It is that time of the year where you look back and reflect on what you have done or not done. It is a transition time to the new year and possibly a new YOU. It is the time to celebrate your connection with family and friends, your achievements at work and your ever-thriving body. How awesome does that feel to you? How can you refine and strive for an even greater awesomeness next year?
Setting New Year’s Resolutions
We have all been there. We set up these lofty goals with high motivation. We want to exercise more, eat healthier, gain or lose 10 lbs, meditate more, have more energy and less stress. More often than not, these well thought-out and good intentions last as long as our motivation is high. In fact, USA Today reported that by mid-February, 80% of resolutions fail. This is at least in part because while we are highly motivated on January 1st, most of us have busy, overcommitted schedules and, as current habit science studies show, we are low motivation most of the time. According to University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology, there is only a mere 8% of people who are successful in achieving their resolutions.
How do you make sure you stick to your healthy goals even in the midst of a chaotic life?
Your Big Why?
It is important to know the reasons for your goals. Without the compelling reasons for what you have to achieve, you will lose steam rather quickly and find yourself on the same ground if not worse than a year ago. It is not just about having better rest, it is about having more energy to carry on the daily activities with ease, spending quality time with your loved ones, reducing emotional eating that has caused your weight gain, being a calm and confident mom to your children or having the time and space to reach your higher potential.
The top 3 New Year’s resolutions in 2017 are diet or eat healthier (71%), exercise more (65%) and lose weight (54%). Sure you want to lose 10 pounds, but your bigger WHY, when you dig deeper, could be that you want to have the swift mobility to play with your kids or grandkids. Your big WHYs will be the anchor that grounds to stick to your new healthy habits you when you are distracted by other shiny objects or ideas, or simply being over-consumed by the busyness of life.
Which of your current habits adversely affects your health and the quality of life which, if addressed, would make you feel how you want to feel — lighter in body, calmer in spirit or more grounded? You may have to do deep soul-searching to realize what is out of integrity in your body. When you do, WRITE IT DOWN and connect it to HOW YOU CAN FEEL when you upgrade these habits. Now these habits will reflect your new identity, how you see yourself and how others see you.
Design your day based on how you want to feel
Once you get clear on how you want to feel, you need to invest time, money and effort to make it happen. You have the full control of designing your future self of who you want to become, what shape you want to be in and how you want to feel. It comes down to prioritizing by asking ourselves some of these questions: Do I want to sleep in for another half an hour or get up now and invest in an invigorating run? Do I want to spend $5 on Starbucks everyday or invest it in my yoga membership? Do I want to conveniently order in pizza or invest extra time to prepare my own healthy food?
The state of your well-being is directly related to how much attention you invest in eating healthy, doing regular exercise, having restful sleep, sitting in silence and connecting to the rhythm of nature.
Invest in Wellness pros
Your time on this planet is limited and precious. If you are smart enough to know there are better ways to do things that will bring your desired results faster, wouldn’t you invest in that?
Changing habits is hard. Effective habit changing strategies is not common knowledge. If you are like many people, you may know WHAT you want to feel, you just don’t know how to get there.
Invest your time, energy and money in those who have been where you are and know how to get you to where you want to go faster and with greater ease – be that a holistic practitioner, a personal trainer or a health coach. That is what they are trained to do. They can help you shift not only your habits but also your mindset towards growth in body, mind and spirit.
What gives a better return on investment than you investing in you? What you gain in working with someone who gets results is not only a healthier you now, but also incalculable savings on costly prescription drugs or expensive medical procedures in the future. The coolest thing of all is living in a healthy, thriving body gives you more time and freedom to participate in life full-heartedly, in whatever shape and form that suits your fancy.
Don’t Do it Alone
Human beings thrive in groups. Studies have shown that we are more likely to hit our goals when we are involved in a community with like-minded people headed towards the same direction. The accountability factor in group community keeps us on track with our commitment, reignites our motivation when we slack off and level up our performance by learning from each other’s successes and failures.
If you have been working on your health goals by yourself with great and sustainable success, good for you, because for most of us, when life throws us a curveball so go the health goals out the window! If you have tried doing it alone without significant results, may be it is time to open yourself up to the group experience as the power of group connection will transform you beyond your own expectation.
Still not convinced? Ask yourself if it is the ego, the fear of being vulnerable or the self-sabotage attitude that is holding you back from connecting in a dynamic group.
Update your Operating System
We often cannot make commitment to change because it is inconvenient, it stirs up our existing relationship with people around us, it challenges our outdated belief system that was passed down to us from our parents, our culture, or imposed on us by our peers and it disrupts our complacent lifestyle. The stakes are high if you don’t keep your New Year’s resolutions. Our current lifestyles are making us sick – whether that is from being overscheduled, overnourished or under-exercised – pick your poison. Lifestyle and autoimmune diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart attack, cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia (the list goes on and on) are on the rise. Do you want to wait until you can’t afford not to change because it is a life and death situation?
Is there any room for health improvement in your body? Do you want a vibrant health by design so that you can carve out how you want to live life to your highest potentiality? What else is possible when your body, mind and soul are in alignment?
Set your New Year’s resolution mindfully. Invest wisely. Live meaningfully.
[This blog article first appeared on Yogahealer.com and KhimLim.com]