Hopefully, you’ve been able to keep those resolutions! Many times we start to falter as we move deeper into January and February. We often have a tough time making and maintaining change. Why? It doesn’t have to be that way! Things change every day. We are just not always aware of the changes going on around us. The sun rises in the East and sets in the West day after day. What’s different about the rising and setting of the sun? The time is different. It never rises and sets at exactly the same each day! We just don’t perceive the difference until it hits us how dark it is at 4:30 pm on the Winter Solstice. The gradual change makes it more difficult to distinguish the changes. (Take heart, the sun shines a little longer each day now!)
Think about the changes you’ve been wanting to make in your life. Do you expect the change to happen immediately or are you prepared to slowly evolve into a newer version of yourself? We tend to start our change process with a New Years Resolution. But why do we wait until the New Year to make changes? It was Buddha that said, “Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” Every day we are given a opportunity to make a change in our lives. The change can be big or small but every change we make will impact us some how. To get the most out of the changes you want to make, be sure to have a plan to help you make and maintain those changes fro the long term. Resolutions don’t have to be all or nothing. It’s not a pass-fail game. If you start with the end in mind, this can help figure out what actions steps you’ll need to complete to reach your goal. It’s important to have a goal BUT, it’s more important to to break that goal down into manageable steps. We like to use the SMART Step System to help clients find change success. You may have heard about the SMART System:
S:Specific ~ Be specific about what you are going to do. It’s not enough to say you are going to eat healthier or exercise more. Specify what that means to you. How do you define eating healthier or exercising more?
M:Measurable ~ You want to see how often you are doing or not doing something. If part of your healthier eating plan was to include more fruit, how many pieces a day did you want to eat?
A: Achievable or Action-Oriented ~ This is getting you to take the steps necessary to meet your overall goal. Break the bigger goal down into smaller components that you can work on each day. You can also use the “A” to represent Accountability. Being accountable to someone can help drive you when you feel like giving up. Find a person that will have a positive impact on your drive towards your goal and, if you’re comfortable, share your goal and your action step you plan to use to reach them.
R: Realistic ~ Important area here! We are not saying choose an easy task that won’t cause you much stress. What we are saying is that we need to be able to meet and exceed our action step and keep moving forward. You want to stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone. We often work with clients that want to lose weight. They would like to lose 20 pounds in a month. While that is possible, it is typically not probable, nor is it healthy! You can lose that 20 pounds but it may take a little longer than 30 days!
T: Time Driven or Target Date: Set a date to accomplish your action step. If your
goal is to workout more often, say 4 times a week, choose an exercise, choose the time of day and the days of the week. Doing so will help you better visualize how and when you will accomplish your step. This can also help you overcome potential barriers that may keep you from finishing that action step.
So take control of each and every day! Use it to help you move forward with your plan. It may be of help to write down what it is you want to change and why that change will be helpful to you. Think about what it is that motivates you to make that change. Make that motivation a personal priority for you. And if you have a hard time staying on track, remember, there is no failure but opportunities to find out what doesn’t work for us. So try something new or different! Each new day gives us a new beginning! Here’s to a Happy & Healthy New Year!
“It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!”