Make a self-care resolution you’ll love and stick with the whole year through!
We all do it, or at least think about doing it. Even if you’ve resolved not to make anymore resolutions, you can’t help getting mental commercials flashing in your mind of ways you’d like to be different, excel or change your self or life for the better in the coming new year. For most, especially us ladies, the body thing (weight-food-fitness) becomes a screaming sound bite that plays frequently this time of year—almost as often as pre-swimsuit season ads!
And it’s natural. This time of year brings with it self-reflection and change. The calendar, weather, passing of celebrations, as well as solstice, cultural and religious markers all direct us toward quiet, inward contemplation. Not to mention all the crap you’ve been shoveling down for the holidays…
There is a magnetic pull toward making resolutions that boost the rankings of your ego’s self judgment: how much $, success, beauty or power you have on the world’s scale. But that attraction to make flashy goals and resolutions will fail you in everyday reality. Research and experts (psychologists, behaviorists, coaches and trainers) have clearly determined: extrinsic goals do not work. One must set intrinsic goals if she expects to succeed.
Intrinsic goals are those most meaningful to you, at the core. My recipe for setting yourself up for a fabulously successful intrinsic self-care goal looks a bit like this:
1. Seek In, Not Out. Spend New Years Day not seeking out diets or workouts; rather seek in-tuition on your essence or content goals. Get down to the nitty-gritty of what you’re truly wanting. In other words, what is it that you really want to experience—the thing you believe the external goal will bring you? You say you wanna wear a size 6, but what will that give you? Confidence? Self-appreciation? Power? Make it easier to breathe? Get clear on your “What” or the essence of the extrinsic goals and that will reveal your true, intrinsic goals.
2. See this as an LTR. If this fitness thing were a long-term relationship (LTR), and your body a prospective mate, how would you roll? Would you push it/him to the altar? Would you say mean things about his naked body? Would you sit down on your first date and tell him all the ways he better look, perform or be the way you want him to be or else? Would you show up for dates? Fitness is a LTR and your body is your life-mate, so start treating it the way you want to be treated.
3. Understand the elements. If your self-care resolution is going to last it has got to have 3 elements:
a. Aligned with & inclusive of YOU: your lifestyle, tastes, schedule, people, foods you like, etc. If you set this up as an extrinsic, ego-oriented, physical-only numerical destination, you will fail. If it doesn’t mesh with you/you don’t like it, you won’t keep it!
b. Kind and loving to you; your self-talk about your body and care of it can’t sound like a cruel, judgmental, abusive husband. It, you, have to train yourself to be gentle in thought and word. Start a body gratitude journal tonight; 5 things a day you appreciate about your body.
c. A joyful journey: there’s no getting there, so you better enjoy the ride! Fitness is a never-ending road trip with stops and sites to see along the way. There are fun times and flat tires. It’s a beautiful, beneficial trip but you’ll never get “there” so that you get to stop traveling. Once you reach your goal weight, you still have to maintain it. It is like breathing or brushing your teeth—you have to show up for it daily and enjoy the now. So design it to be enjoyable and doable part of your life.
My book goes into the details of these and more. I will be posting more helpful info and tools to help you set-up and maintain stunningly successful self-care all year long.
I wish you the happiest, healthiest New Year ever!