Ah, it’s January and if your like most people, you’re still pondering whether or not you should make New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you’re the type that rocks them out every year, writing them up, posting them on your fridge and checking back in throughout the year. Or maybe you’re like I was a few years ago, (maybe) writing up your goals then forgetting about them 3 weeks later when the excitement of January wears off.
Or maybe you’re boycotting resolutions this year. They never stick. It’s such a January fad. Bad idea. Ugh, so over it.
If this is you, can I ask you something? What are you scared of?
Initially I kind of liked the boycott–shouldn’t we be setting healthy living intentions throughout the year? Why is January the only time we focus on goal setting? But the more I really sat and thought about it, the more I realized this was just a fear of failing or not being able to accomplish my goals and dreams. It wasn’t the goal or intention setting that I didn’t like. It was what needed to be done after to make them happen that got be shakin’ in my boots.
If that’s you, I totally get it.
No matter which one of these NY resolutioners you are, I hope this post will help encourage and inspire you to take the time, if you haven’t already, to sit down and set intentions for the year–for your family, your walk with Christ, your healthy journey, your job, your mindset...whatever it is for you.
I’ve come a long way over the last few years, working on living with more intention and creating a more mindful life. Mostly because I was just down right sick of living the same disappointing day over and over again. Wanting more out of myself. Wanting more out of life. Wanting to create a positive impact within my home and in this world.
And though I still struggle with goal setting and achieving, I am intentionally working on it and getting better every week, every month, every year.
So, just like Monday’s, I am such a super fan of these calendar year changes. I literally get giddy over the fresh start that comes with January 1. It’s the perfect time to put into motion the desires of your heart, the things you’ve maybe been putting off out of fear of failing (new flash: the most successful people in the world fail. All. The. Time.).
I mean seriously, what do you have to lose?
Since I’m a Nutritionist, I deal a lot with resolutions focused on health so let’s go that direction. These are often times the resolutions that fall to the wayside the quickest. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, right!?
Because forming healthy habits takes time, intention, focus and self-love. But the end result? A life filled with more energy, drive, focus, better sleep, extra joy and less pain, stress, exhaustion, struggle, cravings, self loathing and the like. It simple, but seriously profound.
My take on a healthy life and how this can change things for you
Before we dig into how to make these little guys last, I want to share my take on what a healthy diet and life looks like. This is important because if you’re still stuck in the crash diet, excessive exercise, beat yourself up over the piece of cake you had at your two-year-old’s birthday party mentality, you’re going to understand how my philosophy can change the course of your health journey in a beautifully positive way.
To me a healthy life is about creating balance, learning to listen to your body and it’s needs and dislikes, beginning to see food as nourishment and fuel, resting in the little joys in life (food joys included...I’m a total sucker for a good dark chocolate!), taking time for self-care and meeting daily stressors with more intention and not allowing the hustle to ruin your health.
What I’ve found to work incredibly well for creating a healthy life that allows you to thrive in whatever your health goals may be from weight loss to improved fertility, is purely focusing on good ol’ fashion real food. Food that is fresh and in its most natural form–I’m talking pastured, organic meat and poultry, wild fish, vegetables and fruits, healthy fats from butter and cream, avocado and nuts and seeds and lesser amounts of whole grains from soaked oats, sourdough, sprouted rice and the like.
Yes, there is cooking and time involved in this type of food, but I find this creates a necessary pause on the busy of life and encourages families to join around the table with meals made by loving hands. Homemade food is seriously so much better than the fast stuff.
You see, a healthy life isn’t about restricting, punishing yourself, living without and down right hating your life because you want to lose some weight or improve your gut health or boost your fertility. It’s about so much more and anyone is capable of making it happen.
This take on a healthy life, a more mindful way of living and eating, once put into motion begins to seep into every area of life if you allow it–your business, passions, relationships, even your goals.
Choose to be your best daily
I like what Paul David Tripp says about New Year’s resolutions in New Morning Mercies because it is so stinking true, “It is the time for the annual ritual of dramatic New Year’s resolutions fueled by the hope of immediate and significant personal life change. But the reality is that few smokers have actually quit because of a single moment of resolve. Few obese people have become slim and healthy because of one dramatic moment of commitment. Few people who were deeply in debt have changed their financial lifestyle because they resolved to do so as the old year gave way to the new. And few marriages have been changed by means of one dramatic resolution.” Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies
Is change important? Yes, in some way or another.
Is commitment essential to growth? Absolutely.
But growth isn’t necessarily about one moment of resolve, it’s about a bunch of little moments within our daily lives that make or break our ability for meaningful growth and lasting change.
For example–losing weight isn’t about one thing, like exercising enough or eating lots of salads. Nope. It’s about resolving to make the better choice (dinner at home instead of fast food, water instead of soda, a naked burger instead of the bunned version, a 30-minute walk instead of couch time, etc.) over and over and over again, day after day after day. Fast forward a month or 6 months or a year, you’ve made tons of baby steps that eventually turned into big, life-changing, meaningful, stick-with-it, this-is-just-who-I-am growth.
Bottom line, understand that meaningful growth is about a series of intentional choices that lead toward your goal, day in and day out.
Don’t beat yourself up
Getting healthy, losing weight, preparing your body for conception, healing your gut health, (insert health goal here) are all a process. I’ve been on my own journey for years and I learn new things about healthy eating and living and about myself every year.
The biggest issue I see with people making health goals is that it’s an all-or-nothing thing. But the fact of the matter is that healthy living is about balance because when you are stressing out about the little piece of chocolate you had after dinner or missing a workout because you’re exhausted or getting a cocktail with girlfriends visiting from out of town you create an internal stress response that ain’t healthy. In fact, it totally goes against your healthy efforts.
SO, if you have a meal that is outside your resolve or miss a workout or drink a fancy cocktail that isn’t within your meal plan, enjoy it. If you’re going to do it, make sure it’s something you’re really going to enjoy. Savor it. Sink into the moment of pure happiness (of course I’m picturing a big slice of homemade sourdough bread with tons of butter) and lose the guilt.
Then shake it off and get back on the forward moving train. No regrets. No guilt. No punishment.
I used to be queen of beating myself up, hating on my decisions and actions and being a big huge bully...to myself. But all that negative self-talk got me nowhere. In fact, it crippled my confidence, put me in this weird funk that almost stopped my forward movement in life.
When I began practicing more self-care and shifting my mind to a more (self) loving place, it allowed me to cultivate a mindset of strength and confidence in myself and who God created me to be.
Begin to notice what you say about yourself to others and to yourself. Are you kind, uplifting, grateful? Or are you tearing yourself down? As you begin to be present to your self-talk, captivate those negative statements and replace them with something kind, life-giving, and positive. This doesn't mean you have to lie to yourself about something you truly don’t believe, but the more you practice statements of self-love, the easier it becomes and the more confident you’ll be.
Get your mind right
Mindset is everything. If you believe you can make it happen, you will make it happen. But not without effort.
If you’re struggling with mindset, try Googling quotes on “positive mindset” and pin those bad boys up all over your house.
Quick Tips to Make Your 2018 Goals a Reality
- Create specific goals and steps for how you’re going to achieve them. Be as specific as possible. And write them on paper!
- Work with science, not against it. I always ask my weight loss clients what their goal weight is and when they last weighed that amount. Most people answer like this, “My goal weight is 125 and I honestly don’t know that I’ve ever weighed that...maybe in high school?” Clearly that’s not going to be a comfortable weight for your body. Make sure that when you’re setting health goals, you’re considering what’s realistic for your body.
- No. More. Excuses. As soon as you begin telling yourself why you can’t or how it’s not the right time or that you don’t have the money for it or whatever, take note and ask yourself what is at the root of that excuse. What are you afraid of and get to work on the real issue.
- When things start to get hard, you’re onto something. That’s when you know a breakthrough is on the horizon. If you’ve ever done a sugar detox you know that the first few days are OK, but day 3, 4 and 5 can be the hardest (like literally stay home because you may kill someone) BUT if you make it past those awful days, you’re golden. You begin to feel better, you stop obsessing over what you’d do if you could just get on bite of a twinkie and you create more space for healthy things to come.
Still need extra help?
If you’re still struggling with making healthy habits stick or you’re not quite sure the next steps to make to achieve your health goals, you’re definitely in the right place. Maybe you’ve seen multiple doctors or you’ve been struggling to conceive or you’ve never been able to drop those extra pounds. Working with an expert can make all the difference in your journey and give you the tools to make your health goals and new habits a reality for you.
I’d absolutely love to partner with you and help you rock out your healthy eating and living goals in 2018! Click here to learn how we can work together!