Baby or bold steps?

Baby or bold steps?

You are ready to make a change.
Do you start by baby stepping your way into exercise with five minutes at a time or do you sign up for a 10k race six months from now?

Do you start by turning off your email and checking every hour or go from constant notification to processing twice a day?

Knowing your habits and the performance and outcome goals will determine whether that step should be baby or BOLD.

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Reflect and resolve to make 2015 your year.

Reflect and resolve to make 2015 your year.

Do you spend December saying “I'm gonna start X in January”.
Do you make resolutions every January but forget what they were by February?
If you don't reflect, how can you resolve?

I'm not a fan of January resolutions because most people don't know how to make a resolution.
However, I am a fan of reflection and goal-setting. The end and beginning of a year makes a good time for that, but so does your birthday, anniversary (work or personal), new job or promotion or diagnosis of an illness.

K and I have a 10-11 hour drive home every year at Christmas. I usually am armed with questions to pass the time. This year I asked four questions:

What went well in 2014?
What didn't go well?
What do you want to continue doing in 2015?
What do you want to change in 2015?

Asking yourselves these types of questions makes you reflect back on your year, both good and bad, which is necessary in order to make goals for the new one. Some of the things I said were:
What went well in 2014? Trip to San Francisco and attending the 431 Project in Vermont. Being diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease.

What didn't go well? Being diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease. My cat Pele dying.
What do you want to continue doing in 2015? Meditating daily. Having breakfast every morning with K. Ancestral training.

What do you want to change in 2015? Meditating for longer periods of time. New speciality for my business.

I also took an idea from my pal The Technicolor Priestess and both K and I sat down on New Year's Day and wrote down ten things we want to happen in 2015. I put them in to Evernote and set a reminder for 12/28/15, when we will be driving back home again. These could also be put into a paper envelope, sealed and kept until the next year, but you know me and paper 🙂

Before you make a resolution, think about where you are coming from. Do this exercise with your spouse, partner or friend. It's also okay to have your own secret list, but set a reminder to review it again. I wrote a letter to myself ten years into the future in a Life Business course and I read it every month. It's a good reminder of the direction I want to take my life.

Reflect. Resolve. Kick Ass in 2015.

Are your habits a choice?

Are your habits a choice?

You drink coffee all day.
You check your email until 2am.
You eat candy every afternoon.
All of these are habits. Most reasonable people know that they are bad habits.
Once you know a habit exists, is it your responsibility to change it?

Yes.
 
Habits are a process of our brain. It's automatic or done without much thought. It didn't automagically occur after one time, but for some habits, it doesn't take long for it to become routine.
In the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg talks about a parent that stops at a fast food restaurant one busy evening after picking up kids from practice or lessons. The next week on the same night they do it again. It becomes a habit. Or does it? If that restaurant closes down, do you think they pick another one? Nope. They actually don't.

I had a client that used to overeat when he came home from work. I instructed him to have a snack before his 45-minute commute and go in the house by a different door. Boom. Habit broken.
Some habits are harder to break than others, especially when it is something addictive like food, caffeine, email (yep – it's a process within your brain). However, if you know that you have a bad habit, not doing anything to change it is your choice.

Not doing anything to change a bad habit is your choice.

Maybe you aren't ready to change it right now. Perhaps you don't have the tools to know what to substitute. Sitting around talking about your bad habit is, for sure, not going to do anything. One of my clients doesn't like to exercise in the morning, but when planning to do it in the evening, rarely gets it done. I told her to forget about her fancy PJs and sleep in her exercise clothes. If she takes off her exercise clothes in the morning without doing something, she feels guilty and stupid (her words). It wasn't that big of a change, swapping PJs for technical clothes, but it made a HUGE difference in whether or not she exercised that day.
 
There are keystone habits that can predict if you continue other positive patterns throughout the day. One of the biggest?

Making your bed.

When you make your bed in the morning, it leads to more productive habits later in the day. You have created order right away, within minutes of waking up. You also see the order before you go to sleep. When your brain perceives clutter or things that ‘don't fit', it tries to create order.
Logging your meals is another keystone habit. When you write down what you eat or even take photos of it, you tend to make healthier choices throughout the day, whether intentional or not. Eating meals at home makes you want to eat more meals at home.

This is the time of year when people start thinking about creating new habits, but not start until January (what's so magic about that month?). Start planning your strategy now. Mull it around in your head. Consider all your whines, your wins, and be very specific about what you want to accomplish. WRITE IT DOWN. Tell someone about it. Hold yourself accountable.

Habit change isn't always easy. Sometimes it's easier than you think. Bottom line? It's your responsibility to change it.
 
What one habit do you want to change and how will you do it?

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