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One Small Change for 2016
Every January we are surrounded by them, we may even end up making a few ourselves, but we do NOT keep them.
“I will not drink alcohol, I will not eat chocolate, I will go to the gym every day, I will lose 2 stone” The list is endless.
So why does no body keep them?
A key reason is likely to be the fact that most people don’t give any thought as to ‘why’ they are making them in the first place. They then simply become a set of arbitrary rules, which are most often far too ambitious and onerous to stick to, and are soon deemed as unimportant by the subconscious mind (the part that really dictates behaviour).
Most people are too entrenched in busy lives with long standing habits to just ‘decide’ to change overnight, which is why it very rarely works.
Your first challenge, to make next year different, is to discover your purpose.
Think about why you even want to set resolutions at all. What result or feeling are you looking for? What would happen if you never made any changes, would your life turn out as you want it to be, or not? How important is this for you, really? And keep on digging until you have some clarity.
If you can’t answer these questions then forget it, and try again in 12 months! If you do however get this right, everything else will become far easier.
The second challenge, is adopting a different approach when deciding what to actually change.
Take a blank piece of paper now, and list out everything in your life that could impact on your physical and mental health.
How many hours do you work? How many hours do you sleep? How many steps do you take each day? How do you manage your stress levels? How much water do you drink? How much fresh fruit and veg do you eat? How often do you make time to relax?
This is your ‘lifestyle map’, an overview of your heath behaviour, and it should include absolutely everything you can think of that affects your health.
Now, I want you to study it. Carefully choose one thing, the easiest thing to change, and write it down on a new sheet of paper together with how you are going to change it, just a little bit.
This small, easily attainable change is all you are going to focus on in January. Nothing else.
This simplicity is critical to the success of this plan.
It could be; one more glass of water each day, 1000 more steps each day (5-10 minute walk), one less glass of wine each time you have a drink, or perhaps getting to bed 15 minutes earlier.
On the first of February, revisit your lifestyle map and choose the next most simple lifestyle factor to change, and add it to your list. By this time, January’s simple change will already be a part of your lifestyle.
Through this simple monthly process, you will completely transform your lifestyle by the end of 2016, without even noticing a thing.
Don’t join the ‘dry January’ brigade and go right back to old habits in February, or try to make big changes that you will never keep.
Stick to this plan and it will work. Contact me for additional guidance if necessary, and good luck!
Enjoy the last few days of 2015 and have a great start to the New Year!