I knew setting a 30 day walking challenge in the midst of an unusually blustery winter in Denver would be a challenge. Day 1 was exhilarating, walking in the park, seeing the geese and the cross-country skiers, enjoying the sun and the blinding whiteness of the snow.
Day 6 - not so much. I'd struggled a bit in the subsequent gray, bone-chilling days. I'd shortened my walks, and I'd even considered substituting time on the treadmill at the gym for the time outdoors my heart really wanted.
I'm not sure what happened on Day 6. I didn't walk. I could write a paragraph of explanations and excuses - but as a health coach I know that arguing FOR your limitations just reinforces them, so I won't.
The critical piece for me (as I know it is for you too when you don't follow through on a planned healthier action) is what I do THE NEXT day. What I say to myself. How I manage and generate my energy.
It is snowing a little bit right now. But I really don't care. I can already see that...
It's February. It's cold. The news is dire. Even the cat has been sleeping more than usual. And I'd been off-task and out of sorts for over a week.
So I decided to go for a walk.
NOT the obvious choice. We'd had 3 days of snow in the past week in Denver - over 14 inches. I'd talked myself out of going to the gym all week. "The roads are icy!" "The flu is everywhere!" my disaster-mongering brain whispered to me.
The day before was the icing on the cake as far as losing all self-respect went.
I'd eaten roughly my own weight that day (ok, really a lot less than that), culminating in a pizza delivery (thank goodness somebody was driving in the snow. Relax! I tipped prodigiously, ok?) I'd watched A LOT of Amazon Prime. And I'd had a vague uneasy feeling all day, that feeling of not being very happy with myself and my choices.
So I woke this morning wanting to avoid that feeling of anxiousness about not doing better - but not sure I'd pull it off. And then I went for a walk. I started out...
New Year's resolutions tend to trod the same old paths: eat better, lose weight, exercise.
These goals, though incredibly important, carry a lot of old baggage for most. There's nothing new or exciting here to grab our brain's attention. There may be plenty of memories of failure, shame and desperation around similar attempts in the past to sour our new efforts. Our self-talk (if we were aware of it) might be peppered with criticisms and attacks on our self, our abilities, and our commitment. Yeesh, at this point, you may have arrived 30 days early at your ultimate New Year's resolution destination: nowhere different.
This year, why not try something new? Set yourself up for success in the new year by turning your attention NOW to the root of the problem: how overwhelmed, crummy, and uninspired you feel.
Do something about these 3 areas, and within 1-2 months the eating, weight, and exercise changes you initially wanted will be on the menu as real possibilities.