list for years, then just forget about it. You were never really going to try and do it in the first place, it just somehow makes you feel better by saying that you are! Sometimes we have just got a something in our head that’s like a stuck record (showing my age with that expression!), maybe at some point it was important to you or maybe you wanted to do it for somebody else. Whatever the reason, if you don’t feel compelled after playing through the ‘why’ responses, then it’s a non-starter.
Now hopefully, you have really discovered for some of your goals, what your underlying reason for change is. For me, I always was worried about how I looked in clothes, wearing a bikini on holiday - the usual stuff. I had always been fit and trained a lot before I had Kaleb but after having him, I really struggled to get back in shape. I had slipped into a lot of bad habits and I was still at my post baby weight when he was two, even though I had done lots of crash diets, fasting, etc. So when I went through this exercise with Cheryl and really dug deep into what I wanted and why I wanted it - I had the revelation that my desire for change was actually much different. I wanted to be a role-model for my son. I wanted him to see healthy food and eating habits. I wanted exercise and activity to be part of his normal life. I never wanted him to have an unhealthy relationship with food or with his body, unlike how I had been raised with my mother constantly criticising her body and crash dieting. I wanted healthy, happy, positive food and body habits and mindset for him. That was it! Once I stopped saying, “I should fit in these jeans by now”, and started saying, “I am a great role-model for my son and we have a healthy lifestyle” - the whole game changed!
It’s all about mindset
Getting your mind to work for you and changing your beliefs, patterns of behaviour and therefore daily activities because they are connected to a profound desire for change, is what creates a long term success strategy with your goals. Connect with it, commit to it and create the change you desire - there’s no ‘should’ involved. For some, it can be as simple as that, for some of us we need more help with it, through friends or a Coach or a course.
Whatever you have decided for your goals to be in 2019, go at them with gusto! Enjoy the journey, embrace the ups and downs and ask for help and support from the people who are best placed to guide you in the right direction. Be brave and bold with them, don’t do half measures. Go for the things that scare the pants off you! The things you want so much that you’re almost scared to say them out loud.
This is your life - love every second of it.
Love and hugs,
Donna & Cheryl xx
If getting a healthy relationship with your body and creating a success mindset around your holistic health goals is something you want help with by the way, then check out our unique programme ‘The Weight Is Over’. We have put all of our own experience into helping you get clear on your body and health goals, with the support from us as your coaches and the group you will be working in to get the results you want. It’s not about counting calories. It’s about finding your inner confidence and freedom to be happy in your own skin!