So you don't do New Year Resolutions, you broke them again, or you're flailing?
Here's a NEW First resolution – READ THIS ARTICLE!
See how easy that is? You just set a goal, and you’re already well on your way to completing it! Really!
Every journey in life starts with a single step. You may well think "It’s the last week of January 2016, and it’s too late for resolutions, I have no time...", however welcome to our article which will support you being one step ahead in preparing for this year. The Australian business year is only just swinging back into gear now anyway!
How do you make all those steps you’re already taking every day work together and help paint the picture of the great new future you in 2016?
2015 may have been fabulously awesome or such an epic fail, you’re glad it’s over. Some may have lost someone dear, struggled with illness or injury or unable to recover from financial distress.
Whatever your possible dilemma, who can you model past or present to ensure your talents are set to their optimum use? Who’s legacy do you dream of honouring to continue? Who can you be grateful for to support you in making it happen. Take steps today to make dreams happen, summon great velocity for motivating yourself and encourage others to do the same.
You’ll Read this Next Paragraph out of Habit - What do you know!
You’ve already mastered the first step of understanding how you can make your goals work! You can break down habits into three parts: (1) the cue, (2) the action and (3) the reward. This cycle plays a critical role in how we spend our time and invest our energy.
Our brains would be unable to effectively operate if they had to analyse every decision we made, every minute of every day. This is what we’ve come to recognize as the power of our unconscious brain activity in our daily routine.
For example, for those who drove to work or wherever today, looking back on your way today, you’ll remember the moments you may have been stuck in traffic, communicating with hand gestures in an effort to make a memorable connection with your fellow human beings in the car that cut you off. However, you won’t remember the five left turns, thirty seconds at the red light and the fact that your fuel tank’s indicator was sitting at two-fifths full after reaching your parking spot. These routine habits are taken care of by your unconscious. Wouldn’t it be great if we could use that power to make positive differences in your life? Great news: Your unconscious habits are re-programmable!
Just K.I.S.S. Your Problems Away - Keep it Simple & Straightforward:
No, we’re not talking about a rebound relationship, or buying a new sports car to take your mind off what you can’t do. Whilst fun, and not necessarily a bad thing, we’re looking for a more permanent solution that will set up a pattern of success for your future. Step back from the daily doldrums of life and make a list of things you love about your life, and things you’d like to make even better. Now, you’ve got a simple starting point.
Pick the easiest opportunity for improvement and decide on one thing that you can use to improve this area of your life. For example, if you want to improve your chances of waking up without a hangover, maybe relegate your bar-hopping adventures to a certain night each weekend or with a slightly earlier finish than last year? Make it a new tradition to reward yourself for your hard work during your working week or work swing, by visiting your favourite restaurant, cafe or bar on a special night to celebrate a milestone. Or, if you want to improve your financial picture, look at your discretionary purchases and commit to spend less in one area each week. For example, maybe you commit to taking a packed lunch to work starting just once. These simple, attainable goals allow us to begin habits that will really affect change in our lives. Baby steps first!
You’ve managed a few healthy lunches; it’s still hot here in Australia and it’s time to work off some of that Festive and Australia Day weight you’ve inhaled. Contrary to popular belief, girls and guys really do prefer the six-pack to the whole keg. But, here’s the problem: It will soon be Easter and you’ve got to have some lee way for eggs! How do you find your own path to change by starting NOW?
Here’s what you already knew!
In case you need a reminder, it has been well established that quality sleep is a vital ingredient of mental and physical resilience. Dr Peter Rosseuw explains that during rapid eye movement (REM) phases of sleep the hippocampus discharges information to the prefrontal cortex (PFC) for long term processing. This keeps the hippocampus plastic and enhances neural connectivity to the PFC. During deep sleep the hippocampus also replenishes its production of brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) a neurohormone to enhance neural production. This process is vital for neural capacity/wellness and resilience. (Rossouw 2015)
Ok if you put it that way, we probably didn’t know that!
The benefits of regular exercise to maximize neural wellness have been well researched. Exercise enhances neural proliferation, reduces cortisol levels and increases hippocampal wellness (DeAngelis 2002). It has an inverse effect on ageing, a positive effect on prefrontal cortical functioning and cognitive capacity, and is a significant marker in enhancing resilience. (Chiang & Rossouw 2014)
Look before You Leap!
Consider past information in your future decisions. After all, the definition of insanity is failing and trying the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. Why live like a "broken record"?Some research suggests that a measly percentage of New Year’s resolutions survive the first few weeks of the New Year.
Find your own path in your journey of establishing new habits that positively impact your life. Keep them simple and achievable. Track your success and reward yourself, focussing on successes, no matter how small.
Exert your energy into putting new habits into place, direct your thoughts toward the positives that will result in the highest chance of success. Even if you forget to run, over ate or didn’t finish your task at the beginning of the week, focus on the fact you remembered towards the end of the week and enjoyed a heightened level of energy and achievement as a result. The amount of time to break habits varies, but we do know you need to stick with it for at least THREE weeks, so get to it! Make it Happen and enjoy your achievements now!
Your job is to now start tracking your WINS and no longer living like a broken record!
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Joanne Wilson is a Sunshine Coast professional Counsellor and Psychotherapist with a keen interest in relationships and pre-marriage therapy. She has also produced her own books, Pearls of Wisdom from the Thriving Thirties, The Relationship Rejuenator EBook and presented a series of relationship seminars.
Joanne will be your Confidante, enabling you to speak freely in complete confidence and serenity. An integrated approach tailored to your specific needs will be utilised.