Patience is a virtue. Time is our friend.
It’s that time of year when we are looking ahead to the future, setting goals and wanting to fast track our health and fitness journey. January is a nice fresh start and we feel as though it is a great time to reset and start again.
Each year we are guided by societal norms to set New Year’s resolutions that we think will help us through the year ahead. Goals that will help with our health and happiness. There is only one problem though. New Year’s resolutions have a bad reputation for failing. Why? Because, we are naturally impatient. For some reason, we think the new year will help us stick to our goals, will change our life and that we will be able to achieve even the most unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves.
Can you relate?
There is good reason why our New Year’s resolutions are mostly unsuccessful. We want to see results now, not in 6 months time or 12 months time … but now or in 4 week’s time!
Time is our friend and we need it to achieve the things we want to achieve.
Perhaps we just need to slow down and stop being in a rush to achieve things, to go places or to do things. The beginning of a new year doesn’t mean that time works any differently.
So how do we enter into the new year positive, not only ready to achieve but TO achieve the goals we set for ourselves? A new respect for time may be the missing ingredient.
We are all a work in progress and everything we do, no matter how small, no matter where we end up, and no matter how long it takes, makes us who we are. Small incremental change upon small incremental change will have a compounding effect. Each small decision we make to better ourselves carries forward into the next small decision and action we make leading to overall lifestyle change.
Here are my top tips for a successful and healthy 2022:
- Remember that 2022 is a continuation of a journey that has already started – it is not a new beginning. New beginnings can be overwhelming and almost a mountain too big to climb. Our experience and knowledge to date is a gift and cannot be taken away. Reflect, take learnings from the past and use everything you have to better the future.
- Understand that each goal takes time and that the factor of time is just as important as the end goal. Time gives us perspective and new knowledge which may be needed to reach our goal.
- Lifestyle is a life long journey. Changing habits can be trial, error and trial again. That is absolutely normal and OK.
- Know that failure is part of success. The only way we learn is through experience. And experience takes time. Experiment, have fun, learn and remember that everything that happens is meant to be.
- Remove the all or nothing mentality. It is not all or nothing. It is always something and something is great! Start, stop, succeed, fail. It doesn’t matter. Each time we try something we move closer to our goal and can be proud.
- Set goals that are positive, reframing goals like ‘I am going to stop eating chocolate’ to ‘I consciously think about making healthy food choices’. Try not to reframe from ‘I will not’ to ‘I will’ as ‘I will’ is not strong enough for us to make the change. This simple shift in mindset makes all the difference. Another post on this to come!
There are many New Year’s resolutions around health and wellbeing but we must remember that creating healthy happy bodies requires time.
Don’t wait for a particular day to start something you know is really important. Take the pressure off yourself to achieve something in a couple of months that can sometimes take years to achieve. Set a small goal and start working towards achieving it straight away.
Enjoy the time you have, chip away making those small conscious changes and you will be making a difference to you.
Time will pass anyway so regardless of how small those changes are, you are on the path to being successful in your pursuit of health and happiness.