Love Your Way Through the Holidays—Part 3

While I’m in New York City, I’m sharing a four-part series on going from Halloween to New Year’s with balance, grace, and fulfillment.

In yesterday’s blog, you looked at the things you are going to do to help you create the holidays you want, and developed a plan for how to achieve your goals.

Today we’re going to look at how to keep yourself motivated to follow your play from Halloween to New Year’s.

The number 1 thing you can do to help meet your healthy holiday goals is to seek support.

Study after study shows that having at least one person support you in meeting your wellness goals will dramatically increase your chances of success.

Having a wellness partner or joining a support group helps:

  • Normalize what you’re going through—You realize that everyone has cravings, gets frustrated by the numbers on the scale, and has moments of weakness. You are not a failure or a freak.
  • Cheer you on—Noticing and celebrating every sign of progress builds momentum towards successfully meeting your goals. Having someone to share these with helps keep you motivated.
  • Problem solve—When you are focused on the problem, it can be almost impossible to see even obvious solutions. Having someone on your side who can see the situation more objectively can help you brainstorm ways around any obstacles.
  • Make the journey more fun—going it alone makes it easier to get caught in the negative thought spiral going on in your head. Having a partner helps break the inner patterns so that achieving your wellness goals is more enjoyable.

But where can you find help?

  • Ask a friend or family member—Choose someone who is consistently positive, good at problem solving, and will be uplifting and inspiring.
  • Join a group—There are a number of on-line and in-person support groups. A few places to look include: transformation.com, beachbody.com, Weight Watchers, your local hospital, or a community group. Pick a group that does more than just air problems. Look for a focus on celebrating successes, problem solving, and offering encouragement.
  • Hire a coach—Consider working one-on-one with a certified professional health or wellness coach who is goal and success focused, and that will come up with an individualized plan to help you break through any thoughts, beliefs, or patterns that are literally weighing you down.

A second tip for maintaining your motivation is to celebrate each tiny thing that you do that moves you towards your goals.

Do this by asking yourself what, how, and when you’ll celebrate—and then do it! Suggestions include:

  • Acknowledge and praise yourself each time you meditate and workout. Even if you only get in 5 to 10 minutes, consider it a win.
  • Give yourself praise each time you face a temptation and choose to stick to your food plan.
  • Honor down time. When you schedule time for rest and relaxation, honor it! Make a point to do something that is truly relaxing.
  • Pat yourself on the back for releasing expectations. Each time you successfully release an expectation or respond in a more positive way than you would have in the past, acknowledge and celebrate it!
  • Write kudos to yourself in your journal. You deserve them!

And if you don’t respond as you planned, what do you need to do to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and still move forward towards the person you want to be come January 2nd?

In tomorrow’s blog, I’ll share my answers to the questions I’ve posed to you over the past three days.

I would love to hear your goals for creating the holidays you want and your plans for achieving them. Also, keep me posted on your progress. I’d love to help cheer you on to success!

Together we can do it!

 

Love Your Way Through the Holidays—Part 2

While I’m in New York City over the next few days, I’m sharing a four-part series on going from Halloween to New Year’s with balance, grace, and fulfillment.

In yesterday’s blog, you looked at those things that have tripped you up during previous holidays, and really thought about how you want the holidays to feel.

Step 2 for starting the New Year celebrating the body—and life—you want is to plan for the holidays you want.

Start by asking yourself these questions, and writing down the answers.

What do you have to do differently to get more of those feelings you want to experience during the holidays?

What do you have to do differently to honor your values?

What are the obstacles you’ll face? What do you need to do differently to work around them? Some suggestions include:

  • Ensure you take time to meditate, exercise, and rest so that you maintain your mental clarity and physical energy.
  • Focus on the best qualities of everyone you love and forgive them for not being perfect.
  • Forgive yourself for not being perfect.
  • Release yourself from the responsibility for anyone else’s happiness.
  • Prioritize your to-do list so that what you’re doing aligns with what you truly want.
  • Release the need to do everything yourself and either ask for help, or let things go.
  • Focus on all the things you appreciate about life.
  • Focus on all the reasons you want to start the New Year feeling great, and choose foods and activities that will support that.

How are you going to do those things? This is key. Really think this through. Questions to ask:

  • How are you going to plan? Daily? Weekly?
  • What’s the minimum you can do daily or weekly that will feel like progress?
  • What are the specific (reasonable) steps you are going to take?
  • How are you going to measure your success?

Tomorrow we’ll look at how to keep yourself motivated to follow your play from Halloween to New Year’s.

Together we can do it!

 

Love Your Way Through the Holidays—Part 1

While I’m in New York City over the next few days, I’m sharing a four-part series on going from Halloween to New Year’s with balance, grace, and fulfillment. 

When I was a kid, the time between Halloween and New Year’s was magical.

What could be more fun than everyone playing dress-up and strangers giving you a bucket-load of candy that you ate for weeks?

Or having days off from school filled with delicious treats?

Or sharing a feast with family and friends?

Whether it was Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, overeating was the primary theme.

While I still love the holidays, somewhere along the way they also became fraught with stress, unmet expectations, challenging family dynamics, loneliness, and bingeing that resulted in self-loathing.

I would often start the New Year with a physical and emotional hangover that might last till spring.

This changed when I realized that I had control—not over other people, but over how I responded, what I put in my mouth, and what I did—and didn’t do. My reacting as a victim or with conflict truly was a choice. 

Making different choices and having a different experience over the holidays takes awareness, planning, and celebrating the smallest victories.

And the rewards are so worth it! 

Over the next four days, I’ll be sharing a series of simple steps that you can take that will help you get through the holidays with balance and grace. Do each step, and you will be starting the New Year with the body—and life—you want!

Step One: Awareness.

Today, look at your past experiences. What are the things that have sent you down a difficult road during previous holidays?

  • Maybe it’s the extra temptation of all the treats that are around from Halloween to New Year’s?
  • Maybe it’s the pressure and expectations of family that you can’t live up to?
  • Maybe it’s your expectations that everything has to be magical and perfect—for yourself or for others?
  • Maybe it’s a difficult relationship?
  • Maybe it’s feeling alone, even when you are in a crowd?
  • Maybe it’s the overwhelming to-do list that you don’t feel supported in getting done?

Whatever those things are that knock you for a loop, write them down.

Then ask yourself these questions, and write down the answers.

  • What do the holidays mean to you?
  • What are the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that come up for you when you think about the holidays?
  • What values are you trying to honor?
  • How do you want to feel?
  • How do I want to be on January 2nd, using the present tense?

Right here and now, make the commitment to make the necessary changes to love your way through the holidays. 

Tomorrow we’ll look at how to plan for the holidays you want!

Together we can do it!

 

On the Eve of the Year 2012

On the eve of the Year 2012, I wish for you much love, laughter, wellness, and wellbeing. May you be present to the adventure of right now, and delight in delving into each opportunity—even if others call them hardships, problems, or obstacles.

May you marvel at what you have and maintain your confidence in what you are becoming. My you tackle each endeavor with enthusiasm and eagerness—from washing dishes, to typing an email, to relaxing on vacation, to engaging in your truest passion.

May your mind be mostly engaged in reflecting on the good things that happen and all that you appreciate. And as you lay your head on your pillow each night, may you look forward to tomorrow with happy anticipation.

These things I also resolve for myself.

Happy New Year! May this be the year where you allow all your dreams to come true!

Together we can do it!

 

Photo by Felixco, Inc./freedigitalphotos.net

 

Accountability

Aside

Accountability for December 30, 2011

After falling into the cookies, on December 20, I committed to being accountable through the New Year to you Fabulous Readers about my diet and exercise as I recover from surgery.

 

Weighed this morning and I have maintained over the holidays, surgery, and recovery. Woo hoo! It’s clear I will meet my goals of maintaining my weight and feeling great on January 2.

In addition to 20 minutes of walk/jog intervals, I got in two short walks yesterday. Also ate well with the only splurges at dinner out with friends being half a cocktail, two bites of apple cobbler, and two peppermint hard candies. I’ll take it!

Today I will do a low-weight upper body workout and will get in at least one short walk. Tonight’s New Year’s celebration with friends will be my free meal for the week, and I will be back on track tomorrow with our area’s traditional New Year’s day meal of collard greens and black-eyed peas.

Thank you Fabulous Readers for helping me meet my post-surgery diet and exercise goals!

 

Are you making New Year’s Resolutions and have a goal on which you would like to be held accountable? Feel free to use the comment space on each of my accountability blogs, and I will cheer you on. Just let me know what your goal is, what you will be doing to meet it, and how often you will be reporting in.

 

Resolve to Feel Good

I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts about the importance of setting goals and resolutions for the New Year. All of them are right that focusing on new desires is important and gets the life-juices flowing.

But one of the reasons that New Year’s resolutions are often dead by February 1 is that unknowingly, people are focused more on not having the thing they so desperately want. They don’t have enough money, aren’t thin enough, aren’t fit enough, aren’t healthy enough, aren’t organized enough—what they want is missing from their lives and they will finally be happy when they meet their goal.

And even though they set the resolution to get out of debt, lose weight, get fit, healthy, or organized, the majority of their thoughts and energy are still focused on the fact that they lack whatever their resolution is focused on.

When you think about the foundation principle that Energy Attracts Like Energy (also known at the Law of Attraction), you can begin to see that thoughts are our mental capital to invest wherever we want, with the dividends being our future life-experiences.

For instance, when you invest the majority of your mental capital on the fact that you don’t have enough money, you are actually building the account that creates more life experiences without enough money. If you invest that mental capital in the belief that you have more than enough money to meet all of your needs, your account includes an increase in life experiences of having more than enough money.

It’s often difficult to recognize where you are investing your thoughts. It seems like if you are focused on money—regardless if it is lack or abundance of money—you should get more money. It can be incredibly frustrating and discouraging to think you are focused on more money only to continue to get lack of money. But your life experiences are always letting you know where you are investing most of your mental capital.

A good way to tell where you are investing your thoughts and energy is by paying attention to how you feel. Focusing on lack feels like yearning or even desperation. This is why wanting often gets a bad rap; people confuse wanting with yearning. A feeling of lack always feels bad.

Wanting is a feeling of confidence that you will get the thing you desire. It’s knowing the goal you have set is yours. It’s enjoying the thought of what you want and being thrilled as you watch the process of life shifting to help you achieve your goal. It’s feeling engaged and excited to do the things you can do to bring your request to fruition and letting go of what you can’t control with an absolute knowing that the Universe (God, All-That-Is, Higher Self—whatever works for you.) is happily engaging all of its incredible resources on your behalf.

But it can be hard to shift your focus from yearning for something to thriving in the process of life that will bring you to your goal. Often it is easier to move yourself forward by shifting your mental capital from the account of money (or whatever your goal is) and to instead invest it in more general life accounts, such as feeling good most of the time, loving and laughing more easily, and enjoying your life more.

You are still investing your mental capital where you would like to build your life experiences, but there is less risk that the investments aren’t going into the account you truly intend. You can tell if you are investing more wisely because you feel good.

If you want to make New Year’s resolutions, by all means do it. Just pay attention to how you feel, and think about diversifying you mental and energetic investments so that you get a better return. You can tell you are putting your mental capital where you want because you get the immediate bonus of feeling good and having more fun right now.

Together we can do it!

Photo by Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Accountability

Aside

Accountability for December 29, 2011

After falling into the cookies, on December 20, I committed to being accountable through the New Year to you Fabulous Readers about my diet and exercise as I recover from surgery.

With my doctor’s OK to slowly go back to my regular workouts, yesterday I did a low-weight lower body workout and it felt awesome! Also go in a nice walk with the dogs. Am a little sore this morning, which lets me know I hit the intensity level just right for where I am in my recovery.

This morning I did 20 minutes of walk/jog intervals and I plan to get a walk or two in, as well.

Eating was pretty clean yesterday. Only thing off plan was two peppermint hard candies to satisfy my post-dinner sweet-tooth. We are going out to dinner tonight with friends, so will do my best to stay on track.

Definite progress!

Are you making New Year’s Resolutions and have a goal on which you would like to be held accountable? Feel free to use the comment space on each of my accountability blogs, and I will cheer you on. Just let me know what your goal is, what you will be doing to meet it, and how often you will be reporting in.

Accountability

Accountability for December 28, 2011

After falling into the cookies, on December 20, I committed to being accountable through the New Year to you Fabulous Readers about my diet and exercise as I recover from surgery.

Had my first post-surgery appointment with the doctor yesterday and he confirmed that I am recovering remarkably well. He even expressed surprise at how well I’m doing! I attribute this to the power of a positive mind-set, minding the doctor’s instructions to walk and drink lots of water, and eating well most of the time. As my accountability posts attest, perfection is not required for fabulous results!

I have permission to slowly go back to my regular workouts. My body will let me know if I am doing too much.

Did get in all my walks yesterday, and ate clean until we joined friends for dinner and drinks. I splurged a bit on two drinks, a few bites of my husband’s French fries (they were worthy!), a couple of bites of the macaroni and cheese appetizer, and a bite of peanut butter pie. All in all, I think I did pretty darn well.

Did stay up probably a little too late (thus the tardiness of my posts this morning), which I think contributed to the headache I went to bed with last night, but I feel great this morning!

Looking forward to getting a gentle workout in today, as well as a couple of walks!

 

Are you making New Year’s Resolutions and have a goal on which you would like to be held accountable? Feel free to use the comment space on each of my accountability blogs, and I will cheer you on. Just let me know what your goal is, what you will be doing to meet it, and how often you will be reporting in.

 

Accountability

Aside

Accountability for December 26, 2011

After falling into the cookies, on December 20, I committed to being accountable through the New Year to you Fabulous Readers about my diet and exercise as I recover from surgery.

I am back on track! Ate clean—no extras or sweets—and got in all four-doctor-prescribed walks. My intention is to do it again today.

 

Have a goal on which you would like to be held accountable? Feel free to use the comment space on each of my accountability blogs, and I will cheer you on. Just let me know what your goal is, what you will be doing to meet it, and how often you will be reporting in.