Following on from the theme of my last post I’ve been thinking a lot about entering in to a new year and what it means to people. Seeing and speaking to a lot of patients, clients, friends and family over the last few weeks I’ve sensed a real mixed bag of thoughts and feelings as we’ve transitioned in to 2017. There’s some who are incredibly motivated and positive, some have had lots to face already and feel very sad their year hasn’t got off to the best start possible and some just aren’t phased and continue as they always have done.
What does a new year mean to you? I kind of feel that a new year should signify a resurgence of energy. I sort of feel like it’s a great time to sit and gather your thoughts from the previous year, to think about what went well and what didn’t. To then think about the year ahead and visualise the best possible year for yourselves and your loved ones. What does that entail? How do you want 2017 to play out for you? How do you want to feel in 2017? I really do feel that it’s good for us to see ourselves and the world with fresh eyes and a more optimistic outlook. People often feel rejuvenated during a holiday away, being away from their normal surroundings. Of course being on a beautiful beach somewhere, watching the sunset and listening to the waves crash to the shore is incredibly empowering for the soul but not everybody gets to taste that as a reality. So I think it’s important to take any opportunity you can to revisit yourself, your life, your goals, your intentions and the new year is a great time to do this.
Okay, so let’s say you’ve already fallen down on all your new year resolutions. That’s fine. Perhaps they were meant to be broken. Perhaps they weren’t the right resolutions for you right now, perhaps your resolutions were too big or unrealistic. Perhaps you’re too hard on yourself? What about setting smaller goals?
Rather than “I am never eating chocolate again” what about giving yourself an allowance, something you can stick to but is significantly less than you already eat? How about setting yourself a goal that is broader and more of an intention?
For instance: “I am ging to be more mindful of the amount of money I spend on…. ” This could be clothes, or food shopping, eating out, takeaways or just generally. Now this is a tricky one but it is totally achievable if you approach it in the right way. Every time you step foot in a supermarket, a clothes shop, browsing online or thinking about ordering a takeaway – ask yourself some simple questions and answer them honestly. Do I need this? Will this really make me happy? Is this healthy for me? Do I have something in the fridge that needs using up before I start buying more food? Do I have something similar I could wear in my wardrobe that I’ve forgotten about? Do I really need a glass of wine or a slab of chocolate? Or, can I make a more nutritious and healthier meal curry, stirfry, pizza at home? Let’s be honest we know the answer to all of these questions so I guess the hard question to answer is why is it so hard to adhere to? I think the answer lies within the word ‘adhere’. If you set yourself an intention or goal it is important to keep positively reminding yourself of that goal or intention and the reasons why you set them in the first place. And if you do fall off the wagon the key is to get straight back on. All is not lost. Adherence, really sticking to something, and persevering is really the recipe for long term change.
And remember to congratulate yourself. Tell yourself how flipping amazing you are. Every Friday that you decline that takeaway Chinese give yourself a firm pat on the back. Rather than berating yourself for not going for a run or attending the gym because you didn’t feel like it that day what about giving yourself a high five for all the times you have gone recently. Tell yourself how well you’ve done and how well you’re doing. And don’t be afraid to tell people how well you’re doing “I’m so proud of myself as I went swimming after work today, I was really tired but I’m really pleased I did as now I feel like a superhero”. Don’t be afraid to rejoice in those triumphs no matter how small you think they are. Positivity breeds and attracts positivity and it will be the thing that spurs you on. Now it may seem like I’m taking the easy way out and encouraging some sort of okay-ness in slacking when it suits but I think I’m just coming from a more human perspective. Knowing yourself, knowing your capabilities and looking after your emotional self is so important.
So to finish up (because quite clearly I could go on all day) as Nelson Mandela once said “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” be your own motivation and inspiration. Every time you fall down show your strength by getting straight back up again showing true fighting spirit. Work hard, surprise yourself, revisit yourself but never be disappointed in yourself. You’re in charge of you. You make the decisions that work for you and if it doesn’t work for you take a moment to check in with yourself and see how you can make it work for you.
2017 is the year for you.
Take care of yourselves