Happy 2020! Instead of making hard-to-honor resolutions (like releasing those last 10 pounds by February or getting to the gym at 5:30 every morning), I recommend starting the New Year with a recommitment to your overall health and fitness.
In honor of the New Year and decade, here are 20 of my favorite ways to recommit—that have nothing to do with eating and working out. Because while good nutrition and exercise are important, equally important are calming your nervous system to curb emotional eating, becoming spiritually grounded to treat yourself with love and compassion, and using the power of your mind to follow through.
1. Choose a Theme for the Year
A theme (such as patience, forgiveness, courage, etc.) guides your growth and progress through the coming year. It becomes the lens through which you make choices. For example, if your theme for 2020 is self-compassion, think how you will bring self-compassion to your weight-loss journey every day. If your theme is health-first, how does that affect your daily habit?
See what I mean?
2. Ground Yourself
Use this easy and effective technique called “Four-Step Breathing” to settle yourself when triggered:
Slowly take in a deep breath as you silently count to four.
Hold the breath for four counts.
Slowly release the breath as you silently count to four.
Hold again for four counts.
Repeat several times.
3. Choose Your Words Wisely
Eliminate the following words from your vocabulary: Try, should, can’t. These disempowering words add struggle to your weight-loss journey and weaken your confidence. For example:
Change “I’ll try to take a walk today” to “I will (or won’t) take a walk today.”
Change “I should eat a salad” to “It’s good for me to eat a salad.”
Change “I can’t exercise this week” to “I choose not to exercise this week.”
In the long run, being positive and honest with yourself keeps you strong.
4. Use the Power of Your Imagination
Success happens first in the mind. Take five minutes every day to visualize what it looks and feels like to release the next five pounds. Or imagine yourself reaching your goal weight. Especially important are the feelings—such as confidence or joy—associated with what you’re visualizing.
For example, imagine yourself ten pounds lighter and walking down the street with your head held high, feeling proud and at peace with yourself. Or visualize enjoying dinner with friends feeling content about making healthy food choices (and no longer thinking you’re depriving yourself by skipping dessert). This inner work of visualization with feelings ensures the outer work of your daily actions take hold.
5. Create Your Reality
Don’t listen to those who say weight loss is “hard” and “difficult.” (more…)