Unfortunately the statistics for sticking to New Years resolutions are not high – I should know, as I seem to make the same ones every year? Planning on losing a stone in weight, giving up alcohol and chocolate, not to mention getting fit and attending the gym two or three times a week!! The list is exhaustive but we invariably fail at the first hurdle. It is hardly surprising as we live in a fast paced world with too many commitments not to mention stress and, of course, temptation. Our Self-control and willpower are continually put to the test and it easy to slip up and not keep up our good intentions. It becomes an added ‘pressure’ to enforce change in one’s already busy and full lives.
We invariably spend more time planning our resolutions for the New Year than we do thinking about planning for our life ahead. Without specific goals it is very easy to drift and not be in control.
So how do we go about making changes that will benefit our health and well-being without being onerous? It is about making everything about “Me” or “It is like me” and by changing ones own perception then forming new habits will become a reality and much easier to maintain.
We start by making realistic and relevant goals to achieve during the year rather than immediate based on the perception of the new “me”. The changes are subtle but relevant. It is all about what and how you see yourself with clear aims and objectives which to channel your effort and energy. The key is to make small and regular changes to move towards your goal.
Begin with thinking about what your perspective of “like me” is.
- I love being fit
- I enjoy eating healthily
- I walk my dog everyday come rain or shine
- I am a social drinker
- I call my parents regularly
The subconscious mind will work to achieve the things that you think about most of the time whether you want them or not. So by saying I won’t eat chocolate you end up eating chocolate as that is all you can think about and becomes all consuming. By shifting your focus to “eating more healthy meals” it becomes a more positive approach. One can start by having one healthy meal today, and then increase it to two days until you are eating a healthy meal once every day. When this becomes the norm increase it to two a day and so on. These are small changes but will have a huge impact over the course of a year. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat chocolate or have that glass of wine but by being more selective you are thinking about the new “me” image you plan to be.
This also goes for exercise, the thought of going to the gym before or even after work whilst it is pitch black outside doesn’t bear thinking about, unless of course you are in that minority group who love going to the gym. So how about taking a brisk walk at lunchtime, perhaps moving around the office more rather than emailing that colleague who is sitting less than 30 yards away. Taking the stairs rather than the lift, parking the car that bit further away. These all contribute to a healthy and more active lifestyle. If your new attitude is “it is like me to be fit and active” then you are more likely to think about being active and how you can find exercises to fit in with your day to day routine. Make it an easy habit which is ‘like you’ to do.
This new thought process can be turned to any situation and will encourage you to act as the person you want to be.
Remember each day is an opportunity to make a fresh start so invest in making better use of each day and stop thinking and day dreaming about a better future.
Focus on today!