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New Year, Healthier You.

Posted by Carla Andrews on Sunday, December 28, 2014 Under: Personal Development

Every January the car park to nearly all leisure centres are at bursting point, the pool, the gym and classes are all full of eager users. But come mid Feb, it is back to the same regulars who attend all year round. So, what happens to the droves of people that had set their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, or become healthier?

Many had made a resolution... ‘I am going to lose weight’, and maybe they added a how, ‘by going to the gym 5 times a week’. Sound familiar? Resolutions are an idea, and a pretty flimsy one at that. Think back to last New Year’s Eve, did you make a resolution then, how long did it last, a day or two, maybe a couple of weeks? This year turn your resolution into a goal and here's why - Goals with a solid 'why' behind them are more likely to last the distance and help you reach success.

I recently meet someone who had been admitted to and A&E because she could not breathe properly mainly due to the fact of her smoking. Her first words to me where ‘I have to have it’. That there is the first problem, ‘I have to have it’. Our own internal language can be negative, but the key is that it is our internal language, so we are the ones in charge and we can reverse it. ‘I have to have it’, could be changed into ‘I used to need it, I don’t anymore, because I am strong enough to do without it’. What about a very common one, ‘I can’t do it because I am not good enough’, flip it ‘I can do it because I am worth it, no one has the right to make me feel anything less’. Okay I get it, just by reversing a negative statement does not mean that you believe it, after all they are just words. Then my first challenge to you is repeat your positive statement over and over, and every time your negative one comes through, visualise stamping on it, or throwing it out of that window because that is where it deserves to be, and then say your positive statement again and again. Our internal language plays a massive role in our behaviour, it can hold us back or, can push us to the next level. But one thing is certain, you decide. If you have been used to listening to the negative, it is a challenge in itself to switch to the positive but with practice, it can be achieved. (Try reading - Flip it: How to Get the Best Out of Everything by Michael Heppell).

The key to all goal setting is finding your why you want to achieve this. Remember my smoker? When I asked her her why, she said due to her health. So we explored her health reasons, and she established that it will kill her, and probably sooner rather than later. This would result in her not seeing her granddaughter grow up, possibly not even seeing her take her first steps. There were financial implications too, as smoking is getting more and more expensive each year and her husband is due to retire in the coming year, and it is money they could well do with. So establish your why, is it for health, financial, personal growth or a better lifestyle? Whatever the reason, break it down and write it down. Be warned it can be an emotional task, so give yourself time and space to fully focus on your why.

Next, take your positive statement and your why stick them on your bedroom mirror, or somewhere you will see them every day. For the tech lovers out there, note apps on your phone home screen is a great reminder. The key is to read it daily, feel it in your heart that this is what you are going to do, and no one, not even your negative side can stop you, know the reasons why you are doing it and know the negative consequences if you don’t.

Remember breaking any habit takes mindful practice. We unconsciously have become conditioned to our habits that we instinctively do them without thinking. I know I certainly do when I eat sweet things. I see a cake/chocolate and instantly think YUM, and I eat it without a second thought until after it has been demolished. Or, when I have walked through a supermarket and automatically put sugary treats in the trolly. To break any habit it is not only important to have the right internal language and motivation, but also to be mindful too. So, slow down and constantly be mindful of your behaviour, make sure you regularly plan and reflect.

Also, track your progress and be proud of small milestones. I have known people to make star charts and stick them on their fridge, others have made spreadsheets, or used photos, whatever works for you, make sure you use it. However, I recommend you make it visual and stick it alongside your positive statements and why. Additionally, rope in someone to monitor your progress with you, as it offers encouragement. Friends or loved ones are great, but make sure they don’t lose track themselves. You have to find what is right for you. Finally, great wisdom I recently received from a world famous health expert was, 'You can f**k up, but can't give up'. So, don't beat yourself up if you have a bad day.

In : Personal Development 

Tags: #resolutions #goals #mindfulness #health #mindset #icaniwill #bemore