THE ONLY RESOLUTION YOU WILL EVER NEED TO SET FOR A NEW YEAR

Resolution: Improve my self-awareness.

I strongly believe this is the SOLE and ULTIMATE resolution to be set in replace of all those in the past and future New Year’s.

By committing to a journey towards improving self-awareness, all other life improvements will come as a byproduct. We all set new goals in the New Year to try to improve our self-esteem and make our lives feel richer, right? We begin to think about all that we are not doing, what we do not have and what we want, and formulate these goals based on all of these components. Some of the most popular New Year’s goals are eating healthier, getting more exercise, saving more money, getting more sleep, reading more, getting a new job, etc.

But, what if I told you that we really only needed to set one goal that would lead to the accomplishments of all those proceeding? Sounds good, right? It is easier said than done, but by committing to a journey toward improving self-awareness, we will develop the discipline to lose the weight we wanted because of our improvement in decision making and understanding ourselves, and will also be able to save more money as we become more aware of our priorities and what is truly important.

Perhaps defining self-awareness will assist you as you craft this single goal for the New Year. Self-awareness can be explained as recognizing our thoughts, feelings, emotions and desires, which will in turn allow us to make more reasoned decisions and choices. The constant improvement in this understanding will empower us to lead healthier and happier lives as we make more quality decisions and choices as a result. There are various ways to embark on the journey towards self-awareness. Please see below for four simple practices you can incorporate into everyday that will start you on this path, and take over the New Year!

  1. Meditation
    Through meditation, we allow ourselves a moment of silence, away from the noise in our everyday life. Here, we are able to observe what thoughts have been floating through our mind, and any emotion we are experiencing, prompted from those thoughts. In performing this practice, we are more aware of the various things that may trigger us in a negative or positive way. From here, we have the power to change our reactions to these thoughts and create a new association to them. As we routinely meditate throughout the week, we begin to discover the root of our emotions and are given the power to change them as we see fit. Such awareness will then become part of our everyday encounters, allowing us to manage various challenges and obstacles.
  2. Journaling
    Journaling is another amazing way to reflect on our thoughts and emotions. By putting this into practice, we can visually observe what we are thinking in our minds, and begin to analyze our reactions. Our thoughts are now real and live on paper, as if they have a life of their own. In our journal entry, we can ask ourselves questions like, “What did I do great today?” and “What can I improve on today?” These sort of questions will allow us to reflect on the whole day and revisit when we felt positive, uncomfortable, dissatisfied and/or proud. We can then understand the moments which had been associated with these emotions, and strive to improve our reactions in the more challenging or disappointing moments going forward.
  3. Reading
    Books allow for us to gain more insight into the lives and experiences of others, which we cannot experience ourselves. Reading expands our perspective beyond, assisting us in understanding others and even learning from them. As a result, we begin to empathize with stories, experiences and people who we did not even know existed. We become aware of other’s emotions and the events that lead to these emotions to rationally determine if we wish to be in a similar situation or not. Now, these books have influenced our own decision making and our ability to understand humanity and even a bit about our place in it. We can read specifically about self-awareness and other’s experiences on their own self-awareness journeys. Please visit Books to check out the novels under “Self-Improvement” for suggestions.
  4. Feedback
    This last step is most definitely the most daunting and vulnerable of all previous steps, and quite honestly, something I need to do more of, which is asking for feedback. Who is a better observe of you, you or other people? Of course, other people because otherwise people who chew gum loudly, talk with their mouth full and make conversation with you at the gym while you’re mid-set WOULD NOT BOTHER YOU if THEY knew it was annoying. So, if this is the case, this presents us with a new opportunity to better understand ourselves from other person’s perspective. Maybe we can do this after a big presentation at work, or during a mid-year appraisal review, or maybe more personally, opening ourselves up for feedback from our partner or friend about how we are doing in following through on commitments or listening to them when they tell us about their day. Outside feedback is necessary for us to make a change, because otherwise we may never be aware enough to change it. For example, my partner has pointed out my increase in volume while telling a story in restaurants, which I had not previously been aware of. Now, I look out for it and make the effort to catch myself if I feel the volume may be on the rise (Working on it).

In incorporating these four simple steps into our everyday lives this New Year, we are sure to be on our way to improving self-awareness and making us an overall better person this 2019!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!

 

 

 

 

Why Dieting Doesn’t Work

Have you ever procrastinated for an exam, crammed the night before and performed well on the test the next day? I’m sure you have! Good for you! However, one week later, if someone asked you to recite back the material you had learned, could you? There is a less likely chance. So, why is this?

When we are focused on one single goal and put all of our energy into achieving this goal, we are spent when the goal is reached. We cram all of this information in our head to get that A on the exam, but have zero commitment to retaining the information once we have obtained what we wanted.

Similarly with dieting, we are so focused on the short-term goal of losing 10 pound by the end of the month, for example, we are not focusing on the long-term of sustaining that weight.

This is why dieting doesn’t work.

How often do you hear family, friends, those in the workplace disappointed that they cannot lose weight or if they lose weight, they gain it right back. It is because of this lack of focus on the long-term, and too much of a focus on the short-term.

Rather than dieting, we must strive to maintain a sustainable, healthy lifestyle, and this is the ONLY WAY to guarantee we can keep that weight off.

Believe me when I tell you, in the past, I have tried every diet known to man and with much success, in fact. Conversely, though proven to be successful, I promised I would never “diet” ever again. It is not the problem of the “diet” but the term itself has a connotation that implies, “I just have to do X for X period of time and then I will be happy.” It is a destructive way of thinking and cyclical.

Would we rather live this life of being seasonally fit and seasonally happy with ourselves, or would it be more productive to develop long-term lifestyle that will ensure we will never have to diet ever again?

You tell me.

It took me a long time to realize why I was unhappy with my body, and it was because of this cyclical mentality. For months I would diet and obtain the “perfect body” for summer, spring break, my birthday, but thereafter, you will find you are only more disappointed when that goal is obtained and you are not putting in the equivalent effort to maintain it.

Let’s start this journey together.

The first step in changing our lifestyle to lose or maintain weight, is the simple promise to ourselves that we are not dieting, we are adjusting our lifestyle for our health. That mentality alone should relieve the pressure that dieting inherently produces. And in turn, the depression and disappointment it ultimately results in.

Secondly, let’s take a look at what we consume during the day, and assess what is a craving and what is a reasoned food choice. We will simply want to recognize these moments of weakness and resist them one at a time, day by day. You will quickly see that very resistance will encourage you the next time, proving that you ARE capable of abstaining from that doughnut, pounds cake, or cookie. You go!

Lastly, it is the simple fact of perpetuating these habits and always looking for new ways to educate ourselves on food and health, and actively look for new ways to improve our lifestyle.

This should all get you excited to begin your new LIFESTYLE! The weight may not come off as quickly, but patience is key to any great product. Always remember the old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” And honestly, if it had been, perhaps it may have collapsed much sooner than later. Okay, sorry for the mediocre collapse-of-the-Roman-Empire joke.

Begin with these small steps. Update on your progress. If you find yourself in a moment of weakness, don’t worry! Just let it go, and keep going! You got it.