A Split-Second Decision Can Change Your Life

We tend to think of the defining decisions of our lives as the big ones. Getting married (or committing to a life partner); buying a house; having kids.

But isn’t it really the smaller decisions we make that have the most impact? Like choosing that particular paper to buy the day when you saw the advertisement for the job that changes your life.

One of the small decisions that changed my life was deciding to sign up to eHarmony. It had been suggested to me by my life coach. It seemed a small enough thing. Sign up, fill out the profile. Go on some dates. Look outside myself.

It didn’t work out that way. I spent a long time filling out the profile – because I wanted it to be a true reflection of me. Within three months of writing my profile (seven years ago on the 21st of this month!) I met the man I would marry six months later. (And yes, we are still married, blissfully!)

And it’s the time after that decision is made when the rubber really hits the road. The days, weeks, months that really lead you to the new journey.

So what decisions – small, almost negligible, that will set you on the path you desire in 2017?

Is health a priority for you? If so, it’s these small decisions every day that will help you reach your goals.

I talk a lot about this in my book ‘The Busy Woman’s Guide to Inner Health and Outer Beauty – 7 simple steps to enriched energy, radiant skin and inner peace for the woman on-the-go’. (You can order a copy by popping over to the My Shop page of this website.)

The Busy Woman’s Guide to Inner Health and Outer Beauty

But here are just a couple of small things you could do to have a big impact.

  1. Give yourself a chance to sleep well. Late last year I did a radio interview about the importance of getting a good nights’ sleep – so if you’d prefer to listen than read, just go to my Speaking and Presenting page and check out the recording.Conventional wisdom says you need between seven and nine hour’s good quality sleep a night. Your brain, your skin and your body does a bunch of work while you are asleep, so even if you think you aren’t doing anything, your body, skin and brain are very active. Check out my blog post A Good Night’s Sleep Is Not  A Luxury to get some tips on how to improve your sleep.
  1. Incorporate exercise into your day – make it a habit. Don’t give yourself the option – just do whatever you have to, to make it automatic. Prefer a walk in the morning? Then put out your clothes the night before. Even that small decision can make the difference between you going for that walk and losing time deciding which outfit to wear, and then deciding you’ve run out of time and you’ve lost another day.Prefer yoga or swimming? Put the time in your diary, make sure you have your equipment and do it. Maybe buddy up with a friend.  It doesn’t matter what it is, dancing, tai chi, martial arts, biking, dancing…. Just get it into that diary and commit.I do a gym workout five mornings a week. I don’t think about it, I just get up and do it. And the beauty is that I have that headspace to use for other things because I’m not having that endless conversation with myself about do I want to / don’t I want to.
  1. Take time out for yourself. Get my book and you can read about some of the ways to say ‘NO’. This is a really important thing to do to set boundaries on your time and space. It doesn’t have to be a big time out, it could be a bath with lovely oils, or ten minutes of meditation. Even just taking seven minutes to do some deep breathing – just concentrate on the breath in, breath out – will have major benefits.
  1. Think about food a bit differently. Not only is food fuel for your body, it’s information too. You put in good information – and your cells will convert that information into nutrition. When you reframe your food intake, it might lead to some surprising results.
  1. Make a decision that your health is the biggest priority you have in 2017. Each decision you make, especially the small ones, will impact this. Look, I know you have a million demands on your time. So do I. But if you maintain that your health is your priority – if that is your guiding principle in 2017 – you will get there.Sure, go out to dinner and have fun. Get together with friends and enjoy a night out. Sleep in occasionally. Treat yourself. But even during these times you can make decisions that mean you value yourself.

This year I choose to continue my focus on my body size. It’s taking longer to slim down than I had hoped, but I know I am physically stronger than I was a year ago – so I’m moving in the right direction. I have identified two new habits I need to instil to move me along my path. One is for health, the other for my business.

The first is to ‘surf the urge’. Neuroscientists are discovering that rather than feeding our desires – say that glass of wine at night when you walk in the door, or the cigarette when you get off the train – if we just sit with the need, if we ‘surf the urge’, it goes away. If we give in to it, it gets stronger. I find this profound, because it really gets into the inner workings of our minds.

My second habit is around my business. My days will be more structured – and I have a feeling that will really help me because I won’t be spending time deciding what I’m going do for the day – it will already be in my calendar.

What will YOU choose in 2017?

 

Live life happy! 🙂

Meredith

 

Premature Death Statistic – Are You At Risk?

Another week – how’s yours been?

Last week I posted an entertaining piece about how life has changed over the last hundred years. Things we enjoy now could never even have been dreamed of in the early part of the 20th century.

What I didn’t inlcude was the top five leading causes of death. And I left it out because I wanted to do some research. Well I did, and here it is: Five leading causes of death in 1915 vs 2015

I created this graph to show how our health has changed over a 100 years.

What we see now is really a domination of lifestyle diseases on mortality rates (the 2015 statistics came from the National Health Scheme in the UK and the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Australia.)

Dementia aside (so much is unknown about this condition), our leading causes of illnesses are basically how we treat ourselves. No-one else is doing this to us – but us!

I think that is astounding information. Even more shocking, is that suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44.

What can be done about it? The answers are easy to find – but perhaps not so simple to implement.

Here are the top 5 things I do to make sure I don’t end up on this list:

Food – I eat whole foods – farm fresh as often as I can source fruits & vegiesthem. Small amounts of protein (about the size of my palm) and large amounts of plant foods. Lots of nuts and seeds.And I have treats, good quality dark chocolate, and home made things like my paleo mini-muffins are a great way to have something sweet without eating foods laden with highly refined sugars and chemicals. I also make sure I take  good quality pro- and pre-biotics so my gut health is supported.

 

 

SuppNutrisearch independent Comparative Guidelementation – I take a quality nutritional supplement – because no matter how good the quality of my food is, the quality of our soil and modern farming practices have reduced the minerals that are now in our food (more detailed information on this is in my upcoming book – I will certainly let you know when it’s coming out!)

This book on the left here (The Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements) is an independent study of the supplements on the market (there is one for North America, and one for Australia/ New Zealand.) It’s what I used to make my choice for pharmaceutical grade, athlete quality supplements.

 

Exercise – I exercise every day so I’m building muscle, strong bones and flexibility. This will help me as I age because I won’t be at the mercy of falling over, breaking bones and ending up sitting in a chair all day (or worse.) I’ve been sharing my progress on this blog so feel free to go into the Archives and check out what I’ve been doing.

As you probably know if you’ve been reading my blog, I have an exercise physiologist who I see every eight weeks or so, and she reviews my routine and makes adjustments. This last visit saw my weights training move up a significant notch – which I find really exciting and challenging! I’ve found having a ‘coach’ really helps keep me on track.

 

Active mind and social connection – I keep my mind active with reading, researching (for my book as well as for my own benefits), crossword puzzles and word games, sudokus. I keep socially connected through memberships so I get to hang out with interesting people, some who may not have the same ideas as me, which challenges my thinking.
newspaper crossword

 

 

Reflection and gratitude – I meditate regularly and keep a gratitude journal. woman meditating
Reflection helps me focus on quiet and silence, and helps me have a place where I can do some dedicated, mindful breathing. This helps my nervous system stay in the calm place, not the being-chased-by-a-tiger place where I lived in my corporate career.

Gratitude because, well, there is so much to be thankful for: my loving husband, the beautiful place where I live, my ability to travel, good friends – the list goes on. I believe it’s really important to acknowledge how thankful I am for the life I live.

 

What are you doing so you don’t become a victim of your lifestyle? I’d love you to share your suggestions and ideas – that way we can all learn from each other!

If you want to see something truly extraordinary, check out my EnrichYourEnergy Facebook page for the post I did on Thursday 24 March about Ernestine Shepherd, the oldest female body builder in the world. Then try to give yourself an excuse for not caring about yourself!!

Until next week,201507 me in green copy 200 pixel

Cheers, Meredith

Update On My Health And Fitness Journey

I shared my measurements with you last time, and I was pretty pleased with the result.

Here is my update, the first lot of figures were from 17 July 2015, the second lot of figures are from last Wednesday, 16 March 2016.

blood pressure                132/84       132/78

oxygen saturation          98                95

Resting Heart rate         84                 73

Body fat                            45.7              34.2    (this is one of the things I’m happiest about!)

Waist                                  102               96      (half of this I achieved over the past 2 months)

Waist to Hip ration        .94                .86

So how am I doing this? (and I say doing, because I don’t intend to stop).

At the gym, 5 times a week. Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays I do cardio – bike and treadmill, with a bit of rowing and step machine thrown in.

On Tuesdays and Thursday I do weights – so am building strength – strong bones and denser muscles.

And I do yoga at home. And walk along the beach. And wear a Fitbit to make sure I do my 10,000 steps a day, track my activity, and keep my water intake up.

It doesn’t have to be the gym, but I like the discipline of it, it works for me.

I have an exercise physiologist I see every two months to keep me on track. I have realized that really, it’s impossible to achieve great things without a coach of some sort – whether it’s exercise or business or changing behaviors – a coach or support of some sort really helps make the difference by keeping you accountable.

DSCF3399Think about it!
Until  next time,
Cheers, Meredith

 

 

Measuring For Success – My Story

Hi there,

I just have to share this because I’m so excited!

As part of my healthy for life focus, I’ve got myself an exercise physiologist. She helps me by giving me a program of weights and stretches that is customised for me. I have a number of stretches I do every day, and a weights program I follow at the gym 2-3 times a week.

Some of my goal is to shed kilos, but my main goal is to be fit and healthy – and strong – as I age. Strong bones and muscles are essential as you get older as they can stop nasty things happening – like a hip breaking then falling over (people think it happens the other way around, but often an older person’s bones are just too brittle to hold them up and they snap.) I really don’t want that happening to me!

_DSC0049Anyway, like I said, I have a program I follow. My beloved laminated each of the individual exercises/stretches for me, and I looped them onto a key ring and carabiner so I could keep them with me when I travel. Pretty nifty huh!

 

 

MEASUREMENT

Because healthy weight (not weight LOSS) is my goal,  I have been thinking about the best measurements to use to track my progress.  (Our brains are wired to want to find what we lose – maybe that’s why so many diets – about 95% – fail.)

The scales can be useless. Women sometimes retain water, which shows up on the scales and makes them seem heavier than they really are. I have even seemed to put on 2 kilos in a 24 hour period – which is pretty ridiculous really! The other thing to remember is that muscle is denser than fat – so as you strengthen your muscles, it can appear you are putting on weight, where what’s really happening is you are getting stronger. woman measring waist

So I look for other measurements. Such as measuring my waist, hips, upper arms and thighs. These have seen a decrease in the last six months, with my waist being 3 centimetres smaller than it was last October – a really good start. (By the way, this photo is not me, mine are below.)

Another measurement I use is the rowing machine. I row as fast as I can on setting 5 for 250 meters. In the last four months I have shaved 8 seconds off my row – going from 116 seconds to 108 (most recently again this morning. I have reached 106 once too – but really need repeated achievements before I use it as a new benchmark.)

girl-putting-bra-25487218

But even better for me is my flexibility is improving. And the best measurement for that is putting on a gym bra. I don’t know about you, but my gym bras just seem to be tighter around the chest than my other bras, so I usually do them up at my front, then twist them around so the catch is at the back. Twice in the last few days I’ve been able to reach around and do my bra up at the back! (I wear these bras when I’m going to run on the treadmill as I’ve not found a sports crop top-style that keeps me from bouncing.)

So there you are. Some tips on how to measure your success.

Here is a before and after photo of me. If you look carefully in the ‘before’ photo, you’ll see my very large middle.

Before
Before – see that middle!

 

After (well, during really - I'm still on the journey)
After (well, during really – I’m still on the journey)

Other measurements, thanks to the gizmo my exercise physiologist has, are my body fat reduction (down 1.4%), and my blood pressure – down from 132/84 (which isn’t too bad really) to 102/74 – hit that one right out of the ballpark!

So when you are working to achieve your goals, think carefully about the measures of success you’ll use, and choose a variety so you don’t get hooked on just one, as this can bring your mood down, and affect your motivation, if you don’t see a change.

Until next week,

Cheers!

Meredith Yardley

201507 me in green copy 200 pixel

Bad Habits – 5 Steps To Getting Rid Of Them

Of course, New Year’s resolutions are not just about establishing new habits – it can also be about getting rid of old habits. In this article from Success Magazine, (February 2015),  Jim Rohn, author, speaker, personal development guru and entrepreneur, suggests five simple steps to help you get rid of your bad habits.

Ditch Your Bad Habits in 5 Simple Steps

How to start the daunting process of changing negative practices into positive ones 

Your habits will determine your future, and if you keep doing things a certain way, you’ll be able to predict the results. It’s the simple law of cause and effect: Successful habits create positive rewards. Negative habits breed negative consequences.

If you ignore healthy habits in favor of lazy couch time or quick fast food, you shouldn’t expect to feel healthy. If you are in the habit of starving your most important relationships of time, energy and love, you can’t enjoy a great relationship. If you spend money recklessly or don’t save any money, you may have to expect a never-ending cycle of work.

Don’t like the way these scenarios play out? Then shift yourself out of your worst habits to guarantee yourself a happily ever after. All it takes is some applied focus. And this step-by-step plan will help you get started:

1.  Clearly identify your bad or unproductive habits. Write them down. 

Be specific—and totally honest. Remember to consider the long-term consequences should you continue in this bad habit. Consider habits at home, at work, in your free time, and in matters related to your physical, emotional and spiritual health.

2. Define your new successful habit and visualize its results in your life. 

Your new habit is usually the simple opposite of your bad one. Think about all the benefits and rewards you’ll enjoy once you adopt your new successful habit. The more vividly you describe the benefits, creating the new picture in your mind, the more likely you are to make changes.

3. Create a three-part action plan. 

For every bad habit, there are at least 15 action steps you can take to help you stop. Put some time into this and think about it. It might seem easy to come up with action steps, but they have to be customized for you, actions you know are within your realm of taking. Don’t list things that you know in your heart you won’t do.

4. For the next three weeks, schedule these action steps into your day. 

Whatever the new habit and its action plan, work each step into your schedule for the month ahead. Most habits—even the very ugliest ones—can be completely re-patterned in this short timeframe.

5. Take action.

Start with one habit that you desperately want to change. Focus on the three immediate steps you have and put them into action. Do it now.

Remember, nothing will change until you do.

Jim Rohn

 

Hope you enjoyed Jim Rohn’s suggestions. I’d love to hear from you if you implement any of them, or anything else that I’ve suggested in my last few posts.

Until next week, stay healthy and safe

cheers Meredith

Me in August 2015

How One Word Can Change Your New Year

As you might have gathered, I’m fascinated about how you can be successful in achieving your goals. 

I’ve just come across this article that looks at goal setting from a different perspective. I hope you enjoy it, please let me know if you follow the recommendations, and how it works for you. 

 

Experts say narrowing down your goals to one word, rather than making the same old resolutions, may point you in the right direction.

Odds are that you will fail.

According to a study by the University of Scranton, about 92% of us will fail at losing weight, saving money, getting organized, or anything else we resolve to do. But that won’t stop us. More than half of us keep trying year after year even if we don’t follow through.

Broken resolutions are what prompted Mike Ashcraft, pastor of Port City Community Church in Wilmington, North Carolina, to take a different tactic. Instead of making—and breaking—another promise to himself, he decided to pick one word and stick with it for a year. He chose “flow,” and used it as a lens though which he’d approach personal change.

“It felt doable, memorable, and sticky,” he says. “Choosing one word solved the attention problem I had with resolutions, and helped me become laser focused. The results were greater than I expected.”

Ashcraft took the concept to his congregation the following year, and the results were surprising. “I’d be in the grocery line or in traffic at a red light, and people would stop me to tell me what their word was,” he says. “They were excited about it, and I was amazed how quickly it stuck.”

The idea spread like wildfire, and Ashcraft shared the concept in My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word (Zondervan; 2012).

Coauthor Rachel Olsen believes the concept has been well received because resolutions are usually behavior based: “You’re going to go to the gym, stop yelling at your kids, sell X amount of units,” she says. “As soon as you fail, you’ve broken the resolution. A word can’t be broken. It serves as a reminder; a filter. It’s who you want to be instead of what you regret.”

The My One Word process involves three steps:

  1. Think about who you want to be:Instead of dwelling on your bad habits, ask yourself what kind of person you want to become. Olsen says the process shifts your mindset from regret to vision.
  2. Make a list of characteristics you desire: Once you have a picture of that person, identify their major characteristics and write them down using single words. Then take that list and look up each word’s definition.
  3. Pick one word: Using your list, pick the word that resonates with you most. Some of the most popular choices include trust, patience, love, discipline and focus. Ashcroft says it’s important to choose just one, and resist the temptation to do them all.

“A lot of people have paralysis, and worry that they’ll pick the wrong word,” he says. “It’s not a matter of right or wrong. There’s simplicity and beauty behind this. Often, one word can incorporate others in the way you frame things.”

Olsen likes to remind people that they can choose another word next year. “Make your choice and settle in,” she says. “One word reduces pressure to improve in a gazillion areas, optimizing everything. It’s a filter to make decisions. When you return to your word, you return to your focus.”

Sharing your word can put more power behind it, says Ashcraft, who suggests sending out a tweet, adding it to your email signature or posting it to the My One Word website.

“Talking about your resolutions can be an awkward conversation,” he says. “When you choose a word and share why you picked it, it becomes a matter of the heart. It’s about hope, and that feels different than sharing your struggles. Sharing also creates accountability.”

Adopt One Word At Work

The one-word technique isn’t just for people; companies have adopted the process, too. Popular choices include “integrity” and “character,” says Olsen. One company chose the word “honor” and displayed it in the office.

While the process has had profound results for its users, Ashcraft says there’s nothing magical about it. “When you do something long enough, it becomes part of who you are,” he adds. “It can be hard, but that’s part of process. Keep your word in front of you; it will make a difference.”

Thanks to Stephanie Vozza and Fast Company (fastcompany.com) for this article.

Happy New Year Everyone!

cheers Meredith

Me in August 2015

New Year’s Resolutions – And How To Make Them Stick (Part 2)

Hi there!

I hope you enjoyed reading about how you can make your New Year’s resolutions STICK!! Here are the next five – and you’ll find them just as common sense as the first five.

this year will be different

Tip 6 – PRACTICE SOMETHING EVERY DAY

Daily practice of activities to support your resolution makes life so much easier.

If you’re trying to get fitter, stronger etc.. then identifying something to do every day in the food department is going to be pretty easy.

But if your aim is something else, such as saving money, you may need to stretch your brain a little. If you want to save money, you could put all your gold coins in a piggy bank at the end of the day.

If you’re looking for love, then you could check your online activity every day, and join some activities like MeetUp, and accept invitations, even if they don’t seem at first to be very appealing. (Regarding online dating/introduction agencies I have to admit a bias here. I met my husband on eHarmony six years ago, we’ve been married for five and a half years and it just gets better.)

You get the idea though, don’t you? A little bit of self-support every day makes your resolution, or goal, come that little bit closer every day.

It helps turn those activities you have to think about, into habits. There is a school of thought that says it only takes 21 days to create a new habit. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

The University College of London research found it takes about 66 days. Rather than sounding scary, this means you can just relax into it.

Remind yourself, do something every day, and you’ll soon see results.

Tip 7 – TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

Taking our ‘be fitter, stronger, more flexible’ example, it’s easy to track your progress.

I’m not a fan of sny resolutions weight losscales – they are not reliable, particularly for women who tend to retain water at certain times of the month. And also, as you start to become fitter, your muscle will weigh more than fat, so you could see your ‘weight’ increasing at the start- which can be quite depressing, and lead you to stop making the changes.

Get a spreadsheet, take your measurements, and you’ll soon start to see a difference in your body shape. Your waist, hips, thighs and tops of your arms are a good start.

Your clothes will also tell you a different story.

There are a number of apps, both iOS and Android to help you track your activities, and give you results from the information you put in them,  as well as FitBits and other wearable trackers.

But track and measure. You won’t achieve anything with measuring it. And not only that, it’s cause for celebration when you reach a goal!

Tip 8 – BE KIND TO YOURSELF

The fact is that you will fall down sometimes. But that doesn’t mean giving up. We all drop the ball, it’s just human nature.

Just dust yourself off, and start again. It’s okay. You’re human.

Think of yourself as your best friend, and treat yourself the way you would if your best friend had tripped up. Be kind.

Tip 9 – KEEP AT IT 

Evevery day a 2nd chanceen if you’ve just started and fall down on day 2, remember you’ve made the decision, day 1 went okay, so start again.

Here’s a thought that might help you keep on track. Get a big bottle (with a wide neck), and write yourself little positive notes every week. These could be achievements such as how you felt when you finished a circuit at the gym, or your first yoga class, it doesn’t matter what it is, just as long as it’s positive. Pop them in the bottle.

Then, when you feel sticking to your goals is getting tough, you’re not getting anywhere or any one of the millions of little sabotaging thoughts you have invade your brain, just pull out one of your little messages from the bottle. This will help you remind yourself you have already achieved so much just by taking the first steps.

Tip 10 – REWARD YOURSELF

Little and often, think of small rewards to keep yourself motivated. Try not to make it something that will sabotage all your good efforts. For instance, if reducing your alcohol is your aim, celebrating at the pub is probably not the best way to give yourself a reward – it would just confuse your poor brain and then you run the risk of reverting to old behaviour.

If you are trimming down, then maybe you could buy a new item of clothing to celebrate; if you’re busting the booze, maybe a beautiful new teapot would work for you.

It doesn’t really matter what it is, but as you can see from the examples above, it IS important to make it something that helps the activities become habits, and then your resolutions can be achieved.

 

I’ve just come across a wonderful quote. It’s often helpful to write out quotes that inspire you and stick them around the place – on the fridge, your computer, your wardrobe – wherever you will see them often. You could start with this one!

The beginning is the most important part of the work – Plato

I’d welcome any thoughts you have on New Year’s Resolutions. I’d really like to hear about how you stick to it, or overcome lapses. You never know, what you share could be just what someone else needs to hear to stay on track!

Until next week,

cheers, Meredith

HNY 2

Ten Top Tips To Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick! (Part 1)

ny resolutions 4You start with great intentions. Drink less alcohol, lose weight, save more and spend less… the list goes on. And you start well, and then, by February, March things slip. And then slip some more. And before you know it, you’re back to where you were the year before, wondering how you managed to let yourself down AGAIN!

Despite the statistics, making resolutions, at New Year or any other time, doesn’t have to end in failure. There are some simple things you can do to identify the changes you want to make in your life, and ACHIEVE THEM! How exciting does that sound!

Tip 1 – The LANGUAGE

Let’s look a the language around resolutions, or goals.  HOW we articulate our goals can have a profound affect on whether we achieve them or not.

So let’s take one at the top of the list, Lose Weight as the example. If you don’t want to lose weight, just take the principals and apply them to whatever it is you’re wanting to achieve – save more, drink less….. you get the idea.

Firstly, the language ‘Lose Weight’ is suspect, because we usually try to find what we lose. Lost your cars keys, your sock, a book? You’ll want to find it, that’s for sure.

The way our brains work seems a bit weird sometimes, but basically if you tell it something, it will either believe you (it has no concept of truth or fiction); or it will try to make it happen so your outer world matches your inner world.

So you know you want to find what’s lost, then you ‘lose’ weight, and voila! Your brain will direct you to the ways in which you’ll find it again. So perhaps you could change the language to something like ‘Shed kilos’ or ‘Slim down’. Or, and this might be a bit contrary, but bear with me, don’t talk about the weight. Turn it into something positive such as:  ‘get fitter, stronger, more flexible’.

If you focus on a positive way of describing your desired outcome, your chances of achieving it improve.

Tip 2: PLAN AHEAD

Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve, or New Year’s Day (with a hangover) to make your resolution.

Think about it before NYE, and start to think how you’ll achieve it. So if you wish to ‘be fitter, stronger, more flexible’, then make the changes in your life to support your goal.

Find at least one movement you like and work it into your week. It doesn’t have to be the gym. It could be dancing such as zumba, pole dancing (which is great for your core and will definitely make you fitter, stronger and more flexible). It could be yoga, tai chi, swimming or tennis. It could even be dog walking – got any neighbours with dogs?ny resolutions LOTR

Haven’t done anything for ages and don’t really know what you’d like to do? Then write down the list of things you could do, and date one.

What I mean is just choose one and do it for a month, or a term (many of these types of movement activities run in terms, which is a great way to really check it out to see if you like it).

You’ll know by the end of that time if it’s something you enjoy. If it’s not, then, date the next one on the list. By the end of the year you might end up with two or three things you just love – and finding time for them in your week is no difficulty.

Tip 3: CHOOSE ONE

A further issue with resolutions is that people try to take on too much. If you have three things you want to change, prioritise them and  choose the one you want most. Just one, and schedule the others for later in the year.

Because once you drill down, there will be several different aspects to making this change and these will need to be incorporated into your life.

Let’s look at ‘be fitter, strong, more flexible’ example.

First there is an movement component. We’ve had a look at that.

There is also a quality sleep component – you won’t be at your best for a new movement program if you’re lacking energy. So there may be changes to make in the bedroom (not those sorts of changes – in fact, sex is great movement!).

Got a TV in there? Get rid of it. How about a computer? Yep, find somewhere else for that too, if you can. It may not always be possible, but wherever you can, reduce the amount of electrical items in your bedroom.  There are many scientific studies that point to the way electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) upset our sleep, and keeping your bedroom as free of these items as possible can only help.

And don’t go checking your phone or tablet just before bed either. The back light emits a blue light, and blue light is the enemy of sleep because it upsets your melatonin production. This is because exposure to EMFs impede melatonin production – and it’s melatonin that help regulate our sleep.

There is also the food aspect being fitter, stronger and more flexible.

Maintaining a movement program (notice I’m calling it a movement program, not exercise? Another brain trick – how many of us cringe at the word exercise!) requires your body to have the right fuel. So it may be you need to review what you eat, when you eat it and how you eat.

Yes, how you eat. Does your meal disappear quickly? Does your body have time to get the message from the stomach to the brain that you are full? If you start to chew your food more slowly, you will eat less. Between 30-50 chews per mouthful – the close to 50 the better. (Of course, if your food disappears or liquifies before then, you don’t have to keep chewing!)

What you eat is a bit of a no brainer. In case you missed the world wide news, whole foods (that is foods eaten as close to their original form as possible) are far better for you. Why? Because anything that is done to a food other than cooking it, that is putting it in a packet and storing it, or turning it into something else (like potatoes into potato chips) reduces it’s quality, and introduces a bunch of chemicals into your system.

When you eat is also really important. You really need to have three hours between your last meal, and returning for the evening. That gives you body time to digest and you’re not sleeping on it.

Tip 4 – BE REALISTIC

Make sure that what you want to achieve is realistic. If you want to lose five kilos, and you love ice cream, saying you’ll never eat ice cream again is not going to work. Instead, identify times when you can reward yourself with an ice cream. Incorporate it into your plan for the week and enjoy it. It probably won’t be too long before you’ll look at the ice cream and decide it’s not worth it!

Tip 5 – SHARE YOUR GOALS

It’s easier to achieve your resolutions when you have buddies to help you achieve it. They may not have to do anything with you, like the gym, but they will notice the changes because they are aware of them. Friends can also support you when you’re finding the going a bit tough.

Next week I’ll have Part 2 of the Top 10 Tips on how to make your New Year’s Resolutions STICK!

Please get in touch if you have any resolutions you want to share, or any questions you want to ask.

Until then, Happy New Year!

cheers, Meredith

Me in August 2015

 

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

What are the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions? According to the Brain Statistic Research Institute, the following:

  1. Lose weight,

2. Get Organised,

3. Spend less, save more,

4. Enjoy life to the fullest,

5. Stay fit and healthy,

6. Learn something exciting,

7. Quit smoking,

8. Help others with their dreams,

9. Fall in love,

10. Spend more time with family.

Do any of these resonate with you?  Do you have anything different? I’d love to hear about yours.

All these resolutions are worth achieving, aren’t they? But how do you actually make them, and STICK to them?

In my next two blogs, I’ll cover just how you can make next year better than this year, all by achieving your New Year’s Resolutions.

Until then, Merry Christmas!

cheers, Meredith

Me in August 2015

 

New Year’s Resolutions

We all make them – and then we break them. And then we feel bad and try to justify why we broke them. And then we start the blame game.

How would it be if you didn’t break your 2016 resolutions? What would your life look like if you made just two resolutions, and stuck to them? What would you say to yourself this time next year after having achieved your goals?

What would YOU like to achieve next year? Whatever it is, if it’s worthwhile, it’s likely to be a little bit scary. Shedding kilos, quitting smoking, cooking more and eating less takeout, saving more and spending less, drinking more water and less alcohol – the list is endless.images

All our resolutions require us to make changes. Yet sometimes we focus on what we are giving up and the problems we will encounter, rather than the benefits we will receive.

After all, the reason we are making resolutions is because we know we can live a better life, one that is perhaps more fulfilling, or one in which we’ll be a better role model, one in which we can be proud of ourselves and our achievements.

But even though we know life will be better, we still drop the ball. According to FranklinCovey (a global productivity measurement group) 35 percent of us who make New Year’s resolutions will break them by the end of January. The Statistic Brain Research Institute reckons only about eight percent of people will achieve their resolutions.

So what makes New Year’s resolutions so hard to stick to?

As a Personal Change Agent, I’m dedicated to helping you make, and stick to, the positive health and lifestyle changes you want. And New Year’s resolutions can be a great way to kick off these changes.

And I find it fascinating that so many of you don’t achieve what you really want to make your lives better. So I’m off to do some research. Watch out for my next post where I’ll share my findings, and offer you hope. And my services too, if you’d prefer not to walk your new, undiscovered, road alone.

Until then, Merry Christmas, and treat yourself kindly (especially with food and alcohol).

cheers, Meredith

Me in August 2015