How many of us recall the resolutions that we make to ourselves at the beginning of every year, all too keen to completely change our habits and lifestyles; to quit smoking, to join a gym, to eat more healthily, to drink less, to exercise more, to meditate daily... the list goes on. Long term change doesn’t quite work like that and we too readily set ourselves up to fail. This can lead to frustrations, to negativity and to low self-esteem.
Having worked in a variety of settings, I'm reminded that gyms and studios are often packed at the beginning of the year as everyone embraces their commitment to change. Within a couple of months, however, those very same gyms and studios are virtually empty. We simply want too much too soon.
But why do we set ourselves up to fail with such unrealistic goals? Setting ambitious targets is positive but so much more difficult to achieve and to sustain. Always start with small goals, small steps and realistic, achievable aims. So, I say again, »How you feel Tomorrow, starts Today« and by that, I mean committing to changes that are manageable, realistic, and result in long-term improvements to your wellbeing.
Let’s take mindful meditation as an example. Aim to start with a daily 5 minute meditation and breathing practice. It’s about learning to calm your mind with small routines that can evolve into manageable, sustainable habits. Such changes will assist you in achieving and maintaining your personal goals. I want to remind you to pause and to be kind to yourself. I want you to be aware of the impossibly high standards that you might be imposing on yourself.
I’m not a fan of overly strict rules which can inhibit you and create tight boundaries. It's much more useful to approach choices in a pragmatic way – think of your goals as a cake; treat yourself to small slices en-route to achieving your yearly ambitions.
What are you waiting for? »How you feel Tomorrow, starts Today« Ask yourself these questions as you take your first steps:
· What do you want to change?
· What can you change now?
· What works for you?
· What serves you well?
· What sparks your joy?