The beginning of the new year is always full of enthusiasm and commitment for change and transformation. But good intentions and desires often get derailed with the passing of time. Old patterns and habits sneak in and sabotage well-meaning efforts.
Here are three easy tips I have found to keep your intentions on track to make your desired goals a reality.
1. Take Baby Steps.
There’s an old saying, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer, “One bite at a time.” The same is true with achieving goals. The number one derailment to achieving goals is that your goal is too big. Now I’m not saying don’t have big goals. Big dreams need big goals to achieve them. But once you have your big goal in mind, break it down into tiny bite size achievable goals.
For example, if your goal is to lose 30 lbs; then focus on losing 1 lb and repeat that goal 30 times until you’ve reached your 30 lb weight loss goal. Striving to lose 1 lb is a lot easier than trying to lose 30 lbs. By taking baby steps you are more likely to achieve your goal, and less likely to get derailed by overwhelm, frustration, and lack of seeing immediate results.
2. Create Habits That Support Your Goals.
Habits create success, and all successful people follow habits, or daily routines, that support the end results they want to have in their life. Creating daily routines and rituals comprised of baby step actions form habits, these give you clear action steps to focus on and repeat to help you successfully achieve your goal.
So if your goal is to lose 30 lbs, you might develop the habit of exercising 20 minutes every day, or the habit of eating salad with your dinner, or drinking water instead of soda. These habits are all baby step actions that will help you to achieve your ultimate goal of losing 30 lbs.
3. Visualize Success.
Use your imagination to visually imagine yourself achieving your desired goal. Goal imagery helps you to imagine, feel, and mentally experience yourself achieving the end result you desire. You can also use it to help determine what your baby steps and habits should be as you imagine yourself going from where you are now to where you want to be. This powerful practice communicates to your brain and body this is who I want to be and what I want to achieve, helping you to create the habits, thoughts, and actions that will lead you to successfully accomplishing your goal.
So if your goal is to lose 30 lbs you could imagine yourself exercising, eating well and feeling good about yourself. You could visualize yourself 30 lbs slimmer and experience how that would feel and how your life would be different when you’ve achieved your goal. Visualizing your progress and achievement of your goal helps the goal to stay achievable in your mind keeping you committed and motivated to succeed.
By following these three simple guidelines you can make this year the year you achieve all of your New Year’s resolutions.
If losing weight is on your New Year’s list of resolutions I invite you to get additional tips by joining me in attending my Free Teleseminar: “3 Common Dangers Even Smart Professional Women Face That Keep Them Struggling With Unwanted Weight Gain”.
In this free course you will discover three common dangers that are packing on the pounds and keeping you from releasing your unwanted weight, and time efficient solutions and strategies for resolving them.
Make 2014 the year you achieve all of your goals!
Flickr photo by Alan Cleaver
Achieve your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight this year by following these simple guidelines for slimming down.
- At home keep carbohydrate portions to the size of your fist, and protein to the size of your hand laid out flat. This is an easy way to determine how much you should eat for your body size without having to measure, weigh, or count calories.
- At restaurants put half of your ordered food in a to go container. Restaurants serve generous portions which look great on your plate, but not on your waist. Ask for a to go container when you order your food and divide it before you start eating. If it’s not on your plate you’re less likely to eat it. Take it home to enjoy at a later time or day.
- Watch out for grazing! “Grazing” is what cattle do, they graze on grass all day long munching away to get big and strong. But they don’t graze and eat three big meals during the day. Subsequently grazing plus eating meals will easily pack on unwanted pounds. Grazing, or eating small amounts throughout the day is okay if you don’t eat regular meals too. Just be sure you are grazing on healthy foods like nuts, fruits, and vegetables. A grazing diet of popcorn, fast food, and candy will not give your body the nutrients it needs to be healthy.
- Portion control is a great way to reduce the calories that will end up as fat on your body.
Avoid Starvation and Plateauing
- Eat balanced meals with fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, dairy, and healthy fats. Green vegetables such as Romaine lettuce and spinach are a great way to fill you up while getting lots of healthy nutrients your body needs.
- Have variety in your food choices. A variety of foods and colors will insure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs. It will also help you from feeling bored, or feeling like you are ‘denying yourself’ while working on consuming smaller amounts of food.
- Have variety in the amount of calories you consume each day to prevent getting stuck in a weight rut. A good weekly system is to eat a set amount of calories for five days, then eat a little bit more one day, and eat a little bit less another day. This will keep your brain guessing and working to help you come to your ideal body weight, while reducing the risk of putting your body in starvation mode or stuck in a plateau weight.
Move Your Body
- Exercise is of course an important part of losing weight and staying fit. As you move you burn off excess fat and help your body clear out unneeded waste.
- Stand. We spend most of our time sitting at work and sitting in front of the TV or computer. Standing stretches out your body and strengthens your legs and buttock. Stand for 30 to 60 minutes a day and you’ll be surprised at your new firm behind.
- Move every hour. Every hour move a little. Shake your hands, stretch your legs, go for a short walk. Change up your routine with a little movement every hour and you’ll see your body slim and your mind become more alert.
This year give yourself the gift of a healthy new body.
By Carolyn Almendarez
Share your favorite weight loss tips in the comments below.
Flickr photo by Pink Sherbet Photography/D. Sharon Pruitt
Last month my husband and I started a new tradition. We decided to make every day a holiday.
This year we decided to have a Thanksgiving Month instead of a Thanksgiving Day. So throughout the month of November we enjoyed eggnog, pumpkin pie, and turkey feasts. We played Christmas music, watched movies, and played games. At each event we wished each other a “Happy Thanksgiving” and celebrated as though it was the actual holiday. We also had several creative days of making homemade decorations, decorating the house, baking, and sharing our goodies with friends and family.
We celebrated each day as if it was the actual holiday. We expressed our gratitude for each other and for the blessings in our life. By making every day a holiday, the month of November was full of peace and joy.
As life would have it, our original plans got thwarted and we were unable to visit my family for Thanksgiving. But because we were flexible and had celebrated throughout the month, our holiday wasn’t ruined when we were unable to attend the traditional Thanksgiving celebration. Even though our original plans had gotten changed at the last moment we didn’t feel like we were missing out because we had been enjoying the spirit of the holiday every day.
So on the official Thanksgiving Day we slept in, relaxed, and enjoyed a non-traditional Thanksgiving feast while enjoying each other’s company. We had already celebrated Thanksgiving many times over so we were already filled with peace, joy, and gratitude for each other and our bountiful blessings. We had just celebrated 28 days of thanksgiving and we both agreed this ended up being one of our favorite Thanksgiving holiday experiences.
Holidays often become stressful because all of our attention and expectations are placed on a single day. We focus all of our energy, dreams, creativity, effort, and expectations into making that one-day just perfect. In the process we burn ourselves out and drive ourselves to exhaustion. In the end we’re too tired to really enjoy all the work and effort we’ve put into it. We’re further disappointed and hurt when others don’t appreciate our hard work, and reality doesn’t even come close to looking like our imagined expectations.
Here are some tips I’ve learned to make the holidays peaceful, joyful, and full of positive memories.
- Focus on the spirit of the holiday. Having a clear intention of what you want to feel, do, and experience during the holiday season will help you to manifest the experience you desire. Staying focused on the spirit of the holiday will help you to create a holiday that is meaningful to you, without worrying about meeting commercial or cultural expectations of how the holiday should be experienced.
- Identify what the holiday means to you and keep that feeling in everything you do. For me the winter holidays mean joy, gratitude, and peace. Focusing on those feelings while I’m running errands and doing daily tasks keep the holiday spirit alive in my heart. Focusing on my desired feelings also helps prevent anxiety, frustration, and irritation at the increasing holiday crowds and traffic.
- Identify what is most important to you about the holiday and incorporate that in your daily activities and as often as you can. Some of my winter holiday favorites include Christmas music, playing games, eggnog, pumpkin pie, frosting cookies, and making decorations. Household tasks like doing the laundry and washing the dishes can become holiday activities when you’re singing Christmas songs and focusing on what you’re grateful for.
- Be flexible with your plans. The holidays can get filled with activities and commitments. Being flexible and flowing with the moment will help you to get the most out of your holiday. It will also keep you open to spontaneous joy and adventures you weren’t planning on. Being flexible will keep an element of surprise and magic in your holiday adventures and prevent the disappointment of rigid expectations.
- Celebrate the simple everyday moments. Feel grateful for a good night sleep. Celebrate the warm sunshine on your face. Enjoy the conversation of friends, family and people that you meet. The gifts of the season don’t just come in packages with bows, they’re everywhere if we just take the time to see them and enjoy them.
We’re going to continue our new tradition of making every day a holiday. Making each new day a cause for celebration creates adventures and magical moments we wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.
I can’t wait to see what December will bring!
By Carolyn Almendarez
Carolyn Flynn Almendarez holds a Master’s degree in Counseling with additional studies in Nutrition and Holistic Health. She provides a unique blend of mind-body solutions to create health, happiness, and loving relationships. She is a strategist, problem-solver, and intuitive guide. She believes every woman deserves to feel beautiful, serene, and happy. She is committed to helping women create lives they love. She is the author of SMART Talk, Heal Your Grief, and Holiday Peace and Joy.
How will you celebrate today? Share in the comments below how you will make your every day a holiday.
Researchers have discovered that daily expression of gratitude can be as effective for elevating mood as a daily dose of an anti-depressant. How can this be you may ask? Well the secret lies in that thoughts are more than just thoughts.
Thoughts are bio-chemical messages sent from your brain to your body. When you express a positive thought, such as gratitude, you are sending positive bio-chemical messages surging through your body and brain, which in turn affects how you feel. The reverse is also true. When you have a negative thought, such as anger, sadness, guilt, or regret, thousands of negative bio-chemical messages start surging through your body, easily triggering a snowball effect of more negative thoughts and feelings, increasing fear, depression, and anxiety.
Now I’m not suggesting you stop your anti-depressant if your doctor has prescribed one for you. But I am suggesting that you have the power to turn your negative emotions and feelings to positive ones by daily focusing on the positive and what you are grateful for. If you are on prescription medications, this daily gratitude practice can enhance your feelings of well-being, and under the guidance and approval of your doctor may allow you to reduce your medication dosage.
Regular practice of positive thinking can create a cascade of positive emotions, thoughts, feelings, and actions in your life. Your daily expressions of gratitude whether written in your journal or verbally expressed will trigger feel-good neurotransmitters in your brain and send feel good bio-chemical messages and feelings throughout your body.
This month I challenge you to naturally elevate your feel good feelings with a 30-Day Gratitude Challenge. Each day express at least one thing that you are grateful for that was different then the prior days. Boost the challenge benefits by expressing as many things that you are grateful for including at least one unique item each day that you haven’t mention before.
Below is my list of 30 things I am grateful for to get you started in this mood-boosting challenge: Continued
How long has it been since you’ve felt truly alive and fabulous… sexy in your own skin… ready to take on the world with a resounding “YES”?
Get Ready To Experience a Sexy, Younger You!
This week marks the start of Sexy Younger You, one of my favorite annual events for helping you regain your vitality, reignite your passion and feel fabulous at every age.
From October 7 through November 8, my good friends Dr. Anna Cabeca and Robin Nielsen will be interviewing 25 of the world’s leading age management experts about their top secrets for aging more vibrantly and feeling better than ever before.
Here’s just a small sample of what you’ll learn: Continued