This is it.
The New Year is here… and it’s time for lofty goals and aspirations!
One impressive list of promises made to yourself may work for you. For me? Not so much.
Well, not exactly…
Like most folks, I find that life can tend to take us off track. Nothing wrong with that. That’s what makes it life. The challenge arises when our original list of promises may have been too lofty (unrealistic, overwhelming, etc.) in the first place that it’s difficult to climb back on the ride once we’ve fallen off.
Vague, negative, and immeasurable are the kisses of death when it comes to goal-setting. “Lose weight”, “quit smoking”, and “drink less” are common New Year’s Resolutions that don’t tend to have much lasting power for most folks! I like to get a wee bit more specific with intentions like that… and more proactive.
I do love being a co-creator and co-designer of my life, so the New Year is a time that shines with natural excitement for this opportunity.
I love sitting down at the start of a New Year and assessing my annual goals, intentions and aspirations. I write these out in a fresh, new journal each year. Then, based on where I’m headed over the next year, I create the appropriate quarterly plans and action steps that will move me in the direction of my desired outcome.
These quarterly plans and actions get chunked down to monthly, weekly, and daily plans and action steps.
“Have a plan… then work the plan.”
For me, it all comes down to action steps – any time of the year.
One strategy I began utilizing a couple years ago has been key to my overall success with staying on track with healthy choices. Not perfectly… “overall”. Note the difference!
I make a list of all the healthy choices (action steps) I should/could make in any given day in order to create better health and to offset the risk of chronic & degenerative illness.
This list is comprised of realistic, achievable items. Things I can do right now.
I’m definitely a checklist kinda’ person. If I see a list, it beckons me to complete the items on it so I can feel the pleasure of the accomplishment.
So, this simple little list of mine includes action steps and choices relating to:
- the food I eat – e.g. eat veggies (especially greens) with 3 meals, have at least 3 tbsp of coconut oil, grass-fed butter, have a smoothie if no time for a meal
- the supplements I take – varies depending on time of year and what I’m currently focusing on – fish oil, vitamin D, probiotics, etc.
- the beverages I drink – 8 glasses of water, green tea
- moving my body – move daily, choose from burst, resistance, intervals, endurance, yoga, calisthenics,
- walk the dog (and the kids!)
- spinal hygiene exercises – stretch, move my spine thoroughly, postural exercises, balance
- relaxing & restoring – breathing exercises, meditation
- mind fuel – what I read, what I’m listening to, visualization, affirmations, prayer
- steps I take to detoxify – e.g. take a sauna, take my cleanse supplements
- get adjusted
- cook dinner at home
- go to bed when tired (vs. staying up too late or crashing on the couch!)
I also have some notes about things I need to eliminate or minimize (sugar, grains, alcohol, bad fats, conventional meat and dairy, etc.). Not as easy to “check these off the list” as it is some of the others. Just sayin’. These types of “avoid” choices require your attention for the entire day. You have to choose to avoid, then choose it again… and again.
The “proactive” choices are easier in the sense that you do them, then check ‘em off the list!
I don’t too often actually do ALL the things on the list in any given day! I choose from the list in order to create a healthy day. Big difference! I do try to accomplish as many items as possible, though.
For me, the beauty of a list like this is its simplicity.
It’s comprised of single items I can directly control by taking action. Simple.
It’s posted out in the open (right next to our bed) for me to easily refer to. Simple.
In the past, when I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed, or “under-healthy”, I simply look at the list to see what I could add to my day to add more “health”.
Here’s the beauty – if and when you fall off track with your healthy choices, getting back ON track is much easier when all it takes is adding a few items from your list to your day.
A day with 5 minutes of intentional movement and a big glass of water is better than a day without!
Of course, the magic really happens when you can string together many of the items on your list in any given day. Then, string together a couple days… then a few days. You get the picture.
In order to master this thing called “a healthy lifestyle”, you’ve first got to be able to know how to create a healthy DAY!
So, on January 15th, if you find yourself off track with your New Year’s Resolutions, you can simply refer to a simple list of healthy choices and begin adding them to your day… right away. No reason to pout or have a pity party over the whole Resolution bust. Get over it!
Health begins by making one healthy choice… and another… and another.
Find your groove and the methods that work for you in the co-creation of your New Year! Let me know how you like to get on track and stay on track at this time of year. I’d love to hear!