Fanning the flames of New Year’s Resolutions…..

 

I quite like this time of year.

Here in the northern hemisphere it is wintery and cold. Giving us good excuses to hunker down indoors and create cosy living rooms and burn coal in fireplaces. Creating an atmosphere of snuggling down into a nice warm den and finding ourselves becoming reflective of what last year has given us and start dreaming up ideas of how we want this year to be.

And that’s what I find I am doing as I sit there in front of a fireplace, legs tucked under me, glass of something nice in my hand. As I watch the coals glow and fire burn slowly in front of me, I find I’m tuning out of the conversation surrounding me and tuning in to the pictures in my head of what I want to start putting in place to make this year the best year yet.

And I think I have a great list so far. Here are just a few of the highlights:

*Cut back on sugar
*Declutter my digital life — those million and one photos and emails (and ruthlessly delete)
*Declutter my mental clutter — starting by meditating every morning for 10mins
*Eat more healthily
*Do another yoga challenge
*Donate or throw out one item everyday.

Excellent. I snuggle down even further in to my chair feeling satisfied. I’ve got some good goals to be getting on with. I’m feeling smug.

But then reality hits. As I know when it comes to the end of January and I’ve only managed to meditate four times over the space of 30 days, my digital life is more cluttered than before (as I want to catch up on all the ‘sales’ emails flying through my inbox), my donation box has a paltry 2 items in it and my good healthy eating is blown out of the window as I’m out meeting friends for the 3rd time that week.

All my good intentions have now turned into transgressions.

Making resolutions are so fun to do, but why so easy to break? Why do I feel I am slipping back into old habits that don’t serve to make a better me? These good ideas, such resolute resolutions are burning up quicker than paper on a fire.

It slowly dawns on me why. It’s because I rush at these things all at once, all gung-ho, feeling overwhelmed by them all. Then, when I don’t see the results I want – I collapse. Into a puddle of self-loathing and pity and annoyed at myself that I’ve let myself down — again.

Why oh why – again?!

Because I didn’t do the most basic of goal setting. I didn’t embed it into my psyche. I didn’t fine tune it into my subconscious. I didn’t really attach any sense of accomplishment to how they would feel — the doing, seeing, walking, talking in achieving each of them. I didn’t hold myself accountable. I didn’t give myself any consequences.

So this year I’m going to try something different. I’m going to make the decision to embed my grand plans for my 2017 schemes into my psyche — deep. And feel each and every one of them out. Set my intention to be resolute in making a ‘call of action’ for each of them — and show up to them mentally, emotionally and physically. And realise that each day gives me a choice and chance to not beat myself up when life gets in the way of my strict set of 2017 rules.

Sometimes a fire burns best when it burns slowly.

Mirror Mirror on the wall……

mirror

‘How do I look like you?’

Was my question to my personal trainer friends. They looked amazing. The optimum glow of health. I could visualise their washboard abs under their t-shirt….thinking if maybe I could rub their abs they would magically reappear on me.

‘Protein! Protein! Protein’! they would sing like a chorus of birds in the nest with their heads raised to the heavens and there necks outstretched. Everything with protein.

Protein. Right. Got it.

‘How do I Iook like you?’ Was my question to one of my yoga teachers. Bodies carved over time to be lithe and strong. Thinking this is as close to a ballet dancing figure that people can get to without busting up there feet and retiring at the age of 30 to be Sadlers Wells artistic director.

‘Well…..I’m a vegetarian…..dont put things in my body that hurts or abuses it……and fast on full moons’

Go Vege. Stop drinking wine. Stop eating at all. Got it.

‘How do I look like you?’ I asked my work colleague that has amazing arms….amazing stomach….amazing bum….

‘I use to be fat you know….look at this picture……I substituted butter with butter alternatives, low fat milk, low fat everything ….oh yeah and its all about portions…I eat 6 time a day”

Ok. Use low fat food alternatives. Eat bird like size portions. Starve all my stomachs. Got it.

‘So – how do I look like me?’ I ask myself whilst I sit there mentally pinching the fat around my abdomen that is flowing out of the top of my trousers. I’m struck with the realisation of what I’m doing.

Comparison – by default. Thought processes that make decisions between here and there. How do you know your on the right track if you don’t compare?

Our brain is constantly making and dismissing thoughts each and every second.  It is made up of billions of cells that connect with each other and transmit electrical energy. Your brain is constantly on the go, creating impluses that are arranged into patterns that coordinate thoughts, emotions, behaviours, movements and sensations. Filtering through 100s and 1000s of pieces of information, downloads that come externally into the internal world with lightening quick precision.

When you make decisions that are aligned with your goals in life, your brain finds ways to support it. It automatically goes out of its way to find the ‘how’ into making it happen. Even to the point of making excuses.

So I did just that. I made a decision. I did what any other fed up, overweight person does. With this information overload, I went full steam ahead and dived into everything – scattered my thought processes and energy and time, tapping into every resource I had, trying to grasp a piece of everything. To get me to my goal.

Then, funnily enough, I pretty soon ran out of steam and collapsed on my couch nursing a shoulder injury from overdoing it too soon – broken, grumpy and hungry.

Time to regroup. This is not working.

Keeping up with everyone else was hard. And tiring. And I’m still hungry.

And it was the best thing that happened.

Because it made me revaluate my decisions. It caused me to shift, to make little adjustments on the way, adjust the wind in my sails to stay on course.

I worked on the bits that I liked from everyone one that I talked too. Enlightened myself and made my own plan. I did a 30 day yoga challenge but made my own rules. 45 mins a day. I could do that. I ate when I was hungry and soon began to discover for myself what the distinction was between hunger and cravings. I educated myself on how much my stomach could process, what kind of food would feed my cells rather than my appetite.

Decisions made based on my own experiences. Brain neureons lighting and creating my own pattern of how to control my weight to get to the picture of me and how I wanted to look. When I made the decision to stop comparing my outcome to be in line with others and start establishing my weight goals and ideals for myself….I begin to truly find my way.

‘How do I look like you?’ I had a new girl come and sit in the vacant desk beside me. My head swished so fast to face her – ‘What?’

My decisions, my own fact finding, my new neurological patterns and thought processes had started to show results….on the inside and the outside.

I found my way.

Have You Got The Right Mindset?

Everyone at some level wants to have a happy and successful life.

Whether that is a happy and successful family life, working life, social life, it may even come down to not having that extra chocolate biscuit with the morning cup of tea to mean the day itself was a success!

Being happy and successful happens in many different ways and many different forms for different people. Everyone has a different view of what a happy and successful life looks and feels like. But the ones that achieve it…are the ones that have defined it. They know what they are looking for (they have set their outcome/set their goals) and will set a path (or actions) in motion to achieve it.

But how does that really happen? How do people really create a happy and successful life for themselves?

Its all down to the way they ‘communicate’ internally to themselves.

In the world we live in, it comes down to 2 forms of communication – the Internal Communication: what our thoughts are, our beliefs, our feelings, that little voice that sometimes speaks inside our heads.

And there is External Communication: how we interact with the world, talking (and listening) to others, even down to interpreting what our body language says.

Ever hear people say, happiness comes from the inside? Success is an inside job?  Well people, its true. Happiness and Success happens from internal factors, internal communication, the internal thoughts and feelings we project to ourselves.

Sure, ok. external factors can ‘influence’ us in our pursuit of success and happiness…e.g. a news report on tv can make us feel a certain way, a conversation with a friend might make us feel better about a situation, reading an article that offers a different ‘perspective’ – but its really Internally that a ‘decision’ is made on how we think and feel about it.

How we make internal communication with ourselves can allow us to tap into our inner resources, tap into making those internal thoughts and beliefs and visions of what success and happiness are….and once these visions (or outcomes) are played out often enough – they can start to filter from the internal world to the external one.

Maybe today, you can start to see what a happy and successful life looks like to you.