Now that the dust has settled from the holidays and we are back to some semblance of normalcy after the sometimes frenetic hustle and bustle, those of us who made resolutions, set intentions, created a vision for the next 12 months are faced with the actual steps needed to see them through to fruition. What were yours? Lose weight, finish projects, clean closets, quit smoking, apply to college, eat a healthier diet, save money, get a new job….these are pretty common. What makes the majority of them fall by the wayside before the paint is dry on the shiny new year? Two words come to mind….MOMENTUM and MOTIVATION. Consider this: you are riding a bicycle, whether for leisure or transportation from point A to point B. You pedal, pedal, pedal……coast (especially down hill) and then pedal some more. At some point, you stop and rest or arrive at your destination and get off the bike. The thing is, if you do more coasting than peddling, it will take a whole lot longer to get there. Once begun, it’s a whole lot easier to keep going. When you see that you have made progress, it provides incentive to stay on the bike. The other component is reminding yourself why you are on it. The same is true for those resolutions. If you resolve to lose weight and eat more healthfully, ask yourself what is behind your desire. You can tell yourself, “I am losing weight and making better food choices and feeling healthier and more fit.” or “I am improving all of my relationships by being a better listener.” or ” I am keeping my house neat and orderly so I can find what I need when I look for it.” When we can see the benefit, we are more likely to stay on track. When we are aware of the feeling we are going for, we experience greater motivation to go for it.
When I began my exercise regimen in earnest three years ago this past November, I noticed that my motivation exceeded my strength and stamina. As I gradually added more time in the gym, more resistance with the free weights and the machines and more inspiring thoughts by listening to music or watching shows that fed my imagination, it was easier to keep coming back. Reframing my treks to Planet Fitness (The Judgement Free Zone) as ‘playouts’ and ‘sweating my prayers’, it made it that much more enticing to get out of bed or make it the last stop of my otherwise full days. When I experienced the overall wellbeing benefits of weight loss, energy and stress reduction, I wanted to go there all the more. The idea is to find fun ways to do what I know is good for me that I might otherwise resist. That is as true for cleaning closets as it is cleaning out worn out beliefs about how things should be in my life.
How can you inspire yourself to keep your New Years’ resolutions/revolutions? How high and far are you willing to reach?
www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLQ64BTCH2E Reach- Gloria Estefan