The New Year gives each of us the opportunity to look at the previous year and determine what we would like to create for the future. All too often the promise of: “New Year - New You” encourages unrealistic goals and results in stress in attempting to meet these goals. As a healthcare professional I absolutely believe in striving to meet your health goals in the New Year, but I also want to ensure you achieve them too. Here are some tips that will help you to achieve your goals AND make it a loving journey.
Not a Finite Thing but a Lifestyle
Typically, when people make goals for their health and fitness, these goals are complicated and don’t feel loving eg. I must workout for an hour each day WITHOUT FAIL!!! What about that seems fun, inviting or loving towards yourself? Instead wouldn’t it be better to create a goal like: I will promote a healthier lifestyle and commit each day to that goal. In the second example you give yourself the opportunity to make health a mindset and it gives you freedom to be creative in how you reach those goals. When you are loving towards yourself, you are encouraging success and making health a life change rather than just a goal for the new year.
Small steps = Big success
Taking a small step toward your ultimate goal each day will achieve success because you create a habit out of the goal and when you look back next year the change will be there. All too often we hold on to the pervasive idea that we can change our bodies with a short period of activity and commitment. For some that may be true. But for the vast majority, we need to shift out mindset in order to truly support our goals. Much like in my practice, we need to have a treatment plan in order to retrain our bodies back into health and the most effective way is an small adjustment repeatedly and regularly to bring the body back into alignment. If you commit to activity for 20 minutes 3-5 times a week it may appear to be small but 20 mins is an amount of time that you can find in your busy day, and it can shift and change around what is pressing in your life.
One of the major challenges in committing to a new health plan is sticking to it. When your day takes over doing for others – how much are you giving back to yourself? We expect so much from ourselves regularly; piling more stress and expectation is not healthy. Instead of judging yourself when you have a day where you needed to shift priorities and can’t hit all of your goals for yourself, close your eyes and ask: What healthy thing did I do for myself today? Maybe you took a nap with the kids, you took the stairs at work the whole day or you meditated while you were on the train. Take the negative chatter of: “I didn’t do what I was supposed to” and increase your awareness of health to include other types of victories that reinforce your health and encourage you to stay positive.
Remember that change takes time and if you are falling off track or losing momentum, take a look at your goals and use the tips above to see if they can be improved. By following these steps you will not only reach your health goals but also make the journey a more loving experience.