Plan it, do it and you will feel better
LIVING NATURALLY with Olwen Anderson
IT'S THE time of year when many of us reach for a fresh piece of paper and begin defining goals for the coming year.
What's the coming year going to be like for your health? If you started 2016 with a sense of resolve but didn't follow through to completion, I'd like to help you make them actually manifest this time around.
If you set goals last year, take some time to review the list. What did you achieve? What didn't get done?
Congratulate yourself for what you did do and reflect on what happened to prevent you achieving the others.
This review can help you approach things differently this time around. For example, did you try to change too much at once, creating a sense of overwhelm? Even if you feel you failed, this is an important part of the process.
Now create the 2017 list - what you'd like your health to look like in 12 months time. Then, write beside each item why this particular goal is important to you. Knowing why you're working hard to make something happen is going to help get you through the inevitable tough times.
Set one goal in just three areas: movement, food and mood. Sound too easy? Perhaps - but you can always set extra goals later on. For example, you might list "walk 30 minutes each day”, "eat breakfast”, and "meditate 15 minutes each day”.
The biggest trap in health goals, I've observed, is trying to change everything at once.
Health develops from habits. Habits develop from daily repetition over time. It's simply too overwhelming to create lots of new habits all at once because it's too overwhelming.
The desire to completely change fitness food and routines all at once is often what trips people up. Then when it gets just too much the entire plan is abandoned.
It's the fastest way to obliterate your good intentions, throwing you back into feeling helpless and hopeless.
Expect relapses. You'll have days when, despite your good intentions, your exercise didn't happen. Or you missed meditation because you got held up at work. Finally, you'll also have days when you feel like you can't be bothered: do it anyway.
And when it gets tough, just go back to the "why do this” part of your goals list. That will help motivate you to keep going.
Because you know how good you'll feel as you get healthier. I wish you a happy new year and a very healthy 2017.
Olwen Anderson is a naturopath and counsellor. www.olwenanderson.com.au