Monday, January 17, 2011
Small Steps to Successful Living: Month 1
January is the month for New Year’s Resolutions – or rather the first week of January is. I can’t remember how many times I’ve told myself this will be the year I’ll lose weight, get the house in order, on and on… but within a week all that determination fizzles.
This year I’ve decided to approach things differently. First, I’m starting after the first flush of pressure to get those resolutions out there (okay, so I was struggling with a stomach virus and snow at the first of the year). Second, I’m going to tackle my resolutions one small step at a time.
You see, I usually plunge straight into the deep end. Diet, exercise 7 days a week, no sugar, no flour, etc. Can you say EPIC FAIL? And frankly, I can’t handle any more failure in my life.
Nope – I want to plan for success, which means tackling one thing until I’ve mastered it, then moving on to the next. This idea had been percolating for some time, but was solidified by 2 things:
1. I found the book, Change One for Diabetes, that asserts “making one small change at a time is the best way to bring about big results.” It encourages focusing on only one new skill at a time, until you feel comfortable moving on to the next.
2. Within a few days, I saw a post for the blog smallstepstobigchange.com . Coincidence? The author is embracing the concept of kaizen, constant change through ever evolving steps. She is also discussing the excuses we make, troubles we run into, etc. I highly recommend it.
Do you ever have the feeling the universe is trying to tell you something? Taking the hint, I put together a list of my most important steps.
~ Work through The Artist’s Way (Julia Cameron) to restore and rejuvenate my creativity. (actually, as a small step, it should be: work through 1 chapter every 2 weeks)
~ Reward myself (not for actions taken, but for daily hard work) with hot baths, massages, reading, etc.
~ Meal balance – divide my plate into ¼ protein, ¼ carb (preferably high fiber), and ½ veggies and fruits.
~ Perform short yoga sessions after cleaning houses.
~ Add twice per week strength training.
~ Replace unhealthy thoughts with constructive thinking patterns. (major focus, probably all year)
~ Practice relaxation techniques when I feel overwhelmed.
This is just a small sample. I have steps for every area of my life, written down so I can remember them, and remind myself of where I’m going. I’ll get to each one soon enough.
I hope to share with you my ideas and thoughts as I seek mental, physical, and creative balance when I post about my progress every third Monday of this year. In turn, I hope you’ll feel free to share any of your own successes and struggles in 2011. I’d love to be an encouragement as you seek to meet your own goals. I’ll also try to post helpful blogs, books, articles, and such that I find.
Will you join me? What small step(s) would you like to master this year? Which one will you focus on first?
Playground Monitor's winner from last Wednesday is Marie. Please send your snail mail address to her at firstname.lastname@example.org to collect your prize.