As I said in the first baby step post, this month, I want to highlight 31 ways to baby step your way into a more mindful and healthful life. Some of the tips will be advice already stated or implied in previous posts, while some will be brand new. This post provides the second and an explanation. The idea is to start at the beginning and accumulate as many mindful and healthful habits as you'd like to sustain by the conclusion of the month. It's similar to that icebreaker where you're in a circle of people and you need to repeat all of the members' names in order... it's a challenge, but you'll feel great at making progress and it'll help you see how far you've come from the 1st to the 31st!
And, because this all comes back to loving yourself enough
to make the time to make the change,
I chose a LOVE photo here.
Baby Step # 2
Deciding to Make a Change & Realistic Goal Setting
Deciding it is time to make a change is the first (and hardest!) step to changing your life, but this doesn't necessarily happen overnight. Just because today is the second of the year does not necessarily mean you've made this type of commitment to yourself. Embracing the opportunity to live your best life can feel daunting, but once you do, you will be so thankful you did (and you might even wish you had earlier!).
The idea here is to make a change before you have to. Sometimes a small weight issue becomes a doctor's concern or a hindrance in participating in family activities. Sometimes a drug or alcohol habit begins to seep into other aspects of your life. Sometimes dwelling on the past, on past pains and heartbreaks, can overshadow the happiness you could be feeling in the present. We all struggle with something. We all have problems, imperfections, and issues to improve.
The trick to making progress is threefold:
1. narrowing down the most important changes to make first
2. focusing on reasonable, realistic, achievable goals
3. setting yourself up for success
These all, just like Day 1: Positive Affirmations & Self-Love, may sound too simple to mention, but once you narrow down a focus, you will see how much effort following through requires. This doesn't have to be intimidating! Allow it to be a challenge that you can commit to for you and a goal that you achieve for you, too. Instead of committing to reading a book a week, making all your food from scratch, revamping your entire diet, and giving up tv all at once, consider focusing in on what is more pressing right now and take your time. Setting realistic (or even seemingly "small") goals is a great way to get your feet wet, get motivated, and get your self-confidence back--and the best part is, if you achieve it faster than you expected, there's no reason you have to stop there! You can always readjust your goals and broaden your ambition once you've felt a little success.
For me, setting myself up for success is the hardest aspect of these three. In my household, this means waking up early to exercise daily, planning/ preparing/ shopping for food ahead of time, and leaving little love notes for myself as reminders to maintain a good attitude. On days where I have not prepared for success--perhaps I stayed up too late, neglected shopping or juicing, or refused to see the positives in my day, my goals feel almost too big.
This can be challenging, but as I've been reminded online by my favorite trainer, Jillian Michaels (see a post about her here), "If you get a flat tire, you don’t get out of the car and slash all three other tires,” she says. “You fix the flat and you keep going. So you missed [a workout] today. Control your diet a little bit better and go tomorrow. It’s that simple" (Quote from People).
Just like she states in that People article, if you don't continue with your goals, if you never gain the fitness, you never make progress and work for what you want, you'll have to live with the consequences of not doing it. This can even come down to being a good example for your friends, neighbors, and family. For Jillian, playing with her kids, instead of just watching them play, is a huge motivator to stay fit.
I am not a mother, but I recently saw a motivational photo online that read, "You're children become who you are, so be who you want them to be." I really like this for several reasons. First, I admire my mother and I am thankful for the characteristics we share, but also because too many parents place all of their time/ effort/ interest into their children and don't realize that having a parent who is strong/ kind/ present/ healthy/ and intelligent is a huge asset to their children. Your kids won't see your good example unless you set a good example. Be kind to yourself and make time for you!
Whatever your reason for deciding to make positive change in your life, you're worth it. You're making steps in some direction no matter what and time is passing regardless, so it might as well be in the direction you want!
What can you do today to decide on the direction for your life and set goals to achieve your aims?
Labels: Go Ahead--Try It!, Life, Mind & Body, Mindful Baby Steps, Quotes