Dear Lifelines: New Year Fear


Dear Lifelines,


Every January I make major resolutions and I am good with the change for a couple of weeks but then something happens and it seems I can’t stick with them! I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Help, please!


New Year Fear



Dear Ms.Fear


It’s hard to undergo major changes in short periods of time without considerable adjustment to your life and habits. You might find it easier to set a large goal months or even years down the road and then establish smaller goals leading and building up to the large goal.

Habits take time to change. Additionally, determination, persistence and stamina will serve you well in this area. It takes many days to establish a habit, so you have to put forth some solid and consistent effort initially as you are working towards your goals. If you go forward with the frame of mind that it will be a considerable challenge, you won’t be setting yourself up for disappointment. Always do things methodically and intentionally while attempting to establish that habit. It takes more effort at first, but you will appreciate it that much more so that you consciously support your journey and not subconsciously sabotage it. Being mindful means that you think first rather than just acting impulsively. You consider the options and come to a decision based on knowing all the possible consequences. You become deliberate and conscious in your actions instead of moving along without much thought. You can intentionally schedule in rewards for your goal attainment trying to make sure the reward is supporting your goal. For instance, if your goal is to attain a healthy weight, schedule a meal out that you can feel good about eating. You can eat healthy food that takes you towards your goal… not a major feast that will leave you feeling badly and drained of energy. It might help to have some visual markers on your calendar or create a separate goal chart that you can look at every day and feel good about the effort you are making. It also is important to surround yourself with positive people. If you can’t find any in your household, search elsewhere. Groups, churches, clubs and even online chat groups might be able to help support you as you advance towards your goal. Check in with them frequently.

It’s really important to focus on the outcome and continually challenge your thoughts. Your thoughts might attempt to put you back into your comfortable old habits that got you in the problem state in the first place. Is the taste of the cake really going to be greater than sticking to your efforts to get healthy? Is taking a drag on the cigarette really more important that being there for the birth of your grandchild? Your mind will play games telling you it won’t hurt ‘just this once’ or that you’re worth the ‘cheat’ - but don’t be fooled! Focus on the final goal of fitting into those pants or having that wonderful feeling of being healthy and having the energy you’re working towards.


Making your goals achievable and realistic coupled with smaller chunks of goals will help you maintain a positive attitude about your new direction!


Good luck! And Happy New Year!

Lifelines


“Thoughts have actual physical properties. They are real! They have significant influence on every cell in your body.” Dr. Daniel Amen

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