You may have had great plans for making sweeping changes to your health this year. January 1st is usually that supposedly magical day when we get the clean slate and can change those habits that are no longer serving us. But more likely than not, most people, maybe even you, have already abandoned all your enthusiastic plans for making changes by now. Unfortunately most people make a couple of mistakes. They try to change everything all at once or they make the change too big or overwhelming. They may be able to sustain the changes for a few days or even weeks but eventually life takes over and they default to their old habits.
They feel like colossal failures – yet again – and just figure they will never be able to lose weight, or clean up their diet, or lower their blood sugar or cholesterol. So why bother? I wanted to suggest you change how you are looking at this, if this has been your experience.
First I recommend that you only choose one thing at a time to change and break that down into small, gradual, incremental steps. I call it taking baby steps. But what I really wanted to highlight to you today is this: you are human, life happens and you will most likely slip up. No matter how simple the change, it takes time to get it to become automatic and part of your lifestyle. So my first suggestion is, when it happens, just forgive yourself and move on! Being consistent is what makes the difference and slipping up one day and then getting right back to your new habit is what will keep the progress going in the right direction. So cut yourself some slack.
The second thing I want to stress to you is to focus on what you are doing right and the successes you are enjoying, no matter how small they are! Maybe you wanted to lose 5 lbs over the course of two or three weeks but you slipped up and ended up losing only one. I urge you to celebrate that you still lost one pound and continued moving the the right direction. That may seem silly but you will be reaping incredible benefits. According to neuroplasticity studies, simply by keeping our focus to what is going well, rather than dwelling on what’s not, helps our mental health and mood, but also improves our physical health! A win-win! And isn’t that the bottom line regardless of the change you are trying to make?
Do you tend to focus on what you are doing wrong rather than the many things you have been successful at?
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