It’s that time of the year when we’re bombarded with adverts about diets, new health foods & special gym memberships.
Do you know why?
Advertisers are making the most of the fact that many of us have over-indulged during the Xmas period and at the start of the year we’re thinking about our health more than any other time of the year. Maybe we’re setting resolutions to go to the gym, cut down on alcohol, start that new diet…..
We begin dreaming about how much better life will be once we lose those kilos, and have more energy.
It’s so tempting to buy into the ‘New Year, New You’ message as it fills us with hope.
And you see I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, it can be an absolute incredible opportunity to make some healthy and positive changes in life.
However, the difference in whether this creates the long term change we want, is down to whether we commit and take consistent action.
Working in the health and wellness industry, I see hoards of people attend yoga classes at the start of the year only to see the number drop off a few months later.
I use to do the same. At the start of the year, I’d make my health intentions – and then I’d set my alarm earlier, I’d go for a run in the morning before work, I’d clean up my diet and make my holiday plans for the year.
And this was good for a while. And then life would get busy and I’d start to allow excuses to filter through and then before I knew it I was back to my old habits. And a new thought would come through, ‘I’m no good at sticking to anything’ and ‘I’ll begin properly next year’.
The thing is if we’re not aware, we can live our entire lives waiting until next year, saying things like when X happens then I’ll begin to make positive and lasting changes in my life.
And it’s a very common issue I find with my clients as well. But it’s also something that holds so many of us back. It’s a sneaky thing that can creep up on us.
However, the more we can build our awareness around it, the more we can take action to ensure we don’t keep repeating the same unsupportive patterns.
And this topic has always interested me. ‘How can we make sustainable changes and transformation in our lives? ‘
So here are my suggestions….
3 tips for making new intentions stick
One way that you can ensure that you stick to your new intentions and form them into habits is to find yourself an accountability partner. Maybe it’s a friend or partner who will join you on your run, or who will keep you accountable to your new diet.
When we have someone keeping us accountable to our goals over a period of a few months, we’re much more likely to maintain the new habit and allow it to become a part of us. It will become a healthy habit like brushing your teeth or having a shower. Something that you hardly have to think about or remember, you just do it automatically.
2) Set small and achievable goals.
When we set big goals, they can feel too much, too overwhelming and then we easily give up on ourselves. However, if we set a smaller more achievable goal and then show up to the actions to bring it into being, then we build up our confidence for the next goal and so it continues. This is where I see such success with my clients. There’s so much truth in the saying that small shifts over time build up into big changes.
The difference in whether we stick to our goals or whether we give up on them is how we listen and then act on the resistant thoughts that will undoubtedly pop up. Telling us things like ‘I feel tired today, so I’ll start tomorrow’ or ‘maybe I’ll have a glass of wine on Monday night’, even though I committed to myself not to drink during the week.
3) Your why
what’s your reason for the goal? How will you feel when you achieve your goal? When we make shifts in our lives, we will naturally feel resistance. Know that this is part of the process. All of us feel the growing pains.
This can be one of the biggest challenges. Do we back ourselves, feel the resistance, the discomfort of change and move forward OR do we give into the excuses and stop? By connecting with your why, you are much better equipped to keep going.
Now over to you.
- Can you check in with yourself and get really honest, where have you set a goal and then stopped taking the actions towards it, because of an excuse? What excuses came up?
- Without judgement of self, just see the excuses for what they are, they’re just trying to keep you safe. Know that you can move past these thoughts.
- Think about your goals for this year? What actions and healthy habits would get you there? Write them down.
- What new story can you create in your mind, to help get you through when these excuses pop up? ie. I know that I can achieve this. I will keep moving forward in taking actions, even when my XYZ arises and ask yourself ‘what am I committed to and why?’
- What support can you find to help you achieve your goals? An accountability partner? A coach?
If you feel like you would like a wellness life coach this year to help you achieve your goals and establish new and healthy habits in your life then book in your free 30 minute discovery session with me to see if coaching will best support you.
‘Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become’ Hal Elrod