We are now three weeks into 2019. You are probably starting to settle back into your regular routine by now. I know this first month can feel challenging. After the fun and excitement of the holidays it is easy to feel disoriented and unsure of where to start with your resolutions. Which is why I want to share with you the 3 tips which are empowering me to get on track this month:
I know it sounds too simple to possibly be effective but trust me on this one. Whenever I am starting to feel overwhelmed I stop what I am doing and take a deep deep breathe, all the way down to my stomach. As some of you may know, I love to share proper breathing techniques during coaching sessions and workshops. Most of us are not breathing correctly and when you start you will really notice the difference.
It’s so simple: take a deep breathe in, all the way down to your stomach. You’ll know you have got it when your stomach expands. Hold it for a moment and then slowly breath all the way out until your stomach has contracted in again. Follow the rule of 4 – breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds and repeat this 4 times. Not only are you flooding your body with oxygen, you are also distracting your mind from the negative spiral you were starting to go down.
This is going to sound strange, but I really struggle to hold myself accountable when starting new habits. I think this is true for most people. I guess the strange part is that you may be thinking, but you’re a life coach, isn’t that your job? I have no problem empowering others to hold themselves accountable. But when it comes to myself, I am just like everyone else. What has really helped me is reaching out to the people who can hold me accountable until I am in the habit of doing it for myself.
I’ll give you an example: One of my commitments this year is to my physical health. In order to get me in the practise of eating healthy food again I have asked my oldest friend, Lauren Moore, an experienced dietitian, to be my accountabili-buddy. Today she weighed and measured me and spent almost two hours just talking to me about changes I can start to make. She gave me loads of helpful tips and I’m feeling so inspired to get into healthy habits. She is going to help me stay on track by meeting with me regularly to measure how my body is responding. Knowing I have her in my corner is exactly the motivation I need to get me going!
Now I know I am lucky to have a dietitian as a friend. I’m sure if you have a think about the people you know, there is at least one person who is accomplishing what you wish to accomplish, who can give you tips and check in with you regularly. Not to mention you can engage with professionals such as doctors, dietitians, counsellors and coaches. Exactly what my friend is doing for me is what I do for other people when I coach. So reach out to your network and/or seek out support from a professional to get you on the right track.
I don’t know about you but I really struggle to get focused at this time of year. I’m out of routine and instead of sitting down and getting clear on the year ahead, I find myself bouncing around from day to day and not completing a lot of the tasks I set out to do. The reason for this is that routine = boring! Especially after such a fun holiday period.
So I sat down and I asked myself, which part of my 2018 routine did I enjoy the most? The first thing that came to my mind was listening to Dr Wayne Dyer’s audio book “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life” whilst making breakfast. I did this almost every day for the last four months of the year. I loved learning on the go and listening to something meaningful while sitting down to eat. It put me in a good mood for the rest of the day and encouraged me to be the best I can be. Instead of calling this part of my day a routine, I have changed the language. I am now calling this my morning ritual.
There is something special about the word ritual. It gives a sense of sacredness. As soon as I head to the kitchen I put on a podcast (the last couple days I have been listening to Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Conversations podcast – you can find the link here). This gets me feeling grounded in me-ness and ready for the day. I encourage you to find the parts of your “routine” which you enjoy and start developing a morning ritual around them.
I hope this serves you as it has served me. Remember I am here for you and I am sending you love and light even when we aren’t in touch. Have a happy rest of January!