Each year I watch with interest on social media sites etc as people announce their intentions for 2014. And then three days later, I watch with interest as they fall off the wagon in impressive style. It reminds me of my mum when we were little, who each year would tell us all how she would be starting a 'proper' diet on Jan 1st. This, as I recall, consisted of doing a few sit-ups with her feet under the sofa, cutting out cakes, fat and icecream (but not alcohol and 'white' carbs...), and looking generally quite fed up. We all knew that it would be 'business as usual' by her birthday (13th) if not significantly before that. Setting resolutions is easy, but breaking them is easy too.
Want some top tips for resolutions you might actually keep this year? You do? Good stuff, keep reading...
Don't worry, I'm not going all spiritual on you... But, an increased focus and increased awareness is a big step to both identifying and solving any issues you have. Be aware of what you're eating, and why, and what it does to you - how does it make you feel? Be aware of how you're exercising, and why. Appreciate the content of your food, and appreciate the affect of each activity. Work out what your body needs (this might be walking and stretching rather than running and bootcamps, or vice versa) and provide it. Work out what are your toxins and try and avoid them.
Stop giving up
Every year I see people talking about giving up something - something that they perceive to be a bad habit, bad food and so on. Why don't we flip it? Why don't you start doing something instead? Rather than giving up TV, take up an evening walk (hey, same net effect isn't it?). For the foodies, rather than giving up icecream, why not start making more desserts from scratch? (see also mindfulness....) Rather than giving up coffee, start drinking more herbal tea instead. It's a subtle change in mindset that reduces the focus on deprivation, and switches it to reward instead. It also isn't such a biggie if you lapse - after all, you're not giving anything up, are you?
Every year, one of my friends announces her intention to start coming to some of my classes. She does maybe five a week for the first two weeks(despite any advice to the contrary....). And then she's knackered. Or injured. Or both.
Setting unachievable goals is setting you up to fail. Start by making small changes, rather than attempting to radically overhaul your lifestyle. Each small success is a little reward, and each success is a stepping stone to the next small change. And all those small changes add up to something rather wonderful.
So, as the year comes to an end, I look forward to the Facebook frenzy of posts about taking up weird diets and extreme exercise regimes. And maybe, this year, a few about increasing mindfulness and stopping giving up....