Its that time again. The beginning of a New Year. Where we set resolutions and intentions for who we want to be, and what we want to do in 2022. This will either spark you up or make you cringe. One thing is for sure, many of us get excited about our New Year Resolutions. It is the chance to bring in positive and healthy changes into our lives.
As a Health & Life Coach this is a busy time with people reaching out for support and accountability around their health goals for 2022. Some of these goals are joining the gym, changing their eating habits, and even losing that extra Covid weight they put on. I adore new healthy habits; I also understand that new year resolutions often fall away after about three weeks into the year.
But why? Why is it that this always tends to happen?
Here is one common denominator that I have observed not only with my clients but with myself. Here it is folks:
We Move Too Quickly
We jump right into our new intention with huge changes, every day, for two weeks and burn out fast. Then we spend the next few weeks berating ourselves for not sticking with our new plan. We often end up feeling guilty, ashamed, and completely give up. Sound familiar?
So, this year I encourage a different approach to our new year goals. Do not give up on setting one! It can be fun to begin making shifts towards what we genuinely want. This year lets allow compassion into our journey to achieving our goals.
Here are three tools to help create a successful journey to your NEW YOU.
- Curiosity over Judgement
1. Curiosity over Judgment
Our brains do not like change. Our bodies love to change but our brains can be real jerks when it comes to making healthier choices in our lives. Our brains will do anything and everything to keep us the same. An effective way to know our brain is trying to keep us the same is when we begin to judge ourselves. We are going to fall off track a bunch of times when learning a new habit. This is part of the process. So, expect to fail a bunch! When you do, choose to be curious as to “why” you fell of track. Ask yourself the questions:
- Am I overdoing it?
- Am I putting too much pressure on myself to be perfect at this?
- Do I need to rest?
- Am I putting others’ needs before my own?
- What do I need to have in place to get back on track?
- What support do I need right now?
- Is this my brain being a jerk?
Taking a moment to get curious allows those judgmental thoughts to slowly go away. Remember two things! Judgment cannot live in a curious mind and small steps create big results. The smaller the better.
Being consistent over being perfect will lead you directly to your goals. Every day this means doing one small, tiny thing that puts you on the path of what you want. When we do one small thing everyday, we begin to build the muscle of consistency.
Imagine you joined a gym. The first day you walk in and go to lift 100lbs. There is a good chance without any training you would end up injuring yourself or feeling like it was too heavy and give up. But if you go to the gym on the first day and start with 5lbs and over time you increase the weight little by little, in no time you would be lifting 100lbs easily. This is building muscle. Consistency is the same practice. We must learn to build it daily in small steps with compassion and curiosity.
We as humans thrive best in an environment that is supportive and encouraging. When we are supported and encouraged, we tend to do more and try harder. We can be our very own cheerleader when it comes to making changes that last. The simplest way to have lasting results is to celebrate every little step you take each day towards your goals. By celebrating we begin to create a mindset of success. We build upon our confidence that we CAN do anything!
So go ahead, celebrate yourself each day for every step! Look in the mirror or say it aloud to yourself “GOOD JOB SELF!” this will feel silly at first. We aren’t accustomed to praising ourselves, especially for small wins. This self talk of celebration begins to wire the brain to keep going. This is how motivation is built. Just like a muscle.
Creating any lasting change is best done in baby steps. By beginning with one small action and adding to that each week or so. The bigger the changes you need to make in your life the smaller the steps need to be. This is how results are built, by creating a foundation first. When I began my health journey 4 years ago, I began with drinking one glass of lemon water in the morning. That’s it! I changed nothing else for a couple of weeks. I was so proud of myself for being consistent in my water intake that after a few weeks I added in something else. 4 years later I went from being an unactive, heavy smoker and junk food lover to a gym going, yoga lover, smoke free Health Coach and Personal Health Chef (that still eats chips guilt free!) It all started with one small step.
Starting a new healthier habit takes time. When we face our new year resolution with curiosity, consistency, and celebration of the baby steps along the way, the resolution will no longer be a goal, it will be who we are.
It is who we become along the journey that truly matters, Lets celebrate that!!