The key to keeping your new year’s resolutions

So here we are already at the beginning of the 3rd week of the year.

How is it going with those new year’s resolutions?

Are you still burning ahead in a blaze of glory smashing your goals? Kudos to you if you are. Or has the shine and glitter of the new you started to fade and your focus or motivation disappeared? Don’t worry you are not alone.

Week three of a year is the traditional point where most people abandon their resolutions, feeling that ‘real life’ is taking over and they don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to their new year, new you dreams. In fact this point in the year traditionally 31% have given up and by February just over half of us are still on track. Kind of depressing really. When you think about it that means that just under half of us ill be suffering will failing resolution remorse by the 3rd week of the year. No wonder January can sometimes feel so grey and bleak

But does it have to be this way?

How is that other half of us manages to keep going when so many of us struggle. Well how long is a piece of string? There are many reasons why we fail to keep our new year’s resolutions. But that is not really the important. What is important here is if you really do want to make the changes you originally decided up how do you get back on the horse and keep to your resolutions when it seems impossible to achieve? In fact is it even possible?

The answer my friends is YES!

It is possible to get back on that horse. Take it from me. In my past I was the expert in letting the new year’s resolutions slide into guilt and doing nothing. It was a regular yearly occurrence and I hated it. I let it lower my self esteem and drag my motivation down so that accepting defeat and giving up seemed like the vicious option. I felt as though I couldn’t trust myself to make agreements or believe that I would keep them Does it sound familiar?  But now after 40 years that girl is gone and I have managed to turn it around. I found the key that unlocked the secret of keeping my new year’s resolutions and since then, well it’s not been plain sailing, I have been achieving my goals and my confidence has soared. And it’s this secret, I should say secrets, that I want to share with you today.

Acknowledge & evaluate your test run

Now whenever there is a new product on the market they have a test run. The new product gets tried out, it’s consumer tested etc. This is what you have been doing with your new year’s resolutions in the last few weeks. Testing them out for size and practicality and most importantly achievability. Now is not the time to stop. It is the time to evaluate your findings and make improvements to the product so when you launch it, it will be successful. In other words make your new year’s resolution something you can achieve. So check out what is working and what is not and tweak your resolution to make it more achievable.

Pick a Year Theme

I cannot recommend this enough. A theme helps you to focus. For me this has been the game changer in my ability to keep my new year’s resolutions. It maintains my focus and my theme becomes a mantra for me to return to throughout the whole year. So for example 2019 is my year of health and happiness. I am focusing on nurturing my body and soul. Which includes doing regular exercise, eating good foods, going out in nature once a week and prioritising time at home with Mr T and the new vegetable garden. The theme refocuses me every time I don’t want to do my yoga practise or want to push myself over my limits with work. I ask myself is this going to benefit my health and happiness and if the answer is no then I don’t do it. Themes need to be simple a keyword or phrase that sums up what you want to get out of your resolutions, basically define the benefit in a word or statement. It helps to write it down somewhere. It can help to put it up somewhere where you will see it and be reminded every day.

Create your benchmarks

It is surprising in an age where there is a wealth of information on the interwebs about goal setting that people still fall into the trap of creating a new year’s resolution statement that is wildly unachievable or completely vague and ambiguous. So I am going to improve my lifestyle in 2019 or I will be abundant in 2019. Sounds great but what the heck will you actually be doing?  Use that sentence as a heading and create some benchmarks that mean you can measure your progress, keep focus and above all give you baby steps on the way to success that will keep you motivated.

So improving your lifestyle bench marks could be for example:

  • Decluttering my home
  • Have a me day once a month
  • Swim twice a week
  • Eat out once a month
  • Redecorate my bedroom

Remember to check in with your bench marks regularly, So yes, write them down. Checking them off the list will give you a dopamine boost and keep moving you forwards.

Assign time in your year planning

For each of your benchmarks assign time in your year planning. Choosing a start and finish date keeps the focus and makes your resolutions achievable. Often we try and do all 10 of our new year’s resolutions at once. And that my friend’s is a recipe for disaster. And a really great way to set yourself up for a fail. Spread your resolutions out across the year. Then you will move from success to success and give yourself the proper time to make the changes you want. So I am focusing this month on my yoga. (So far 12 days in of my 30 day challenge!)  Doing yoga is already nudging me towards wanting to eat more healthily but I am not putting my focus on that until next month when the exercise has become and habit. Slow and steady progress.

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So it’s time to grab those resolutions by the ears and give them the overhaul you need to really make the changes you want in your life. These 4 actions are really the key to achieving your new year’s resolutions. There is a 5th and it’s the one you can really plan. And that is simply getting on with it. A new year’s resolution is not a boundary you have imposed on yourself. It is a gift you are giving to your future self. So whenever you do something to achieve your resolutions thank yourself for giving yourself that gift, be awesome and get it done.

What will your theme be in 2019? Share in the comments below.

Having an amazingly awesome week

Enjoy your journey <3

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The secret inspiration for committing to action – Mondays!

Happy 2018! I love the new year don’t you? For me January brings with it the inspiration for possibility. In the mid winter mid spring time of year, January gives a hint of the good that is about to come when the spring returns. Kind of nature’s spoiler if you like.  Especially as today when I look out of my window the pale, golden light, blue skies and frost dapple grass gives me a inspiration boost everytime I look outside. Even the air smells fresher! And although it was madness considering the temperatures here in Jutland I even opened the window for an hour to fill my office with the smell, spring is on it’s way.  

However if like me you do get caught up in the inspiration of the new year, you have probably started, or nearly started to commit to actions, new year’s resolutions and plans for the new you in the new year. It all seems so easy to do at this time of year right? New beginnings are around us , new calendars on our desks with empty pages and unlimited potential. It’s great. However often you might find that with all that potential once january has passed that the inspiration light for the new you, or the new goals starts to dim in February, drivel into non existent in March and by April is as real and tangible as the Easter bunny. And why is that?

Well there are many articles out there explaining this phenomenon. However summed up generally the  main challenge is committing to action. No, no, don’t run away I’m not trying to make you feel bad about it – honestly. It is easy to commit to a lifestyle change when it is all new and shiny (don’t I know that one, I have a stack of old diaries and unfulfilled goals to prove it!) The challenge is on the grey days, when the world is grey, miserable, the to do list is never ending and you naturally retreat to the duvet. It’s understandable, technically it’s primitively natural. I digress. The point I am attempting to make is that in order to commit and to keep committed to a lifestyle change maybe what we need is a constant inspiration boost to keep us on track. Kind of an all year round January feeling. Just imagine if every day or at least every week felt as inspiring as the start of the new year wouldn’t it be so amazingly easy to stick to our resolutions? Of course it would.

Now unlike in the movies blue fairies with fix it wands and happy chirpy animal helpers don’t pop up whenever we need an inspiration (and if they did I am sure we would all prioritize our desires a little differently). As is always true if we want a job done properly we have to do it ourselves. And luckily the gods (well it might have been the romans or the greeks actually )gave us a gift perfectly designed to help us with maintaining our inspiration levels. Wait for it… it’s MONDAYS!

No I kid you not. Monday is un-advertise hidden January we need. Monday is the start of every week. Fact. The day before Monday is hopefully a day of rest. Same as January.  9 times out of 10 Monday is the start of a fresh week with no mistakes in it. Now Monday’s often get a bad rap. The ugh back to work day after a free weekend. However if seen from a different perspective Monday can also be an exciting new beginning. You maybe thinking yeah right however I speak to you as an ex-monday hater and yey-monday convert. For me monday brings the January inspiration with it 99% of the time. I love Mondays. From shifting my perspective and with a few conscious habit changes Monday now brings me closer to my goals than any other day of the week. Monday actually supports me to commit to whatever it is I need to or want to commit to. Shockingly Monday now makes life much more enjoyable and my commitment to action more dedicated. And that has been the same in a dead end job, in education and as an entrepreneur.

So how to do this? How do you take Monday’s and turn them around to becoming one of the best tools supporting you to commit to action and make the lifestyle changes you dreamed of on New Year’s Eve? Here’s my guide to making Monday’s become as inspiring as January – enjoy!

Positive from the word go!

Start your Monday positively. No matter what. Stand up out of bed and tell the world “Today is going to be a great day!” I mean it. Out loud. Hands on hips. In pjs or your birthday suit, shout it out to the world. You will feel daft at first however after a few tries it becomes fun and a great mood lifter to start any day.

Plan before you peek

(Nothing rude here I promise.) Instead of turning on the phone, checking Facebook or your emails first thing in the morning, check in with yourself first. Don’t give the excuse you don’t have the time. All you need is five minutes to plan your week, see where you will make time for your goals and yourself and then get on with it. I once read that when we check our emails first thing in the morning we risk not doing what we want to do but what someone else wants us to do. I tried it and it’s true. On the days I opened mails last I was in control of my day. Open them first and I was bogged down by everyone else all day. Lesson learned. Be in charge of your day and your week, after all it’s your life!

(Oh and don’t let your planning take more than 10 minutes. 10 minutes planning is ample to kick start your week and then get off an go and do your week. 10% planning 90% action is always the best policy.)

Evaluate last week

Look back over your progress last week and see how it was going with your goals, your life. Basically check in with yourself. Drop the guilt about what you didn’t do and look at what you need to do. If you got demotivated or off track last week, what is it you can feel you need to get back your inspiration? Identify what you need and implement it as soon as humanly possible. If in doubt I highly recommend the kitchen disco as a winner. Stupidly loud Abba (insert cheesy band of choice) and boogie will bring your energy up whenever you need it. Inspiration after all is just a raising of your energy.

 

Have a success experience

 

To keep committed and inspired we need to succeed. Set goals for yourself on the monday that are achievable and measurable. Today I have writing this article, do the washing and plan my business year. So far two out of three and it’s not 17:00 yet- Go Me! If in doubt I always fall back on washing clothes, I love emptying the basket and throwing it in the machine. Achievable no matter where my energy is at. I have a friend who cleans for a success experience. We are much more motivated when we feel successful so make yourself succeed at something on a Monday.

Clean the slate and then do

Monday is the day to clean the slate. As a child I always loved the Anne of Green Gables quote “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it”. Monday is a great time to remember this. You cannot change last week. It is over. The only thing you have control over is your now. So do something. However big or small (actually preferably small) do something today that is a step towards your lifestyle change. If you do something every monday you are going to eventually make that change.

 

Mondays can be magical. It really is your choice. On Mondays you can decide to make more effort than any other day of the week to start out in the right way and give yourself the inspiration you need to commit – be your own blue farie. Now I am aware that some of you maybe have a different day when your week starts. That day is your weekly January. Using these five steps will keep your motivation and make it easier to commit to action every week and by July you will find that you are still on track with your new year’s resolutions . With the added bonus of a guaranteed, inspiring, effective and fantastic day once a week. Who wouldn’t love that!

Let me know in the comments how you have turned your mondays around

Have a great week, re:root in yourself and enjoy your journey!

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Kick start your 2018 with my Holistic life coaching January offer– available until January 31st only !!

Kick start 2018

#lifelessons101 – So halfway through 2017 how are your new year’s resolutions going? (2 min read)

Ahh June! In some ways I love you and some ways I hate you. Mid point of the year and just before the summer holidays life is busy and pressured, yet the promise of the holidays coming hangs in the air. A combination simultaneous of stress and hope. However as it is the midway throughout the year June is a great time to check in with your New Year’s resolutions. I mean how is it going? My vision board is full of beautiful healthy pictures of food and people doing yoga and yet as I write to you I haven’t trained all week and I am eating vegan bacon chips.

Ho hum, time to go back and check in with this year’s goals. Checking in actually is one of the best ways to motivate yourself and especially before a holiday.  Why? Getting connected with your goals, refocusing before taking a break gives you the time to clear your head and clear away the clutter before taking a re-energising break. After the summer hols you can return to your plans refreshed and raring to go.

Actually checking your progress is a scientifically proved to increases your chances of reaching your goals. Lead author Benjamin Harkin, PhD, of the University of Sheffield has conducted a conducted a meta-analysis of 138 studies comprising 19,951 participants that looked at the effectiveness of an intervention or treatment designed to prompt participants to monitor their goal progress. They found that prompting participants to monitor their progress toward a goal increased the likelihood that the participants would achieve that goal.

So pull that dusty list out of your diary and check in with yourself before your summer break. If you are not sure how then follow these easy steps.

 Do a review of your goals on paper:

Do I want to realize this goal?

Look at the goal you set for yourself. Is it still relevant? Does your life need this right now? Does this goal seem realistic? Is your goal measurable? Is this goal in line with your life vision? Do some brainstorming / free writing around these questions. If you have made a list of steps to take to your goals then you can colour code the relevance of this goal or stage. For example right now making 4 completely new vegetarian recipes a month is unfeasible however concentrating on a regular eating routine is manageable.

How am I doing, what’s my progress?

If you worked with my steps to making New Year’s resolutions that last you will remember than one part of the process is defining the steps you will take to reach your goals. So where are you now? How many of the steps have you completed? Cross off the completed steps on your list. If you haven’t created steps or actions then free write which actions you have taken.

Adapt your goal

Some of your goals may have changed. Some might not be relevant or there has been a life circumstance that has changed your desired outcome. Look at your goals and see if you need to adapt your original goal.Write out your the adapted goals clearly so you can hold on to your vision.

Give yourself  a measurable unit to achieve your goal.

Have a look at each of your goals and define when you want to be complete with the goal or complete with the actions on the way to the goal. Make sure you prioritize your list. Somethings will need to be done now somethings can be left to August or later in the year.  

Call in the cavalry.

Get some help. Accountability is the best way to keep on task. Ask someone to act as your accountability partner. Let them know the goals and time frame you are working within. Ask them to help you keep on track. You can agree on a weekly telephone call or dates for them to contact you. And remember to reward yourself when you succeed. Arrange a celebration with someone for complete the assignments you have given yourself.

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Once you have organised your goals then put your dates in the diary and then get yourself ready for a holiday. Relax and rejuvenate and get ready to come back freshen and motivated!

BE Proud of your progress

Making New Year’s resolutions that are easy to keep! – creating the vision (3 min read)

I hope you had a wonderful and inspiring week. If you have been following the guide from last week’s article  Making New Year’s resolutions that are easy to keep! -get inspired, then you should now be really clear about where you are in your life and where you want to be.

Creating the vision is one of my favourite parts. It’s about finding and setting your goals. One of the best bits of advice I can give here is BE REALISTIC and make your goals manageable. Don’t set yourself up for a fail. For example don’t set one of your goals as to be a millionaire by Christmas this year if you are currently in a low paid part time job. Your goal to be a millionaire can be realised in say 5 years, but right now you need to set a goal of improving your financial situation and beginning to lay the groundwork which will bring you closer to your millionaire goal.

So how to set realistic manageable goals? actually it’s quite an easy process. If you follow the simple guidelines below then you will by the end of this week have a crystal clear vision for your new year’s goals.

Identify your goals

From your findings last week pick out 4- 6 things that you need to change to improve your current life quality. And remember folks this process is all about improving your life quality. You can have goals for your family but those goals need to be centralised around your life changes. You only have the power to change your own life. So identify the most immediate changes you need to make.

Completion date.

Set an completion date for the goals. I always set mine for October. A completion date makes your goals focused and accountable. Simply you know when I have to be done by. This does not always mean a goal or dream is completely finished. It may be that you have an end goal to buy your own house but it will take two years to save up the deposit. So tis years goal becomes save one half of the deposit by October. It is still working towards your main goal, just in a realistic and achievable way.

Evaluation date

Choose a half way point in your year as an evaluation date. Personally I always start my evaluation at August  when the harvest is being brought in.The evaluation is important. It is an evaluation of progress so far and lets you identify the work left to be done. How to evaluate comes next week. For now just set the date in your calender.

Forming your vision

Now this part is fun, especially if you are a creative person. It’s time to make your vision more concrete. It’s time to create a vision board. Collect pictures and phrases  this week that represent your goals for this year. Also find a picture of yourself where you are truely happy. Now take a piece of cardboard ( I use 2 A3 pieces stuck together) and glue the happy you in the center. Divide your board into 4 to 6 sections and group the pictures and images that correlate to each other in a section. I love this part. Make time over the weekend to create your vision board. I like to make this a celebratory event and when complete I toast my vision with a glass of wine. Set time aside this weekend to create your vision board and when you have done hang it somewhere where you will see it every day. If you cannot think of somewhere I suggest putting it across from your toilet, after all you are in there every day!

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So that’s part two of creating new year’s resolutions that will last. By spending time on this process of creating your vision you will make your journey this year so much clearer. Think of it like a recipie book. You start with a picture of the finished product, just as you are doing with your vision board. Then there is a set of instructions on how to make the recipie. And next week we will be looking at how to make the recipie for your goals and dreams to be met this year.

For now enjoy creating your vision and giving yourself clarity to your dreams. Don’t forget to take sometime to thank yourself for dedicating yourself to improving your life. (I plan to take this week very slowly and make time to give myself a daily pampering 🙂

 

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Making New Year’s resolutions that are easy to keep! – Get inspired

I love the New Year, don’t you? For me it is a time of potential. The old year is past and it’s a new beginning. At time for making new resolutions and new agreements with yourself. In fact you could say New year is the the only time where we collectively make a conscious effort in personal development as a society.

The only problem with New Year’s resolutions is that often they fall by the wayside as the year progresses. The challenge is that we often make resolutions too quickly, without preparation and sometimes to follow the accepted behaviour of our social groups than our own wishes. With all of this against us it’s no wonder our new promises fail.

However it doesn’t have to be this way! (Hallelujah!)

How? Slow down the process of making resolutions. Instead of making an on the spot resolution I actually take the whole of January to find the inspiration, choose and prepare for the changes I want to make in my life and create my vision for the coming year. And the result of this is goals that manifest and the wonderful feeling in december that I know I have done what I set out to do. And most importantly I have enjoyed the process.

This month I am going to take you through the process of creating your vision for 2017. By following the guide you will achieve the goals you set for you and live the life you imagine for yourself.

So this first week in January it’s time to get inspired…

Assess your life:

It’s time to take stock of where you are in your life. Who are you? Where are you? What have you done? What are you grateful for at this precise moment in time? What is it you are happy about in your life? What is it that you are unhappy about? Split your thoughts into three groups happy, unhappy and in the middle.

Throughout this week meditate in these questions and write down your answers as they come. Don’t do anything about them now, just collect this information.

Compare your life with your ideal life:

We all have an idea of how we would like our life to be. So next weekend take some time to write a description of your perfect life. And by perfect I do mean one where any fantasy and possibility is fulfilled.  

Remember a perfect life is not an end goal rather think of it as a continuously evolving process. How you want your life to be is going to change as you move through your life. What you need to identify now is what are the constant things you want to make you happy?

Compare your description with your thoughts about your life this week. What are the repeating themes? What is in your life now and in your vision of a perfect life? And most importantly what is not in your life now that is in your perfect life?

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By the end of this
week you will now have a clear idea of where you are and where you want to go. Don’t do anything about this yet. This is your starting point. The inspiration for the vision you are going to create and work towards. But you are not completely done. There is something else very very important you have to do this week

I want you to make yourself a promise this week. There will be something in your life you are very proud of yourself for. When you find it then promise yourself to celebrate it by next weekend. By celebrate I mean do something for you. PErsonally this week I am going to the sauna. This last year I have worked blooming hard and manifested many of my dreams so my present to me is to relax! But it doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be something that is you giving yourself a pat on the back and a thank you.

Don’t forget to write in the comments what it is you are proud of yourself for and how you are going to celebrate it!

Come back next monday to find out the next step of creating New’Years s resolutions you can keep…

HAve a wonderful week <3

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