I hope your 2016 is off to a phenomenal start. I’ve had a refreshing couple of weeks in Australia and am now back in San Diego, back into routine including writing my blog again! On reflecting about what I want to do in 2016, and how to best achieve positive change, thought of five things that I’m going to do to assist growth and change without putting undue pressure on myself or being unrealistic about expectations. Here are five strategies to get the most out of 2016:-
(1) Choose one nutritional change that you will implement
For most of us, making radical changes in our diets in short amount of time just ends up in failure and a return to prior habits. More realistic, in my opinion, is to choose one thing at a time that you will implement. Perhaps you could choose one thing per month, or one thing per quarter, but I have found that for myself and for my patients, one step at a time creates healthier habits and maximizes the chances of those habits and changes sticking. For me, my change is going to be juicing or making green smoothies five days per week. I used to do it, but got away from it for a while, so I’m recommitting to that.
(2) Choose one health/ fitness strategy
On the same premise as with nutrition, choosing one thing to do differently, or to add, is easier than trying to commit to an unrealistic program. You may only need to make one change a year; or one every month – it’s up to you!! I’m going to get back to doing pilates class once a week. It might not sound like much, but since having Valentina I’ve been able to maintain my morning runs (30 mins out the door and back is easier to stick with than taking 1.5 hours with travel time etc and having to get to a scheduled class). But I miss my pilates so on Thursday afternoons where I have been staying at work to get everything wrapped up before the weekend, I will scoot out of the office and off to class.
(3) Delegate one thing to free up some time
I feel like we’re all in this chronic state of not having enough time – whether we’re working or staying at home with the kids, just being a mum dictates that we have time pressures and challenges!! Most of us can’t afford the luxury of a personal staff to take care of our needs, but perhaps there’s one thing we can delegate to free up some time. I know for me, I delegate grocery shopping to Amazon Fresh!! I love it. Having flown in from Australia yesterday, which is a 14-hour day flight, plus two hours of driving on each side, I was in no state to leave the house to go grocery shopping, yet the cupboards and fridge were bare! So I popped on to the Amazon Fresh website and went click, click, click and ta-da! Just like that I had groceries at my door this morning. Do I pay a bit more? Yes, but to me it’s so worth it to not have to grocery shop (although I will say, I calculated out how much I’d be paying the nanny if I had her one extra hour per week so go shopping, and Amazon came out cheaper by far!). Another thing I’m looking to delegate is ironing. I hate ironing with a passion! But I have clothes that I love that require ironing. I’m still working on the logistics of that since my local dry cleaner doesn’t have an ironing service, but it’s on my list to figure out. It’s just a little thing but it will make me happy and make my life easier. The little things all add up.
(4) Choose one self-care strategy
Self-care does not happen all by itself, most of the time you have to be very deliberate and choose it. Self care strategies could be anything from having a massage once a month, to meditating each day, to writing in a journal. I had a massage while in Australia and was reminded of how important and wonderful they are, so I’m choosing having a massage once a month as my new strategy. A couple of months ago I had implemented meditation – 20 minutes five nights a week, and that’s been great. Another one I’m choosing is to do neurofeedback once a week – which I have in my office and just never get around to using myself.
(5) Plan your year and goals – and write them down!
Research has clearly shown that people who write their goals down are more likely to achieve them. So think about your year – what’s important to you, what you’d like to achieve, where you want to see change – and commit it to paper. I find just the process of writing about what is working well in my life and where my challenges are help me to clarify it all. I did this process on the plane ride home after this trip, and it was enlightening for sure.
These are just a few things that I have thought through for myself, and thought might help you too. The bottom line is – make one change at a time in some key areas of your life. If that change goes well, choose another one a month, a quarter or a year down the track. Keep your desires, dreams and goals in mind all the time. Allow yourself to daydream and use your imagination about the life that you really want. Then convert your dreams into goals and into steps or action tasks.
I want 2016 to be amazing and rewarding for all of you, with positive changes and fulfilled dreams without all the artificial pressures and expectations of New Year’s resolutions!