With about 55% of Americans overweight, it should be no surprise that losing weight is a common New Year's resolution. If you are listing weight loss as an aspect of yourself that you want to change, take a minute and answer this question - How many times have you given-in or given-up on your New Year's resolution to lose weight because - "I just ate one potato chip so I might as well scarf down the whole bag," - you backslid?
Let's look at five ways for to gear-up for change in the New Year and beyond.
After you finished the potato chips, did you feel hopeless, unmotivated or weak? If you answered "yes", and it doesn't have to be about foods, it could be anything you vowed to change, you probably felt "stuck". In essence, you broke a promise to yourself and now you must be punished. Wrong!
Self-inflicted punishment is a form of abuse. Gear-up for change by telling yourself in advance that at some point you will blow everything you resolve to change. Stop self-sabotage before it starts! Lighten-up your rigid belief system and remember, tomorrow is a new day. Just because you slipped-up today, doesn't mean that you will relapse again tomorrow.
Old behavioral patterns are comfortable. Most of us love sitting on the sofa, watching TV and snacking. Just because you "resolve" to stop doing this or something else doesn't keep your brain from remembering old patterns. Neurons in your brain fire-up and do the comfortable thing. However, our brains have the "plasticity" to generate new cells and pathways.
As you write your resolutions, mentally prepare for life's little stressors to push old buttons and wreck even the best intentions. There is a real reason the same resolutions keep appearing on our New Year's list time and time again. Blame it on the brain! According to scientific studies, it takes about six months to create new behavior pathways in the brain.
The best way to self-sabotage your resolutions is by making too many. Ambition is not a good motivator where change is concerned. Don't set yourself up for failure by trying to change every-little-thing about your life. Stick to the important stuff and snip things that don't really matter. Enough said!
After you've listed your most important New Year's resolutions, get a separate sheet of blank paper. Write at the top of the page - "Commitments to Myself". For each resolution, write things to remember when you revert to old behavior patterns. Write something similar to this: "I commit to losing _____ pounds over the coming year. If I slip-up today, the world won't end. Tomorrow, I will make better food choices."
Carry the commitment paper with you. Read it 1) when you're tempted, 2) when you backslide. Be mindful, that it doesn't matter how many times you begin to gear-up for change, it only matters that you do
If the only change you make in the coming year is learning to be gentle with yourself, this is enough. Tell yourself at every opportunity - "Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better." (This is one of the oldest affirmations since recorded time began.)
You will fail at something. You will mess-up. You will forget. When you do, dust off the seat of your psyche, get up and begin again. Remember there is wisdom to be found in mistakes. Make some. You are human!
Awesome list. H5!!
Great strategies for the new year. H5
Nice job on this article. Well done!
I am glad to see your great article here and see you posting once again. Welcome back my favorite author!
select one here...