Is this hectic time of the year making your heart go haywire? Occasionally, we get so caught up with the busy-ness of this time of year that we lose sight of what it’s all about until the warning signs from the body let us know it is time to rethink our activities. There is a general sense of what the season is about, and as individuals we have to reconnect with what we value in order for us to enjoy this time of year.
The awareness of what you value can remind you to look ahead to what you want in the New Year. Health and well-being are a solid base that will allow you to experience what you desire. In some ways though, starting with the specific goals like lower cholesterol, better BP and weight change can be a bit of a trap and not get you what you want. It is limiting to focus on the numbers alone. What are all the changes for? When you have the better BP, weight or cholesterol what will you do? What is the impact you want to have?
Here is an approach for resolutions which has been helpful to others and might sustain you over time. If you need an ally to guide or support you in the process contact me. This post is a little long in order to be more comprehensive. In the future, I’ll break it down and focus on various parts.
- Develop a Vision – Think about and try to get in touch with the experience of what it is you want in the next year. The more details you have the easier it is to attain that vision; it provides you with direction and can even pull you toward it. Let’s say you want to participate in family reunion, imagine the energy level you want and what you will be doing, with whom will you visit, the endurance you’ll have for all the activities and people, the appropriate foods you’ll eat, etc… Make a vision that will encompass a variety of aspects of your life, with details to support that – the way you move, the way you want to be with people, the way you want to handle various situations. In this way, you can look forward to the fullness you desire.
- Set SMART Goals – Now that you know why you want to make lifestyle changes or sustain some of the behaviors you’ve had to take on, set some goals. You can brainstorm a number of ideas and then limit yourself to 3 items/areas at time so that you can really focus; this will improve your chances for success. Make your goals Specific and Measurable, (this is when the numbers come in handy) for example you might want to set a goal regarding exercise – what activity or activities specifically, the number of minutes you’ll exercise and how often; how many times a week you’ll eat vegetarian meals; how often you’ll read the labels at the supermarket, which labels will you focus on. The goals also should be Attainable, Related to your overall vision and a bit of a stretch so there is a Thrill in the mastering.
- Evaluate – Regularly evaluate your progress, perhaps weekly. Check in with yourself if the goal is something you value or it is moving you in the direction of something you value and desire. Keep in touch with that bigger vision of what you’re working toward, your personal MVP award. Note your progress. What else do you need to increase your success? Is it time to up the ante and change the goal to be more exciting?
- Reward yourself – When you are successful, don’t forget to reward yourself. Yes, sometimes merely the accomplishment is enough of a reward, but to sustain challenges we often need a reward. What would please you? Getting together with a friend you rarely see, some flowers, a movie? What suits you?
Please share some strategies that have led to your success with resolutions?