How to easily improve everything in your life this year…in ONE step!
The New Year arrives in a flash of optimism and a renewed commitment to my best health. Suddenly it’s February, I’m clicking “Play Next Episode” and having ice cream for dinner. Hmm.
What happened? Why is it so fun to break our own rules? Why is it so tricky to make Resolutions that stick?
If we combine intentions with habit, we can transform our lives beyond recognition. Resolutions usually come from a soul-desire to improve our lives, but we express them with thoughts and judgments that come from the mind. Resolving to lose weight or work out more because we ‘should’ doesn’t bring success.
A weight-loss study in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine is very revealing: Of a group of women ages 30-50, half were asked to focus on the affirmation “I am making these changes for better health.” The others used the affirmation “I wish I had the body I did when I was 20”, which is really a negative self-judgment, and the women in this group lost 10-20 lbs less than the women affirming a message of self-care.
We also LOVE to break our own rules, and will often make a Resolution based on unrealistic expectations simply to sabotage ourselves. Drastic changes to lifestyle are hard on the system in many ways, from something as basic as being sore after working out a lot after a period of inactivity, all the way to deepening depression when we set ourselves up to fail. In a study at the University of California at Davis, people who made small, evolutionary changes to their lifestyles experienced 75% greater success than those who made dramatic changes, like completely removing sugar from their diets. When we deny ourselves comforts (even if those comforts are not great for us), we feel deprived, and this can lead to a feast-or-famine way of thinking and feeling.
What are the top Resolutions? Weight-loss, better fitness, greater happiness, being ‘greener’, increased productivity, release from addictions, being kinder to others…these are all worthy goals, so let’s make it simple, and do them all at once with one easy step. Ready?