New Year, New Me?
As we approach the end of January I believe this question is at the forefront of most peoples minds, even more so than the beginning of the month. I mean how likely is it that anyone ever successfully starts their New Year resolutions on the 1st of January? You need to at least give yourself a day or two to get a feel for the New Year, right?
"New year, new me? Surely I should have got the figured out by now?"
Panic mode is on, it's almost the end of January, you still haven't got it figured out yet so what hope does this give you? Well if it's any consolation, you're not on your own, I don't know my year plan yet, in fact, I don't really desire to have one, but anyway less about me more about you because that's what you're here for right, the answer?
If this is the year you have decided to make a change, I praise you. I mean let's face it most of us aren't 100% happy with the way that we look or how we feel physically or mentally, we spend hours scouring, wishing. hoping and comparing ourselves to others in magazines, on Instagram, adverts, films, and so on, we're exposed to so much exposure it's overwhelming. However truth be told most of the people you desire to look like or want to be more like have their own self-doubts and hang-ups anyway, so comparing yourself to others is a big waste of time "Comparison is the thief of joy" so Roosevelt once quoted. So what exactly is it you want to change? What does it mean to you to change? Why do you want a "toned tummy for the beach"?
These are all of the questions that you should be asking before you make any kind of commitment or promise to yourself.
You must ask yourself "Why?" and some examples of that would be:
"Why do I want to change?"
"Why am I not happy with how I look and how does this make me feel?"
"Why is changing my appearance/health/fitness so important to me?"
"Why now, why not 6 months later?"
Intense, invasive and prompting questions will provide you with something very special. Dig deep and you will find the answer they say, well whoever that 'they' is it's a matter of fact. If you dig deep enough you will find the answer to help you get to the destination, will you be happy? Probably not, but let's not go there today - let's just provoke an idea of achieving destination unknown for a moment.
MEET YOUR WHY POWER
So this is exactly where I would start with your 2018 action plan "New Year, New Me". In this next section, I am going to provide you with 3 very simple steps to help you feel like this year is the year you've finally got your sh*t together. Providing you follow these steps you will achieve your "New Me" whatever that might be, but I will need you to start to thinking of yourself as a project, this is something I don't think a lot of people do enough...but anyway I'll save that for another blog.
Step 1: Start with WHY
Okay so I've covered some of this above but I will make this short and punchy. You, yes you, don't actually have any willpower.
When you choose to take action or choose not to take an action you do it because of your WHY, I'll use driving a car as an example.
You have been driving for a long time and it's late in the evening, your eyes have started feeling rather droopy and sloth-like. You've wound the car window down but your fingers are now frozen and if you played your music any louder you'd give yourself tinnitus. You have two options, power through with all of your might and just grimace through your exhausted state until arrive at the nearest service station so you can either a) take a nap, or b) get a tall Americano with 47 extra shots. OR you fall asleep and, well crash, then you know what happens next (I know, a tad morbid).
Did you get to the service station by using your willpower? Nope. Willpower doesn't even come close. You made it to the petrol station because you knew the consequences of not making it. You used your WHY.
Does it make sense now? When you start to understand truly and deeply WHY you want to change you'll make a powerful connection and you'll understand why achieving that goal is so important to you. You'll have so much power you'll be able to make choices and decisions that actually serve you, not hinder you. I'm not saying you'll get it right every time, but trust me when I say this, my willpower is actually pretty pants when I'm faced with a challenge or difficult scenario, my WHY power, however - a completely different story.
Start with WHY.
Step 2: Do the easiest thing first!
I can't begin to tell you how many times I've tried to start something new and failed. Why? Because I've tried to run before I can walk, now there's nothing wrong with failure at all. I'll talk more about this later, but sometimes you just willingly set yourself up for disaster right? So to prevent this think of the easiest thing you can do right now, something so easy you could do it with your eyes closed (lol'ing because if it's sleep you need to work on this will be a doddle!). I mean it though!
How do we get better at doing, at being successful? How do we build self-belief, determination, and drive? Well, we build it through achieving. So if we can achieve just a simple something, something very small at first then maybe, just maybe it might give us the confidence to believe that we do have the desired qualities of an achiever and we can go on to achieve bigger better things.
Once you have determined your why, your next step is to find the easiest thing to accomplish, something you might have achieved before. Here I'll give you some health and fitness related examples:
Walk 20mins to the train station instead of drive
Drink 1 litre extra of water per day
Have 4 cups of coffee instead of 6
Get to bed 10mins earlier
Smoke 2 fewer cigarettes a day
Have a portion of protein with my breakfast (eggs/yoghurt)
Close my knife and fork when I feel full
And so on.
Something that seems so simple, you should probably be doing it already. Once you've mastered that, then move on to something a little more challenging. It doesn't matter how long you've been in this game, speaking as a professional now there are always simple easy things that I often neglect because I just expect myself to do them. Take action by identifying the simplest method first.
Step 3: Prepare to fail!
You were waiting for that one, weren't you? In order to get from A-Z you'll spend a little time stuck at G, then some time hesitating at L before you even consider the thought of arriving at W. No one ever gets it right 100% of the time, no matter how perfect the plan might seem something or someone will f*ck it up. That is life. I love the thought of actually being able to achieve something without failing but the reality of the situation is this, I have learned and gained the most knowledge and confidence through failing and succeeded at the end of it. When you first learned to drive, how many times did you stall? How many times did you accidentally clip the curb, or scare the life out of your Driving Instructor (even though they try to act calm you can just tell they are mentally cursing you and dreading the thought of your next lesson) - just mine then?! Haha, just kidding I actually passed the first time, must have been my lucky socks.
You are going to fail, it's going to happen whether you like it or not. However this is what you'll need to do when you do fail, this is the answer you've all been waiting for = suck it up, let it go (sing it like on you're an extra on Frozen) and persevere anyway.
Annoying isn't it?
"I came here for you to tell me what I need to do to get myself sorted and all you've told me to do is, write down WHY I want to lose weight then drink a litre more water and that actually doing I might fail?! Ummm I know that already!"
Okay, so why did you want to know the answer if you knew it already?
I'm smirking - yes me.
The thing is, everybody over complicates this New Year, New Me stuff. If you applied the above and evaluated your efforts at the end of the week, determined what went well & what didn't then you'd know what to do next. Repeat the same process every week and you will get there, wherever there might be. If you don't consider yourself as a project, then now is the time do so. We are always evolving, changing our minds and our thoughts so instead of being so rigid, so self-critical, remind yourself of this:
WHY is power.
EASY is achievable and builds.
FAILURE is always a possibility no matter how well thought out the plan, but we'll learn from it.
Coach, Angi 🍑 x