My tips for a healthy and happy 2019.
The start of a new year may have found you spending a little time reflecting on “where you are in life” and comparing that to “where you want to be in life”. It’s a natural time of year when many of us decide to review and redefine our goals. If that sounds like you, then perhaps these tips will help you to create a year ahead filled with health and happiness!
I’m all about simple strategies, so I’ve created an easy framework you can use to really get into the nitty gritty of how you want your year ahead to play out. Personally, I’m not into ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ as such – we all know that many of the resolutions made on January 1 are abandoned by the end of the month! Why is that? Well if you look at the definition of the word ‘resolution’, it means; “a firm decision to do, or not do something”. Wow – that feels pretty black and white! So if your resolution is to get fit by exercising every day, and you’ve missed a couple of days, oh-oh – your best intentions have been thwarted! One step out of line can derail the whole resolution.
That’s why I prefer to set myself ‘goals’ for the year ahead. A goal is defined as; “the object or aim of a person’s ambition or effort, an aim or a desired result”. Hmmm, that sounds much more achievable. It recognises that you are setting an ambition to achieve something over a period of time. You’re going to put effort into achieving it, but it allows you to have the mindset that it doesn’t have to happen overnight. Naturally a good statement of ambition still needs a good plan to help make it a reality!
The 4 C’s to help create your best year yet!
- CONTINUE: Ask yourself “What worked well for me in last year?” You might want to think about the activities you enjoyed, the people in your life that made you feel great, or the habits that helped you feel positive and energised. Write down whatever comes to mind, when you think about what brought happiness and joy into your life. If it made you smile in 2018 – continue in 2019! Make it part of your plan to find the time to keep enjoying these activities.
- CULTIVATE: The next question to ask is “What was ‘OK’ – but could have been a bit better?” This might be something that you really wanted to do or achieve last year, but for one reason or another (lack of time, focus, effort…) didn’t quite hit the mark. Just because a goal wasn’t fully realised – doesn’t mean we need to discard it and replace with something else. Perhaps you just need to devote a little more energy to cultivate that goal and help bring it to fruition this year. Write it down and think about what else you can do this year to make it work.
- CEASE: This one’s pretty obvious but just as important to take the time to ask yourself “What didn’t work for me last year?” It’s vital to identify the habits that didn’t serve you well and may have even derailed you somewhere over the last year. Think about the nagging thoughts that begin with “I probably shouldn’t keep…..” to help identify what you need to stop doing. As they say – ‘cease and desist’ – NOW!
- CREATE: The final question to ask is simply “What’s missing?” Think about the other thoughts you’ve had that begin with “I really want to….” This will help to identify what else it is that you want to achieve in 2019. Remember – this doesn’t need to be a long list of every little thing on your current ‘to do’ list. It’s more about the BIG goals that you want to focus on over the next 12 months. When you have identified ‘what else’ you’ll be able to create a plan to incorporate those goals too.
Being goal oriented is a great way to ensure that you are investing in yourself and working towards being the best version of you!
Utilising my 4 C’s approach should help you to identify your goals for the year ahead. The next step is to discover the behaviours that will make it easy for you to achieve those goals. After all, a goal without action is just a daydream!
The best way to create a clear plan is to chunk it down into smaller steps. Ask yourself what you can do differently this year and be clear about the timeline you are working to. When you break it down into realistic daily habits, you are MUCH more likely to achieve your goals.
For example, if one of your goals is to improve your fitness, sometimes we think that the dreaded ‘E’ word…(exercise) means something that is hard, costs time and money, and brings more pain than pleasure!! Well it doesn’t have to. The secret of course is to find an activity that you naturally enjoy. It’s all about personalising and finding something that is easy to incorporate into everyday life and you will be able to commit to. Will you really be at the gym every morning sweating it out, or is your style more a 30-minute walk before getting ready for work? If so, then get dressed in your walking gear as soon as you get up – that will make it much easier to head out the door. Adding in a fitness tracker will soon have you wanting to step it out even further – I promise!
Perhaps you want to set yourself a goal to get more sleep – and let’s face it, most of us could do with a bit more shut-eye. A new habit might be ensuring that you set yourself a regular bed time and step away from your devices at least an hour before turning out the lights. Or it might be as simple as using an essential oil sleep blend to help you nod off sooner.
Want to cultivate a more positive mindset? Then using a gratitude journal at the end of each day could be a really simple way to focus on those little daily ‘ups’ that we can easily brush over. Just writing down 3 things you are grateful for at the end of each day has been shown to greatly improve our ability to see life as more up than down.
Whatever goals you may set for the year ahead, always remember happiness doesn’t need to rely on getting to the destination,
you can still be happy while you’re on the journey.
Happiness is felt in the present moment, within your daily interactions and experiences. In the end, happiness is a decision. Goals are great for stretching ourselves and improving various aspects of our lives, but we can all still be happy today! When you translate your goals into daily habits – or if you like – develop a system that you can rely on – then it’s even easier to be happy and feel satisfied because of the steps you’re taking every day, which are keeping you moving forward.
As you set about creating your year ahead, there are two quotes I would encourage you to remember. Firstly, “If you don’t have time, the truth is you don’t have priorities” and secondly, “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. If you combine the two, the message is clear. Make Taking Care of You a priority this year. Whether you are leading a business, a team, a family or yourself, choosing to prioritise your own wellbeing and putting self-care at the top of your list is a great strategy for success!
Here’s to a happy and healthy year ahead.
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