Have you seen them yet? No not the Christmas decorations…The articles and headlines about the new year!!! Yes, they’re out there already:
“Start 2018 Strong”,
“Make 2018 Your Year to Exercise”.
“Lose the Weight for Good”, etc.
Grrrr…My question for the news media is: If something isn’t going well now, why wait until 2018 to fix it? Basically what they’re saying is, until January, how about you find a way to stay stationary, put on weight, and “Finish 2017 Mentally + Physically Weak” …doesn’t sound like the life I want to live.
How about we write our own headlines: “Start Your New Habit Now”, “What can you do today for a Successful 2018?”, or, my favorite: “Get a Life Coach and Finish 2017 Strong!”. Seriously…if things are a bit of a shit show in your life now, why wait for two months to feel better or make minor changes? If you’re not getting the sleep you need now, why wait until 2018 to change that? If you aren’t exercising now, why wait until January to start moving? If you’re eating too much now, why wait until January to get more mindful when eating? This is a great time of year to review how you’re doing with each of your 5 Pillars of Wellness.
My life changed when I started doing two things: One, taking responsibility for what was going on in my life and, two, looking at my life like I was a detective to see what life was trying to teach me. I journal about what I might learn from what is happening in my life and what I can learn from it. I reflect on how my actions play out in the reality of what my days looked like. For you, what can you learn from your life right now? What might life be trying to teach you? Where can you take responsibility for what is going on? Here are four powerful questions that can help you clarify where you could make some changes TODAY:
- Are you getting regular to moderate exercise?
- Do you have people close to you that you deeply connect with daily?
- Are you eating a balanced diet for you?
- Are you getting enough rest?
Let’s dive into each question:
1) Are you moving you body most days?
Note, I’m not asking if you’re going to CrossFit, Orange Theory, or some other specific fitness class. Our bodies are all different and the type of exercise that works for you is the type to do. The heart of this question is: Are you deliberately setting time aside to move your body? Our body is meant to move and stretch. If you haven’t exercised yet today, get up and do 1 pushup now. A little of something is better than a lot of nothing. Start small. How can you move your body today? Do that. Don’t think of what you’re going to do next week because we can get side tracked planning. For now, get up and move today. One pushup. Run up one flight of stairs. Walk around your block. Do Something. Start where you are now and go.
2) Do you have people close to you that you can be yourself with?
Who do you turn to when you experience success? Who do you turn to when you’re upset? Who do you reach out to when you’re overjoyed? Take a look at the 3 adults you interact with the most, in person or on the phone. When you hang up the phone, how do you feel? How supportive are they? Who do you spend time with that criticizes you? Why do you spend time with them? Who do you spend time with who compliments you? Who supports you in your goals? Be aware of who you interact with. We take on the emotions of those closest to us. Consciously choose who influences your life. Click To Tweet
3) Are you eating foods that give you energy?
Note, I didn’t ask if you are eating a gluten-free diet or practicing intermittent fasting. As we said with exercise, our bodies are all different. What works for your body may not work for my body and most certainly won’t work for everyone’s body. Your only concern is with your body and how it feels. Who cares what the latest study says: How do you feel after your meals? How often do you eat past the feeling of full? How often do you go to bed with regret for what you ate or drank? Which foods work for you and are you eating them most of the time?
4) Are you getting enough rest?
This is not as flexible as food or exercise. Whereas food and exercise can be more individualized, all adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Yes, that means you. You are not one of those rare birds that only needs 5 or 6 hours. You may be surviving on 6 or less but you’re not thriving. If you routinely get 6 hours and were to have a brain scan, it would show damage equivalent to that of a heavy drug user. It’s like driving your car with the parking brake half on. You’re not performing your best at work or home, your relationships are suffering, and you’re shortening your life span. Sure, some nights we will get less sleep than others and that’s okay. That’s like saying some days we eat less vegetables than others. I encourage you to look at your overall habits – Do you get 7-9 hours of sleep most nights? If not, change that. No excuses necessary.
What matters in all areas of our wellness is what you are doing most days. As a coach, I work with clients to see how our small daily actions add up to big results. If you’re consistently getting 6 hours of sleep, consistently eating a nightly dessert, consistently surrounding yourself with critical people and/or consistently skipping your workout, your life will mirror that. If you rarely stay up late, rarely have a glass of wine after work, rarely skip a workout, or rarely answer the call from that judgmental friend, your life will mirror that. The beauty is, it’s up to us. We get good at what we practice. What are you practicing? Overeating? Pushing snooze? Complaining? Click To Tweet
Warriors, I encourage you to not wait two months to feel better. Fix what’s broken now. Address what you want to be different now. It’s a new month now. Why not pretend it’s the new year. Take stock of your wellness. Get a coach. Make changes. Set some goals. Eat a little more of what’s good for you, a little less than what’s not. Move a bit more today than you did yesterday. Get more sleep this week than last. Start where you are.
What did you want this year to be like?
How has your year been so far?
How has it surprised you?
How has it frustrated you?
How can you end the year with strength, of mind and body?