Ditch the Resolutions: How to Create Real Change in 2019

 
goals.jpg
 

Has there ever been a new year’s resolution that you stuck with all throughout the year? A resolution that you made that is still impacting your life today? For most of us, the answer is NO. New year’s resolutions typically don’t last—but know that it is not your fault!

A new year’s resolution of considering what you want to shed from the past year and what you want to grow into throughout the new year is a healthy exercise to do. Unfortunately, these resolutions are usually implemented by the “fantasy and dream” approach. This approach is usually done by thinking of things you would like to do and then just waiting for them to happen. This “fantasy and dream” approach does not address the harsh reality that our internal resistance and challenges to change will still be there. Without any direction or plan on how to make the resolution happen, there will never be any action. Without action, there can be no progress and without progress you ultimately end up feeling like a failure.

This is where creating a vision for your year can offer you the opportunity to connect with the positive feelings elicited by believing in your ability to change while tapping into the specific goals and action steps that will help you create and deliver the change you desire.

Believe in yourself: You have the capability to grow, change and evolve.

Creating a clear vision allows you to connect with what you want—and super importantly—to believe in the possibility that what you want is attainable. When you have a vision for your life, you can create movement, direction and ACTION towards creating and living a life that you love.

To begin, you will need to spend time reflecting, writing, drawing or collaging your vision. Visioning is a fun, creative process and increases right brain activity. The right side of the brain is where your creative, imaginative and dreamy energy flows. Once you create your vision you can begin to extract out the specific goals. Goal setting activates the left brain, which is the logical, reasoning and evaluating side of the brain. Visioning and goal setting allow the right and left side of the brain to work together.

It is ideal to start with one or two goals so as not to feel overwhelmed. Prioritizing is extremely important. Once you have selected which goal to focus on first, it is important to make your goal is measurable, doable, and desirable. A measurable goal is one where you can gauge your progress consistently. The goal also needs to be doable, if it won’t realistically fit into your life you will most likely not follow through. And lastly, it needs to be desirable, you have to WANT it. This is connecting to and knowing deeply within your WHY behind the goal. You can read more about that here!

The next phase is creating action steps, which are the actions you will commit to taking daily that move you in the direction of achieving your goal. You will want to have five action steps that create movement and direction and are just that: actionable. Without action there is no movement forward, and this is where the good ole new year’s resolutions often let us down.

Once you have your action steps, there is one final step. You have to have a PLAN! Without a plan, no progress will be made and your vision will continue to be a thought or desire swimming around in your head. When you create a plan and place your intentions into your mindset to take action you offer the ability to act, grow and change. This creates progress and progress feels so good. It is inherently rewarding!

To start your plan, take the time to write down your action steps in your planner or create a list of when you will complete your action steps. This will allow your action steps to transform over time into a new healthy habit. Once you’ve created a new habit, you will find that you no longer have to force yourself to take action, actions will simply become engrained into your routines. Once you feel that this goal has been met and you no longer feel any resistance to taking action, you can move on to your next goal and approach it in exactly the same manner.

This process creates real, sustainable progress and change, moving deliberately and consistently in the direction of your vision. Continue with this process and you will create a life you LOVE as you live your VISION.

The ONE Strategy You Need to Achieve Your 2019 Wellness Goals

 
path.jpg
 

Approaching another new year often creates a desire to reflect on the past year and consider what you want for the year ahead. New year’s resolutions are a fun pastime that create a fantasy of becoming a better version of yourself. This is why they often do not last longer than a few weeks, if that!

You may have begun a wellness journey time and time again, only to get caught up with the many other areas of your life that pull you out of your wellness routines and then it slowly falls away over time. This is common when you approach your wellness goals with a simple outcome of wanting to eat better or exercise or to just “be healthy.” While these are reasonable and legitimate desires, I’d like to ask you to dig a little deeper. I want you to ask yourself the WHY you want to achieve this goal in the first place. When you know this—your WHY, your 2019 wellness goals will be achievable.

If your goal is to eat healthier, WHY? If your goal is to exercise, WHY? If your goal is to create more work-life balance, WHY? If your goal is to end a potentially harmful habit, WHY?

And here’s the kicker, your WHY better be good! Your WHY better be something that drags you out of bed day in and day out. Your WHY better be important enough to create focus and determination after any inevitable backsliding to ensure you don’t give up on your goal—that you don’t give up on yourself.

Do you want to live a long happy life? Do you want to prepare your body to host your future children? Do you want to avoid primarily life-style driven diseases such as diabetes, cognitive impairment and heart disease? Do you want to be a role model for a child? Do you want to feel amazing? Do you want to travel around the world with your grandchildren?

By determining your WHY, your wellness goal becomes more authentic and meaningful. No matter what your goal is, the WHY behind your goal will be the reminder that you are trying to create something much greater for your life. The WHY will be the kick in your behind to start, stick with it or to get back on track without beating yourself up, or worse, giving up.

Even though your motivation will wax and wane, knowing your WHY is a constant. The WHY is more likely to jolt you back into action mode if your motivation lessens as time goes by. Rather than the generic “I want to be healthier in 2019” or “I want to exercise more in 2019,” your new mindset might be: “I want to eat vegetables with every meal in 2019 to not have to take blood pressure medication” or “I want to exercise three times per week to be a good role model for my children in 2019.”

When you finally connect with your own personal WHY, you have to put it to good use. One way to ensure you remain focused on your WHY is to make it visible constantly. Creating affirmation cards where you write, draw, paint or collage your WHY on note cards and leave them—well—everywhere—will help keep your WHY in the forefront of your mind. You can also place reminders of your WHY on your cell phone that pop up daily or even hourly to keep your WHY fresh in your mind, heart and soul. When motivation comes from within, you are far more likely to act—to follow through—to MAKE YOUR LIFE HAPPEN!

Your WHY will get you out of bed to take that class, to sit on your meditation cushion, to continue with weekly meal plan and prep, to maintain date nights with your partner, to exercise consistently, to eat those veggies, to prioritize sleep or to not spend time or resources on something you don’t truly need.

So, when you think about your goal, what comes up for you? What is your WHY? Can you dig deep and create a reason that makes you jump out of bed in the morning and keeps you focused in times of challenge? Your WHY is yours, no one else’s. Don’t judge your WHY, don’t downplay your WHY, and definitely don’t forget your WHY!

Focus on your WHY and the action will follow, it will have to. Focus on the action and you will be reminded of your WHY. They work together and need one another. Now that you have considered your WHY, spend some time reflecting on how you will use it to begin your goal or re-engage with your goals. Do you have a goal in mind for 2019 and have you determined your WHY? Let me know, I’d love to hear what will help to keep you energized and focused along your personal path to wellness.