Thinking Ahead for 2016 (but no New Years Resolutions, please!)

HAPPY2016Yes, I know it’s a little early to be talking about the New Year, but I wanted you to start thinking about it with enough time to let your brain do some percolating, and enough time to get some good reflecting and planning in before the holiday season is in full tilt.

Starting to think about it now also gives the added bonus of being clear about how you want to feel heading into the next few months.

If you’re one of those people who gets overwhelmed and overwrought with all of the parties, gift buying, events, noise, etc, you can make choices that line up with what you really want instead of getting swept up in the ‘shoulds’ of the season.

Don’t think I’m going to tell you to start on your new years resolutions though. I’m not a fan of them as they set us up for failure. The only thing worse than feeling like you need to make a resolution is failing at it.

In 2011 I wrote a post about this and talked about themes instead of new years resolutions. Having themes instead of resolutions allows room for goals shifting with life shifting. Because if there’s one thing you can count on it’s that life shifts.

In the last few years though I’ve gotten even more specific about how I go about setting my intentions and themes. I set them based not only about what things I have intention to accomplish, but even more so based on how I want to feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually (for me this is about how I show up for others and live in integrity with my values and beliefs, for you it may be your relationship with or to God, or whatever spirituality is for you.)

I’ll be sending out some exercises for those who are interested in exploring their own intentions in a few weeks. For now, I am going to start you on some thoughts about how you feel in your body and what you might be able to do about it.

If you can do some writing about this, great. Feel free to post any thoughts on my facebook page or even email me if you have questions.

  1. Choose one things about your health you’re not thrilled about and how it keeps you from feeling the way you want to feel.
  2. Write down 3 actions you could take that would help with the problem. It could be a specific action or someone you could see to get help with it.
  3. Finally, for each of those 3 actions write 3 specific steps to get there.

I’m not going to ask you to do any of these things yet (though feel free if you like!) I just want you to get the idea that being clear about how you want to feel can be a great catalyst for identifying what things are important to do and how you can make a realistic plan to implement them.

Here’s an example from my life:

My sleep has been poor over the last year or so. When I don’t sleep well I am not able to get up in the morning and write. When I don’t sleep well I’m more irritable. When I don’t sleep well my immune function isn’t stellar.

Steps I can take to get more, and better sleep.

  1. go to bed by 9:30
  2. stop drinking caffeine at 10am
  3. get 10k steps a day, non negotiable

 

3 specific actions I can take

  1. Turn off the computer by 8:30. Set alarm to remind me at 9pm that I need to start winding down. Discuss with Jon (my husband) that I want to get to bed earlier and would like his support to be wrapped up with any family responsibilities by 8:30.
  2. Make tea at home instead of at work. Don’t keep my favorite tea at the office. Set alarm for 10am to dump whatever I haven’t had yet (ooh, that will be hard!)
  3. Get a step tracker. Find someone in the neighborhood to walk with after kid goes to bed and actually schedule this ahead of time. 15 min walk before I leave for work.

Breaking it down into those steps feels so much more doable than “get more sleep” or “get to bed on time” or “stop working so much.” And I may find that some of these things don’t work. No problem. Reset. It’s about intentions.

My intention is to sleep more. My intention is to sleep better. It’s not going to happen on its own but giving myself a heap of crap about not doing what I need to do is worse than not sleeping in the first place.

You know what? I am going to start that now instead of waiting. Why not?

Yours In Health,

Dr-Samantha-Signature-siggy

 

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