Its a debate that’s raged for years, should we make resolutions for new year or go with the flow? In years gone by I have exhausted myself trying to stick to my resolves which are usually thoroughly unrealistic so I am very much in the camp of NOT making resolutions of the ‘I resolve to lose weight’ ‘I will go to the gym daily’ kind…because I almost certainly won’t…(well I hope I might drop a bit of weight but resolving to go on a diet is unlikely to achieve that)
Having said that though I do think its good to take some time for reflection at the end of a year. I’ve borrowed the idea from the lovely Jo De Rosa founder of Quantum Sobriety and Inner Guidance retreats, to choose a word for the year, Jo says it acts as a kind of gatekeeper for all that you focus on, people on my Media Hub facebook group have been toying with ideas such as Abundance, Focus, Authentic, Accomplish, space, Spectacular. In The Sober Club, the membership community I run, words such as Connection, Joy, Happiness have popped up.
Jo by the way is queen of ‘resetting’ and empowering yourself to be your best self, check out the incredible retreats at Inner Guidance including the one I am hosting at the end of Jan and in May 8-10th Sobriety Rocks www.innerguidance.co.uk
I also like the idea of setting intentions or goals, and making a commitment , being clear on what you want is far more productive than making a ‘resolution’ which tends to be merely berating yourself for what you haven’t done well the year before. I love creating vision boards to literally see what I would like to manifest, and create some affirmations that will work for the year ahead.
I intend to reflect on the year just gone and practice gratitude, even for the bits that weren’t so good, hopefully I can find the learning in there somewhere….and I will definitely create that vision board. I am going to set definite diary dates for self-care, for me that means going to walk by the sea, so as I don’t live near it, that’s going to mean a trip, minimum monthly even if its a quick train ride to Brighton to blast away the cobwebs walking along the sea front!
I asked some of the changemakers and colleagues I have been working with this year to give us their thoughts on setting intentions for the New Year ….
Often our thoughts do turn to doing something about our weight or fitness levels,
Nutritional therapist and fitness expert Louise Mercieca says.
If top of the list for many people at new year is to lose weight or eat healthier, people can be unrealistic and set themselves up for failure! Drastic changes rarely work in the longer term, so it is best to be gentle on yourself! How should you really set achievable goals and not be like the estimated 90% that fail with resolutions?
Don’t banish everything in the first week of January. Instead gradually make changes, this way you won’t notice them as much and are more likely to stick with them
Make a plan but make it for the whole year – something relevant to you and your schedule.
Involve friends and family in goals and plans so you don’t feel isolated.
Set realistic goals in small steps and allow yourself one indulgence a month so that you don’t feel you are depriving yourself, this way you are less likely to give up completely
Drink more water, it’s amazing how many people are dehydrated and yet this actually will make you less efficient at metabolising fat! Start with day with hot water and lemon.
Look after your gut health, when this works you will manage your weight more effectively include both pre and probiotics in your diet.
Move more but within your own capabilities.
Don’t compare yourself to others especially those you only see on a screen or magazine cover.
Stay calm! Cortisol (stress hormone) increases abdominal fat storage so please don’t create more stress with your New Year’s Resolutions!
Sleep – never underestimate the healing powers of sleep. Lack of sleep also affects your hunger hormone Ghrelin; That leads to poor sleep = increased appetite.
Louise Mercieca is a Nutritional Therapist and author of the award-winning How Food Shapes Your Child nutritional cook book. www.louisemercieca.co.uk
Its something I talk about a lot, and have only found possible in recent months, but its a great idea to start with ‘body positivity’
Carolyn Bointon doesn’t class herself an ‘expert’ in positivity but she has a lovely idea, Carolyn says..
‘I’ve learned that over people’s emotions impact on me so I strive to make friends appreciate the good in themselves, whether its a compliment on their hair or clothes or a simple ‘wow you handled that well’ I find surrounding myself with people who feel good about themselves makes me feel good too! So not entirely altruistic but a good resolution and one that I can keep!
If you’re looking for more fulfillment in 2020 here’s a comment from Nadine Searle
‘Follow your heart and listen to what it is telling you.
Give yourself the gift of some calming connection meditation everyday. It needn’t take up much of your time but it will be a valuable habit to cultivate in 2019. Spend time in nature if you can or establish a delightful ‘me time’ space……tune into the rhythm of your breath and use the Mindfulness practice of gentle questioning. Ask your heart “What do you need?” ” What direction you might take?” “what do you really want to do?”, “How best you might serve the universe or just serve yourself?”…….resist the temptation to answer these questions, instead just continue to listen to what comes up.
We have all the answers we need within ourselves if we only just listen. This practice will lead you to a happy, healthier you in 2019′.
Ever heard of The Wheel of Life? Leah Dixon writes..
There are 3 steps to successfully reaching your goals and one of them is more important than you think:
1.The Wheel of Life is a coaching tool that emcourages you to look at your life in 8 parts. You choose these, but generally areas such as career, health, relationships, hobbies, finances, personal development, spirituality and social life are good examples. Look at your life and review where you are at and decide on your most important priorities. Rate each area from 0-10 and get a clear picture on what needs to be worked on and how urgently. Once you have decided on your most pressing goal (consider anything under 5) that needs urgent attention, the next step is visualising the future outcome.
2.This is the fun part, it is also the one many people overlook
. Its not enough to say ‘I want to be a size 10’ and put a photo of yourself 20 years ago on the fridge. That’s the past. Allow yourself to dream of the future you who has realised your goal already. This can be done in meditation, before bed or on waking, when our brains are more receptive. So imagine what would reaching your goal feel like? Engage all of your senses in this dream. How confident would you feel walking down the beach in your bikini at your ideal weight? How desirable would you be as you feel the sun on your toned skin? Notice how strong and flexible your body feels swimming in the sea. What would you say to yourself? What clothes would you be wearing for an evening out? What compliments would people give you? Your subconcious cannot tell a dream from reality. Engaging in this visualisation everyday will mean your body has to catch up with this new future version of you. It will also make any changes more enjoyable as you relish in the achievements your future self has already made.
3. The how is the final stage that people usually go straight to.
Yes researching and planning is important but don’t skip step 2. Break down your big goal into manageable chunks. Find out who has already succeeded doing what you want to do. There’ll be a book, an app, a blog or a workshop that tells you how others have done it. Use their knowledge to achieve results. Adapt it to suit you. Modelling is a great technique to achieve success. If you want to be more confident find someone you admire and copy their body language. Babies learn to walk by modelling those around them. Its the easiest way to learn and adapt. No need to reinvent the wheel. If there’s already a tried and tested method then use it. Just be sure to commit the time and energy where its needed. If you’re not a morning person then don’t plan to go to the gym before work. Reaching your goals isn’t a punishment so don’t make it one.You’ll find once you’ve got your vision the universe will line up to place people and resources in your path to help you with the how. Aligning your current self with the vision of your future self will create your new reality. So if you’ve tried writing down your resolutions and then skipping straight to the planning stage back up and immerse yourself in visualising your new future where your dreams are already a reality.
So at the start of a new year take some time to reflect on the one just gone, ask yourself what you want for the coming year and tune in to how you might go about making that happen. If there is something you have been putting off, something you know has to be addressed there’s no better time than harnessing the energy of a new year. Treat yourself to a new journal and scribble away, read my blog posts on writing being the best therapy, it might change your life!
You’ve heard me say it many times before…If there is something you want to achieve, whether is a new business, a charity, the book you always wanted to write, the relationship you know you deserve, you will need to visualise it, imagine it and then take action and above all remember
‘You Don’t have to get it right…you DO have to get it going’
I wish you a wonderful blissful abundant and joyful …and healthy New Year and of course becasue of the work I am now doing, I wish you a sober one too!
Check out my work with The Sober Club