Happy New Year!
Great to connect with you as always! I hope you enjoyed your holidays. If you are like me, they looked a bit different this year. I assume 2021 might be a bit different as well, so I want to offer you some new some strategies that offer a New Way for the New Year!
Several years ago, I gave up on New Year’s Resolutions. It seemed all the big changes I wanted to do never came to fruition and I “failed” within a few weeks. Failed to be this perfect version of myself – thinner, better, happier, and more accomplished. This method of vowing to change my behavior seemed self-defeating and wasn’t really helpful in making changes stick.
Luckily, I found a better alternative. I started on focusing on how I wanted to “BE” instead of what I wanted to “DO”. That mindset influenced many aspects of my day – not just the end result of a specific goal. It was ever-present throughout my endeavors. A new thing I was striving for, that didn’t have a set “end point’, so I could constantly change in the direction I wanted to go.
Through my coaches training, I have learned that lasting changes start within. When you change your inner dialog and beliefs, changes in the outer stuff (actions) are a natural consequence. The way you are inside, shows up in your behaviors, choices, and actions – the things you “do”. There is much more success to be found in moving towards how you want to be (can always improve) versus something you want to do (single point of failure).
Looking back, I see the impact of these words on my life and what actually happened. And they stayed with me well beyond February of each year and to some extent still are playing out each day. (click the words to see my previous posts)
- Authentic – 2018 was the first full year of building my company, my platform, and my brand. Focusing on being my most authentic self helped me to stay grounded and in line with my gifts and talents. It also made doubt take a back seat – if you are really being an authentic version of you, you can’t be wrong – right?
- Intentional – in 2019 I was in studio recording my 5 Step Program and it was waaaaay out of my comfort zone. Being intentional about each step in the process created a framework that allowed me to focus on the plan I had laid out. Since I made the plan, I was in charge – which spurred me onwards! It reminds me of Dory in Finding Nemo “Just keep swimming!”
- Receptive – 2020 was a wheels off year to be sure! My goal with being receptive was to unashamedly accept all that God had for me. I hoped it would help me with a belief of lack I sometimes create for myself, but what it gave me was challenges I had to overcome. Life is ironic that way. It gives you lessons through hardship. What I received was the gift of clarity about who was (and wasn’t) in my corner and illuminated some things I needed to resolve.
My Word for 2021
My word for 2021 is “diligent” (adjective) “constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything”. A bit more searching shows its root is in the Old French word “diligens” from Latin which can mean to ” love, take delight in’.
To me, it represents not only being intentional (doing something on purpose) but ratchets it up a notch by adding constant effort – relentless pursuit. And if we add in its Latin root, we get a healthy dose of fun!
So, for 2021 – I want to add a layer of dedication, determination, and fun to my year. I like how that sounds (and feels on the inside!)
How to Really Make Changes
I would be remiss to not speak a bit about change in this New Year’s Blog. That’s what we all want – right? Change. Something new and better than what we have right now. Fortunately, change is not as random as we think. It’s a well-defined process, but we are often too anxious to get to the “doing” part which is how we mess it all up!
James Prochaska is an American Psychologist who has done extensive work in change theory. He’s a smart guy and has great insights! He defined 6 steps that a person experiences when considering a change. You may not even realize you are doing most of these steps so, but they all actually happen.
Without doing a dissertation on his concepts, let me point out a few key ideas:
- If you don’t even know you want to change or have no intention of changing, you won’t. You are stuck in Stage 1. Figure this out before you try anything.
- Thinking about it – Stage 2 – should consume most of your time/energy. This is the part where you consider your options. Determine what you are and aren’t willing to do. Figure out what else needs to change if you add/remove something from your life. Don’t leave a void. Don’t proceed until you have clarity
- When you are clear, then prepare for it –Stage 3. Get everything ready without the fear of actually doing it. Prep work is less scary!
- Doing the actual thing you want to change happens in the 4th Stage. If you jump straight into action without thinking and preparing, your chances of success go way down. But once you are clear in your head and all the “to dos” are out of the way, you only need to be willing to do the first thing.
- Stage 5 – Expect that you will have ups and downs and need to go back to other stages and rethink, reprepare and redo things. This WILL happen. When it does, congratulate yourself on being so smart and prepared.
- Don’t worry about the last step – when/if you get there the change part is over. (Spoiler alert – this is hard to come by with diabetes. It could be a cure, but it can also be acceptance that this process is engrained in your life and you see the benefit)
New Way for a New Year
The big take away? Change doesn’t happen in the “doing”, it happens in the thinking and getting ready and that takes EFFORT! Your mindset is crucial. That is why focusing on how you want to “be” is so helpful. Your state of “being” is an internal state, that you can choose. Yup – it takes work, but the payoffs are much greater.
When it comes to diabetes goals, perhaps you can
- choose to be inquisitive -look for patterns and trends with your glucose levels
- or maybe you choose to be attentive – pay attention to what your body needs (activity, nourishment)
- or perhaps chose to be open to try something new (technology, food choice, coaching?!)
- or to bold and ask unashamedly for what you need or want.
If you get a bit quiet, you have a word trying to bubble up and be heard. Listen for it. Don’t ignore it. Write it down when you hear it.
And choose to “BE” that in 2021. The results will amaze you!
Here’s to health and more fun in 2021!
Are you ready to make some changes? Let me show you how. One on one or with my self-paced program – both pathways will provide you with incredible coaching strategies that make change less of a struggle so you can do the things you want to!