A year evolves through moments, seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and months. It passes through the seasons, and events that have special meaning for us, such as birthdays and anniversaries. So my question is, “which moment is the most important to achieve your New Year goals?”
Achieve your New Year goals
Step 1 – Be Present
Well, I do hope that your answer was, “this current moment”. To achieve your New Year goals with greater ease, being present in your every moment is the key.
I am not suggesting that just being present is going to change your world. The practice of mindfulness encourages us to be present with purpose and to observe our thoughts and actions without judgment.
“Mindfulness allows us to learn and evolve with less stress.”
If you wish to improve your health and wellbeing through
- Changing internal experience e.g. transforming negative self-talk or stepping off your emotional roller coaster, or
- Modifying an external experience, such as personalising your eating and lifestyle choices.
Then you will need to do three things.
- Be patient and kind with yourself as you actively work on changing your internal (thoughts, beliefs, emotions, perceptions) and external (physical) choices.
- Monitor your internal world as you introduce new choices so you can identify barriers to change early.
- Observe your barriers to change, such as emotions, beliefs and unhealthy foods in the cupboard, without judgment.
The Eating for You book and workbook provide space to explore and transform your inner self-talk.
Step 2 – Identify your Priorities
What are your priorities for your health this year?
Rather than recording lose weight or improve my blood pressure, write down the changes that you need to make internally and externally to improve your health e.g. 7 – 8 hours uninterrupted sleep a night. This way you are focussing on practical changes that need to occur in your day.
- Write down your list of priorities
- Rank the importance of your priorities (from 1 to ‘x’)
- Choose up to 3 priorities
You may use this process to identify your priorities for personal interests, family, social activities, and career.
You may find the personal health and lifestyle planner in the Eating for You book of benefit.
Step 3 – Spend your 24 hours a day wisely
Using our time wisely requires us to plan. Planning helps us to be realistic about when we can introduce our new choices.
For each of the priorities that you have chosen for your health, personal interests, family, social activities and career answer the following:
- Do I need to learn something new? How long will this take?
- Will the chosen priority require time in my day or week E.g. 30 minute walk or 1 hour catch up with a friend?
- How long before the priority will impact on my 24 hours? E.g. you may not be able to start a new course for 3 months, but once you start the course you may need 8 hours a week for study and assignments.
These three steps help you achieve your New Year Goals by overcoming:
Take time to reflect and revise
A daily practice that helps you to stay focused, and in the moment, is starting your day by setting your intentions and identifying three major activities for the day.
Recording in your journal each evening helps you to monitor your progress with daily tasks and your goals. Each day record what worked, what didn’t, what you will try next. It is important to acknowledge your progress and find solutions to what is not working.
Recording what you are grateful for, as well, helps you to keep a balanced perspective on life, especially when you feel stuck. You may prefer to do an audio journal each day.
A weekly practice is planning your week ahead. I find that this works well if you can allocate some time on a Sunday afternoon. Use a physical or digital diary and map out your week ahead. Block out time for sleep, family, meals, exercise, work commitments etc.
The Eating for You book offers additional practical tools to help you achieve your New Year goals. For more information, testimonials and to purchase a copy of the book, Click here.
Being mindful allows you to monitor your internal world and how it is impacting on your choices. Our biggest challenge in introducing change is inside us. Our mind.
If you experience troubling thoughts, anxiety or depression, or you are unable to progress your goals, please seek support from your healthcare practitioners. Our mental health is our foundation for everything.