It happens every year.
Right about now, the gyms that were once hopping on Jan 2 are getting quieter and quieter. The brand new yoga pants are spending more time in the closet than in class. And ice cream sales are back up to their normal rates.
But of course, we know not everyone loses steam on their health goals after the new year.
Some people are on track to running their first 5K. Others are having a blast exploring new, delicious and healthy meals that their whole family enjoys. And a few are getting up 15 minutes early every morning for some soul-quiet time before they start the day.
What’s the difference between the people who fizzle out early, and those that stay the course to reach their goals?
Is it really all just about willpower?
New Year’s Day can be a great psychological jump start for thinking about what changes you’d like to see in your life. Whether you prefer the term resolutions, intentions, goals, or visions, it’s all ultimately about action and choice.
But here’s the catch that is often overlooked:
It isn’t about big actions and big choices.
It’s really about thousands of small actions and small choices that make up our days and weeks and months, until the new year rolls around again. Being resolute to change your course and live the life you truly desire doesn’t work if you are only resolute one day of the year.
The trick is finding a way to stay committed daily, weekly, and monthly to your big vision changes. It’s seeing your direction so clearly that you can keep coming back to the path over multitude times of veering ever-so-slightly off.
I’ve worked with hundreds of women this past year and this is what has been true for every single one of them — major change happens when they finally believed that the small choice in front of them was the most important choice.
They stopped seeing simple actions as impotent, and started recognizing the power in elementary things like taking a large glass of water first thing in the morning, or pausing when their stress triggers were engaged, and choosing first to take a few deep and purposeful breaths.
As a health coach, one of the tell-tale signs for me that someone is perpetually stuck in the “big change” mindset is when they tell me that “tomorrow, next week, or this Monday” is when they plan to start their diet.
It is so tempting to start our big changes with a big bang and big fanfare. But the truth is what you are doing right now, this next moment, today, is a much larger prediction to where you will be a year from now.
As you build the habit of making choices that match your vision day in and day out– within the messy, unpredictable, hectic life you lead, that vision becomes your life. You are living the transformation, not waiting for some magical time in the future when you get “there.”
How to reach your goals with what you’ve got right now:
1. Identify what you want more of this year.
2. Consider — what elements of your life (what actions, thoughts, choices, foods, experiences, emotions, moods, or tasks) align most closely with what you want more of?
3. How could you increase those things, choose them, or prioritize them today? Maybe even right this moment, could you bring something in- a positive thought, a deep breath, a good stretch, a nourishing snack, a wide smile, a prayer of gratitude?
4. Finally, ask yourself — what supports, skills, education, or growth opportunities could you bring into your life that will keep you on track and equip you for the daily commitment of shifting into a new direction?
If your vision includes living a healthier, lighter, calmer, and happier life, I’d like to invite you to learn more about my upcoming program which is beginning next Saturday, January 29.
Designed for Wellness is a 12 week online, multimedia course for busy moms who are interested in stepping into a whole new level of their health and well being.
While I know this course isn’t for everyone, I’m asking you to check it out to first see if it might be a good fit.
If it is, joining could be the catalyst for a year of tremendous growth and transformation.
And if the course isn’t for you, that one small act of checking it out brought you one step closer to building a habit of action toward prioritizing your health and personal needs.
So the way, I see it, simply checking out the class is really a win/win decision!
A note from Tsh: So I’ve wanted to take Lisa’s class ever since she launched it awhile back — it sounded so good, but well, I’ve never had the time. Perhaps I should say I’ve never made the time. So as part of my 2011 goal of saying NO to all but the unimportant, I’ve decided to take the class this season. I’m absolutely ecstatic to be doing something solely for the purpose of taking care of myself. I’ve needed this. I’ll let you know how it is… Or maybe you need it, too? Then you should join me. We’ll be in Lisa’s class together!
What small action will you do today to bring you closer to goals you set for the new year?