As the year draws to a close and a New Year is about to begin, a time of feasting and celebration, and followed by a time of thinking about the next step.
There is always a swing response to situations, and Christmas is no exception – we may have spent to much, we may have been lonely, we may have eaten too much, or we may have had personal relationship difficulties. These all call us to say “things will be different” – and this is a great motivator, so hang on in there because this is how you can harness it.
Motivation is often the main driver for change – so if you have some, then great, if you are still looking for some, I hope I can help. Step one is to build your self-confidence. Believing that you can achieve something is vital. You may have “imposter syndrome” or you may just lack self-esteem, so start with small goals that you can achieve. Write these down with a time and deadline – a simple way to think of this is, Goal – run 5K, step 1, walk 1 min, jog 30 seconds repeat for 10 minutes after doing a 10-minute warm up of walking briskly.
The second step is to think/believe/understand that the steps you are taking are all part of a healing process – and like any healing process, this takes time and a bit of nurturing. You might have to change your diet to heal your gut, or help with Type 2 diabetes. A simple example is to look at food that cause inflammation (such as processed sugar) and reduce, then foods that are anti-inflammatory (such as green veg) and increase those. Healing your body and mind is key to making changes successful.
The third step is to have “positive attitude” – and this is all about framing your plans, goals and statements that encourage you. For example, starting sentences with “you are fat and need to go on a diet” is not going to make you feel great…but changing it to “ you are going to look after yourself and get to the body weight you want to be. We can do this!” is far more inspiring.
The fourth thing we need to do is to run through our plans in our heads before we start. You can think of this like the trailer before the film – so, mentally rehearse how you will feel when you are taking the steps to fitness, feel and imaging what it will be like to run, imaging the food and how energetic you will feel. It goes without saying that you need to make your “trailer” exciting and encouraging.
Step five is to plan ahead for any obstacles that might be in your way – will your friends and family support you? What about the weather if you are planning to exercise outside – do you have suitable clothing. Write down any obstacles that you might face over the next 2 months – and don’t forget to include yourself as an obstacle if you know that sometimes you don’t believe you can do something, so your “negative” point of view might be something to consider too.
Step six is to face up to those fears – what if you “can’t” do it, what if you look foolish, what if you think you don’t have enough “will power” – don’t ignore these feelings, thoughts, and ideas. Recognising them and facing up to them is important. Write it down, talk about them with yourself or your friend, read how other people have coped etc.
The final part of the process is to look at how to control our emotions – easier said than done. But taking time to take a deep breath, remember why you are on this journey, understanding that there will be stressful moment, but that you will be able to deal with them. There may be frustrations, there may be hiccups, but learning to rationalise these as they happen will increase your resilience and help you achieve your goal.
What ever 2022 brings for you, believe that you can achieve your dreams and desires.
Happy New Year !
For further support and advice, why not join the Happy Café Hapus in January for a 6-weeks guided course on how to improve your health and well-being through diet and exercise. Course starts on January 9th and costs £20. The course will be run via the website.