Whether you’ve set resolutions, are taking stock of your goals, or are just trying to resettle after vacations and holidays, stabilizing into new rhythms or forgotten routines can be challenging.
The hectic holidays, vacation freedom, and winter blues can all throw you off balance, even if you’re eager to get on the right track. We’ve compiled some tips to make resettling a little easier, so you can create a healthy, successful year.
- Block out some time. Whatever it is you’re working towards, it is helpful to have scheduled blocks of time. Especially when starting something new, it can be easy to procrastinate or push things off because “other stuff” comes up. Regularly setting aside time to focus on your goals will help you establish a routine and ensure that you prioritize your goals and yourself.
- Create an outline. Teachers create outlines to clarify what to expect, what needs to be done, and how things will be measured. These same concepts can be applied to your personal life. Determine what your goal is and then outline the details. When will you do it? What will it take to get there? How will you measure your success? A clear understanding of what you’re working towards makes it easier to take the steps needed to get there.
- Take small steps. You hear this all the time… because it works! If you’ve lost your routine or are starting a whole new one, it can be overwhelming to make a sudden change. If your goal is to do an hour of meditation each morning and you’re struggling with waking up an hour earlier, try starting with 5 minutes the first day, then adding 5 minutes each day after that. Your system will gradually adjust and the small boosts of benefits will inspire you to keep going.
- Determine your deeper why. If you want to lose weight, the simple reason might be “to be healthier,” or “so my knees don’t hurt,” but it will be more motivating if you understand the deeper why. Perhaps you want your knees to feel better so you can spend more time in your garden and eat more home-grown food. By understanding your why, you have something more tangible to work towards, which will help you stay motivated even when you don’t feel like it.
- Reward your progress. Much like children, our systems respond well to reward feedback; but it’s important to choose rewards that aren’t detrimental or opposite to your goals. If you’re now waking up 30 minutes earlier every day, rewarding yourself by sleeping in late will only make it harder to stay on track. Instead, try waking up early still but reward yourself with a nice breakfast or morning coffee with a friend.
- Leave the judgment behind. Making changes and improvements in your life is a process – there will be ups and downs. If you’ve been doing well, but backslide a little, try not to judge yourself for it – negative self-talk diminishes motivation. Instead, be compassionate towards yourself and consider what contributed to your setback. Your steps backward will be much more productive if you leave the blame, shame, and guilt out of it, and focus instead on the root causes.
- Breathe. If all else fails, focus on your breath. Although breathing happens naturally, it is very common that we breathe from the chest, rather than using our diaphragm; if you’re stressed or anxious, this is even more common. Making changes in your life can bring up a lot of emotions, sensations, and history, so if you find yourself feeling anxious, dejected, or avoiding your new goals altogether, focus on breathing deeply with your belly. Full, deep breaths calm your nervous system and can give you a fresh perspective on tackling your goals.
Perhaps you cannot pinpoint what your deep motivation is, or you find yourself going into judgment every time you misstep. Dr. Adam’s training can help you determine what it is you’re working towards and how to let go of the things that hold you back.
As you move forward into 2016, focus on your intentions but remember your compassion, patience, and willingness. And if you ever need support, we’ll be here to help you!