Humans aren’t great at sticking to resolutions because when the reward is too distant in the future or too vague, most of us choose the immediate reward now because the pull of instant gratification is too strong. This has given New Years resolutions a bad rap but are they complete BS? Everyone seems to have an opinion on it. If you are like me and feel contemplative over the New Year then check out my reflection prompts below.
I don’t do New Years resolutions but I do think it’s a fitting time of year to reflect on what was and what may be.
This time of year feels fresh and full of potential, the weather is sweet, the days are long, we’re often holidaying and it’s easier to feel hopeful and excited about the future. So I say, why not harness that feeling for positive action & reflection?!
After working with many women who need to make changes in order to make their Hashimoto’s health dreams a reality I realised that goal setting was THE all important first step. One of the first things you do in The Thrive Method is learn how to craft well formed goals. I teach that we need to reverse engineer our goals by crafting them in a way that they are do-able and can be broken down into chunks that are behaviour based. This means that instead of setting a goal like, ‘I want to get healthier in 2023’ or, ‘lose weight’, you might download an app that tracks how much water you drink each day and commit to a weekly meal planning date with yourself instead.
Just a little reminder, when you create goals, make them do-able and execute them, you are literally retraining your brain and building new neural pathways. It’s a big deal so well done and a pat on the back! However, it does not happen with one big initial decision in the New Year and then relying on motivation and self discipline to see you through to the end. It just doesn’t work like that, you need to make many small and consistent choices throughout your day, week, month and year to find yourself achieving & maintaining your goals long term. And you also need to cut yourself some slack on the days or meals when you don’t act in alignment with your goals and look at the big picture instead. You don’t have to get it perfect every time, 80% or 90% of the time is plenty to reach your goals. When you view it like this you are much less likely to throw in the towel by mid-Feb.
I take a long term view and I use these times in the year – birthdays are another good one – to reflect on what I’m doing well, where I want to be in the future and what habits I need to build into my day and week to get me there. I know I want to grow old with my mental faculties still in tact and I never want to be hospitalised with an illness again. The hidden reason behind these goals is that I want to be the kind of matriarch that has energy, loves to have fun, hold hands with my husband as we travel the world, hang out with kids & grandkids and whose presence feels like a warm hug.
Whoah you might be thinking! Slow down, you’re still only in your thirties! I know, I’ve always been a planner and I believe that when you decide on a destination it sets the path before you. So this year I know I need to work on building muscle to support my skeletal health (severe osteoporosis runs in our family). I’ve researched some ways I can do this and stumbled across something called rucking that builds muscle while you walk (which I already do & love). It’s just walking with a lightly weighted back pack. Perfect! I can do my usual bush walks and optimise the impact with a weight in my back pack. Box ticked!
Last year I committed to growing more of my own food and being grateful for my home and garden – even if we are renting – by creating a vegetable patch and native flower garden for bees. The behaviour I had to implement to make that a reality was keeping most Saturdays free to spend time in the garden and get into the habit of pulling a few weeds during my lunch break. I started identifying as a gardener and learning everything I could. A year later I have more than halved my greengrocer bill during Spring, Summer & Autumn. We are eating organic home grown vegetables most days and boy it feels good! There is zero will power needed now because I look forward to my time in the garden.
Have you had a moment to stop and reflect on 2022 yet?
Here are some questions you can use to prompt reflections through journalling or meditation.
- My biggest thyroid health challenge in 2022 was…
- What held me back in 2022?
- In 2022 I served myself well by doing the following…
- What health & wellbeing goals do I hold for the next year?
- What daily habits do I need to build to make this happen?
Now, create a plan and stick to it. Studies have shown that on average it takes 66 days for new habits to become effortless. I’ve always got the goods for you so I’ve attached one of my Thrive Method handouts to help you out. You can download it here.