Monday, January 2, 2012

Small Steps Yield Big Changes

Now that the new year is here. It is time for all those well-intended "New Years Resolutions" to be set in place, only to be forgotten over the next few weeks. One thing I have learned this year, as a Health Coach, is that what really works is focusing on small change. Set goals that are attainable. After some time, look back and notice that lasting change has taken place. Don't make promises to yourself or others that are so far out of focus that you are not able to imagine them coming to be. Behavior change is a slow process that requires constant attention to end up becoming permanent.

Take one small step at a time. Just so you know, I also have a laundry list of all the things I need to work on personally and professionally, but I have made a promise to myself that will not allow me to fail. I historically have bitten off way more than I can chew, get overwhelmed and then succeed at none of it. No more of that for me. I think becoming your best self involves keeping it simple. This year I am going to simplify. I really think I am finally learning to practice what I preach. Small steps are the way to go.

My first goal is to stay organized. The following are the small steps that I plan to take to make this broad goal more attainable:

1. I am going to start by organizing my brain. This is a HUGE task! I am going try to practice simple meditation each morning when I rise. I will spend 10 or 15 minutes clearing the cobwebs. One thing I know about myself, is that I run myself ragged with the constant stream of thoughts running through my head at all times. I am going to try to do one thing at a time when that is the only thing that will get the job done.

2. Staying more organized means giving each important daily task its own space in my day. Professionally, that means making a list for the next day at the end of each day. I will take just 5 or 10 minutes to put the day to rest and plan for the next. Each day, as I work through the list, I will reward myself by checking it off. Physically, I will carve out 4 mornings a week to do a vigorous workout lasting no longer than 90 minutes. In addition, I will better nourish my body with good food sources, minimizing sugar and alcohol (which converts to sugar in my body). That crud makes me tired a unmotivated anyway. I do NOT need it! Spiritually, I will designate 2 mornings a week to listening to or reading something that feeds my soul.

3. I will create a work environment that is pleasant and more conducive to getting things done. Getting rid of any clutter will help. I also want to put some of my daughter's photographs on my walls. I think seeing her work will remind me of her creativity and it will inspire me to also stay open-minded and free to explore and accept all that the day presents me.

4. Each hour that I work, I will get up and step away from my desk to give myself some time to rejuvenate.

I am looking forward to 2012. Its focus will revolve around the little things in life. I was once reminded to take note of the many small miracles around me. This is the year I am going to stop focusing on what I have not accomplished, but rather, reveling in what I have accomplished thus far in my life. I am a very lucky woman with so much to be grateful for. I hope that some of this resonates with you and when you sit down to think about the year to come. Remember to slow down and take some time to ponder all that you have accomplished. Recognize all the obstacles you have overcome and the difference you have already made in the lives of others. Let's forgive ourselves for who and what we are not and celebrate who we are! We are all uniquely gifted and should not waste valuable time and effort trying to compare ourselves to others. I am glad to be me and you will learn to be glad you are you.

Happy 2012...the year to reveal Your BEST self!

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