Are you ready for 2018?
Let’s be honest about this… The new year has just begun and perhaps, like so many others, you too are finding that it already feels like the old year… even if you want it to be a new beginning, reality hits the fan come Tuesday when we were back and work. What happens to your goals and intentions then?
Goal and intentions.
Actually, I don’t want to know about your goals and intentions. I want to know how you are going to get what you want from the new year and why it matters to you. See the way I think about goals and intentions is that they are dreams, direction and something to work towards. And that is very important, but focusing on the goal is not what is going to help you get there. Not in daily life and during times of stress and trouble. Which, let’s face it, that is really what a lot of daily life is made up of.
Goals gives us a sense of purpose and direction that helps us determine what choices we make, but I also know first hand that we might not get what we want and we might not get to the goal we had in mind. And that is ok, but what will you do with it?
Studies show, that by February most people (94% actually) have dumped their New Year resolutions, goals and intentions. Why do we do that? Were they not important enough to begin with? Were they more that we could achieve? Do we not believe in ourselves that we can reach our goals, so we might as well give up now?
What makes it work?
It could be all of the above, but I think it is more about not planning how everyday life would be WITH the goals and intentions that we have. What I mean is… what will it feel like to have achieved those goals and intentions? Do they ring true to you? Are they what you really want or what you think you should do?
I used to have a boss who had a quote on his wall, “if you cannot imagine it, you cannot reach it”. Let’s turn that quote around and say… “to reach a goal you have to be able to imagine reaching it”.
But what does reaching a goal really mean?
To reach a goal we have to instill new habits in order to get there – and these habits have to become a new everyday routine, – that you enjoy doing. This is the most important part!!
“Will-power is not going to get you there, love-power is”
We need a strategy for how to get there, because just wanting it is not enough. That is why you want it is so important.
When stress and everyday life and worries hit (and they will), the first thing we let go of is what what is new and we fall back on old habits that we know will get us thru.
It is how we end up functioning on survival mode every day, rather than thriving mode. And it sucks because it keeps us stuck. And, -it is not your fault! It is how we function as human beings. If we have not trained ourselves for the new habits, we will fall back on old habits when the stress hits. That is why change is sooooo hard.
So it can sound as if this is impossible in the rut of daily challenges – and if I tell you, yes you are right, it is not easy… will it help you keep going even when it is not easy?
That is why you need a plan for how to deal with the daily challenges AND work towards your goals at the same time. It is the difference between getting there and not, that you include the reality of what you already know about your daily life.
Let me give you an example.
I used to do meditation and yoga first thing in the am every day about 10 years. Then something in my life changed and I changed my morning routine. Now I still want to do yoga and mediation first thing in the morning, but in the meantime I am 55 years old and my body does not want to do yoga first thing. So… Shall I try to force myself to do yoga first thing, or shall I honor my body and figure out another way to do my yoga on a daily basis?
Now your situation might be different but let’s stay with a morning routine. Say you want to eat breakfast every morning, but you always get up too late. So you can tell yourself, “I want to eat breakfast every morning” as your intention. But what do you need so you can make that happen? Maybe you need to get to bed earlier? That is what your self-care strategy then is.
I want…. and to do that…. I need to do this….
So instead of just wishing for what you want for 2018, make a plan for how you are going to get there and what your everyday life will be like, – and then start practicing your new habits. One at a time.
One at a time, not an overhaul.
Not “I’m a new person tomorrow” kind of thing. When I was a kid I would always make up this personality of who I would be for the new school year. Being an only child, my inner world was my friend and I believed that anything was possible as long as I acted as the new me. So yes that is a child’s mind of imagination, but there was something to it because when I felt as the new me inside, acted as the new me on the outside, my perception of my everyday life also changed, but of course it did not really work long term, because I did not have a plan for dealing with the fact that everything around me stayed the same.
Essentially that is what we want the new habits to do for us. But it takes us believing in them. It takes us behaving as if. It takes us changing the belief system of “who we are” to “who we can be”. Or rather, who we really are without all the negative-limiting-belief-system-beat-ourselves-up-selftalk-and-daily-inner-critic-messages that we are so busy keeping up with, rather than the inner-coach-you-can-do-it-and-you-are-worth-it-messages. Think… what would you tell a friend who needs encouragement, not empty positivity, but heart-felt encouragement.
What does ready mean?
For me it means I’m curious, excited and ready to engage with what comes my way. I learned a long time ago that I have absolutely no control over what happens. I do have control over what I do with it though and that is where our choices matter. So whatever happens. Don’t give up. Don’t beat yourself up. And look for how to best navigate what life gives you. Life might also give you something you could never have imagined or expected so why not start out 2018 with hopes, dreams and intentions. And instead of resolutions and goals, focus on a self-care strategy of daily habits that help you live a life you love every day. Now. Not when you reach your goal. Now
So dream up what you want for 2018 (I certainly have big dreams) but make them real by focusing on how you are going to make it happen, what are the little habits that will add up, and why it matters to you to get there.
“Every little habit counts so take some time to think about the little stuff you do every day that adds up, and find onething to change at a time.”
Ask for help
We all have to work together, we need people around us that inspire us and believe in us. Find people who share your hopes and dreams for themselves too. People who want grow, learn, change.
“Change is the most daunting and scary even if that is what we crave the most, because change is new. It is outside of your comfort zone and it “hurts”. Sometimes more than just staying stuck, but only for awhile. A much shorter while than staying stuck.”
If you need me for support, inspiration and help to grow, I am here for personal coaching (skype and in-person in NYC) and I also have my online program, which will see some changes this year coming with more video content and webinars for subscribers.
The online program is designed to function the way I would coach you for change. There is a lot of food and health information that I turn into your wisdom by teaching you how to apply it to you. Information is just stuff to remember, wisdom is the foundation, the resources we all have inside to pull from, which I guide you on how to access in the online program.
Each step, 9 in total, is an integration of 3 key ingredients for sustainable change, food-knowledge, mindfulness and habit-shifting. So for each food-knowledge session, one food group at a time. In each step I tie in the body-awareness and mindfulness that it takes to know yourself more so you can change your habits. And then the last part of each step is to practice changing habits. It is the practicing new habits that create change and it is where we tend to get lost, because we bite over more than we can chew. (How did you like that pun:)
You can also sign up for my free 27-days-to-new-habits. It is a daily mindfulness email about how to create change in your daily habits.
I wish you an amazing 2018
-and I hope you will dream big and start small.
One more thing… I have a special treat for you if you want to join me for the online program.
And… also consider my book to help you create a sustainable way of eating for the new year instead of dieting. My book (and I) EAT TO FEEL FULL and nourish yourself for good has been featured on TV across the country for being the new way to eat – the non-diet, or rather how to break up with dieting.