Recently, I heard this quote, "I want to change but not if it means changing", and it got me to thinking. Why is it so hard to change our habits? Perhaps we develop comfort in what is familiar and don't want to give things up even if it means improvement. Maybe our ideas about change are unrealistic- we want to transform ourselves into something we can never be.
The New Year has begun and it started with a debilitating case of bronchitis. I had trouble breathing, sleeping, speaking and moving. Life is an interesting teacher- sometimes we have to lose things to know what we have. When I was that sick, I had no quality of life. I was grateful just to take a breath. Now that I am better, I think this lesson was the best new year's gift- without our health life becomes about survival and dependency ( thank you to my husband and daughter for their love, patience and care).
So in looking forward to the new cycle I have a health mantra- taking care of my health must be number one. Of course, although this feels new, I have said this many times before. Maybe this is where the wisdom of years has some benefits- I will approach change not as a catacylsmic makeover but a slow grow with planning, getting support and making small and sustainable changes.
Here are some more thoughts when considering change in your health habits:
Set one goal at a time. Often we set unrealistic goals and then feel like we have failed.
Engage people around you for support and inspiration. It does not have to be a solitary journey. Everyone benefits from adopting healthy habits.
Integrate exercise and movement into your daily routine- you do not have to become a gym rat to get more active physically.
Be patient with yourself. Real change is a slow and steady process. It is sustainable and not extreme.
Stay motivated- making changes means giving things up (those tempting carbohydrates!!) so, think about the reasons you want to be healthy. Is it to be there for your family? Or to move without feeling exhausted and out of breath?
If negative thoughts start to sabotage you remind yourself you are doing good for yourself and no one else can do this but you.
Remember, when changing habits- setbacks occur, but all is not lost. Don't give up. Our collective health mantra- we are looking for progress not perfection.
Wishing everyone a healthier New Year,