How are your New Year’s Resolutions going?
Can you believe that we are halfway through January?!
Personally I’m refusing to believe it. I’m still waiting expectantly for the relaxed end of the year holiday feeling to kick in…. Might be waiting a while for that.
Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? About half of all Australians did, and only 12% of them will keep them. That’s an 88% failure rate! So if you’ve let eating better, exercising more, saving money, quitting smoking (or any other bad habit), or being a better person fall to the wayside, you are far from alone.
At any point in the year we can ask ourselves these questions..
What is holding me back from being my physical and emotional best?
If there was one thing that would have a really big positive impact on my life,
a thing that will lead to a ripple effect of change, what would that one thing be?
1. Define the change that is needed – For me that one thing is improving my physical health by walking / running with Hazel 3 times a week for 30 minutes, preparing healthy meals and lunches during the working week and getting into bed by 10.30pm each night. (Notice how those changes are much more specific than just ‘losing weight’ or ‘getting healthier’)
2. Why is this change important? – I’ve always been relatively healthy, and I took that for granted. Last year I found out that taking anything for granted is a really silly idea. So as I go about making changes to what I eat, how much I move, and when I get into bed, I have to come up with some really compelling reasons why a healthy meal and an early night is better than chocolate and netflix..
So why is it important to me? When I am healthy I enjoy life more, when I am rested I am a nicer person, and there is no creature happier about being outside and exercising than my 2 year old labradoodle Hazel, and seeing her happy makes me smile.
2. Pay attention & get curious
Be curious about what is actually going when you engage in the behaviour you want to change. Are you feeling stressed, tired, bored, angry? What are you getting out of the behaviour? Is it giving you comfort? Helping you relax? Distracting you from something unpleasant? It will be important to think of other ways to manage things when those triggers inevitably come up.
Check out this really interesting TED talk which explains reinforcement and how mindfulness can be used to change unhelpful habits
3. Show yourself some compassion
Making changes is difficult! Pop Psychology tells us that it takes 28 days to change a habit. It can, in fact, take much longer than that. Also contrary to popular belief, if you miss a day, no real harm is done. Just pick up again tomorrow from where you left off.
In order to get back on track ask yourself these 4 questions
What do I need to remind myself of?
What values do I need to tap back into?
What might I do differently next time I have that choice to make
What things can I change to make it easier to make the changes I want?
Let us know what you’re changing
Are there any changes you are going to make? Making your commitment public (or at least known to a few trusted people) can be really helpful.
Like Core Psychology on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/corepsychologysydney/ and let us know what changes you have in your sights. We are here to support you in any way we can.
The writing of this post was interrupted to go on a run AND have a healthy meal. Result – maximum labradoodle happiness achieved and a sense of satisfaction for me. Until next time – Tracey