Saturday, December 21, 2013

Live More in 7 Steps

Wow, another year gone by. The older I get the faster the time seems to pass. Are you finding that too?  I vow to myself and to my loved ones to be grateful for every moment of precious time. That's why for me, this is a time to plan ahead for the new year AND reflect on this year soon to pass. During the last week of December, I will sit down with some good music playing, a glass of wine in hand, and my fur kids beside me to write it all down. I really look forward to this yearly ritual and I encourage you to try it. If you know me, you know I LOVE to organize, and this is a fun and useful way to kick start your dreams and goals and then next year it will be a great way to keep momentum going. When I coach you as a client, you will personalize this exercise fully in detail using all areas of life. Here's how to get it rolling using one example.

1. Just as I described my comfy space above, create your own space that's inspiring and comfortable for you. Give yourself at least a couple hours of uninterrupted time. Yes, I said two hours, you DESERVE it and you owe it to yourself and your loved ones. I mention loved ones because by reaching your goals, you are affecting others around you.  Trust me, if you don't quite get how that works now, by reflection time next year you will understand.  :)
2. Identify an area of your life that you would like to grow for the coming year. Maybe you want to get serious on your health goals this year, or you want to buckle down financially, or maybe you want to focus on a personal development goal.  Write down the area of life you chose and then rate yourself on a 0-10 scale where you are now. For example, 0 is no where near your goal, and 10 is exactly where you want to be.
3. Next describe your 10: "where you want to be." You can make it a list or a descriptive paragraph. Be specific. A good question to ask yourself to get started: "How will I know I reached my 10? Example:
Health 0-10  Current score 5
What's my 10? I will know that I reached my 10 when I...feel more energy, experience good moods on a regular basis, have lost 10 lbs. and have lowered blood pressure. Make your goals reasonable and attainable. You don't want to set yourself up for the impossible and hurt yourself trying to get there. On the other hand, don't limit yourself either! I think most of us humans way underestimate what is possible for ourselves.  So here's a test, do you know or know of anyone that has started where you are and accomplished similar results? 
4.  Once you have a narrowed down list of things you want to accomplish in the year ahead, WHY do you want that? Motivation will only go so far. Having reasons why you want what you want will pull you forward, which is much easier than using only your willpower, which is what happens when you don't identify your reasons. I suggest that you journal about your reasons. What will life be like when you reach your goal? How will it affect you and others?
5.  Get out your calendar! I still like good old pen and paper. I like the planners that show the whole month with the days of the month having large squares for lots of writing space. Set a date for your objectives and end goals. You might say, by June 15, I will have released five pounds. By December 31, all will be attained.
6. HOW will you get there? What do you need to do?  Whose support do you need? Make a list of action steps that make sense to reach your goal. 

  • Schedule a full physical in January for base line starting point. (Call for appointment Friday). 
  • Decide best form of exercise for me and schedule time in my calendar for exercise.
  • Learn and practice breathing techniques to reduce stress.
  • Monitor my blood pressure periodically (Ask Dr. how often and use blood pressure check station at drugstore)
  • Do a cleanse to learn how to eat healthy and jump start health (spring)
  • Sign up for a yoga class (Check out area class schedules today and start next week)
  • Drink more water!
I tend to be a list maker. It works for me. Don't get overwhelmed by your list! Chunk it down and give yourself "done by dates" and don't list too many things for one day. Also, I can't emphasis routine enough. Plan a routine and follow it. By 20-30 days you should be in the groove nicely. Last month I decided to drink the morning elixir that I use in my detox program on a daily basis instead of just during detox week.  It took a while to get into the morning routine, but now it's completely automatic. Anything and everything can become a routine. Repetition is key.

7. BE FLEXIBLE! You know what they say about the best laid plans... If things go off course, that is okay! There is no failure only feedback. Learn from what happened, and continue on. I think that is one of the biggest mistakes we can make; giving up too soon.

Here is an extra tip: Become aware of your self defeating thoughts that will make you want to give up (and they will show up!) I know I have had these thoughts at times: "Oh, this won't work, I've tried this before, this is too hard!  yadda yadda yadda..."  As powerful as thoughts are, they are just thoughts. You create your experience and emotional state with your thoughts.  Like in basketball, catch those thoughts and shoot them; don't hold the ball!  Remember why you want it and soon you will see your goals, the life you want, come into fruition. That is exciting and you know what comes next? You keep growing...
Now that's Living More!

Peg Haust-Arliss, LCSW-R, CHHC is a certified cognitive therapist, strategic interventionist, relationship educator, and board certified health coach.

Check out her websites and grab your free report:   
5 Mistakes You Don't Want to Make (Includes Bonus Recipes!)

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