Maybe the strategy behind them is flawed from the start...
A New Year. A fresh start. New intentions and a surge of energy. New Year Resolutions begin with such great hope.
I’m guessing you started the year determined to accomplish or feel x, y and z? Here’s some I hear frequently and have indeed made myself over the years…
Stop my addictions to sugar (work / wine / chocolate / coffee) to be able to enjoy vibrant health and energy
Meditate or do more yoga - to kiss goodbye to stress or an over active mind
Exercise more or smarter to feel fit or lose weight
Stay patient with the kids / make more time for the people I love
Find my purpose and a sense of inner peace, joy and presence.
Increase the energy, time or money available to spend on passion projects, adventures and travel
Fabulous intentions on the surface. I even used the word intentions over resolutions which any decent life coach will advise you to do. They also have a ‘why’ behind them - it’s always very important to know your ‘why’, otherwise why would you continue to carry out the action required to get the results when you feel like s*** by January 3rd?
Yet…just a few days into this fresh new year you find yourself overwhelmed with all there is to do. The empty fridge and ongoing cravings for the food you were never going to touch come January 1st really don’t help.
Reality hits - it’s going to take work to get the results you desire.
Now actually you’re not afraid of hard work. Just that somehow in the beauty of that wonderful pause between Christmas and New Year, the reality of your fast paced living, along with a tendency to subconsciously self sabotage what’s really important to you had been forgotten.
Fear not, research shows that 80% of people give up on their New Years Resolutions by the second week of February, so you've still a little time on your side.
Here’s what I see happen time and time again in both myself and my high achieving coaching clients and physical therapy patients. The ‘pain states’ such as frustration, anxiety, shame and depression take over when we don’t stick to the commitment we’ve made to ourselves.
The age of information overload doesn’t help. We’re bombarded with how to think, move, eat, sleep and meditate. Who should we trust? What will work for best for me? Which method will give me the quick results I’m looking for?
It never helps when it seems the world, the personalities of those you’re surrounded by or the winter bugs are also subconsciously plotting against you to sabotage your plans!
It’s no wonder many of us find ourselves overwhelmed by all we want to accomplish or feel very early into the New Year. The reality is that any other time of the year than when we set the resolution, we’re massively time short.
So let's just stop for a moment.
A frustrated cluttered mind is overwhelming, stressful on the body and not conducive to success.
Deep clarity is invariably required to know what's REALLY going on. Because things are often not as simple as they seem.
Hence commencing by gaining deep clarity is part of the process I use to start the year both myself, and with my insanely busy, often over-stressed clients. It's invariably much more successful than 'resolutions' that are often destined to fail because the strategy is flawed from the start.
How to gain deep CLARITY
The first skill we lose when we're frantically busy is to see things clearly. Hence the vicious circle of feeling time-short, stressed or overwhelmed continues.
Often it can seem superficially clear eg. if you want to feel great you exercise more and eat healthy food, right? And this is true to a certain extent. However, we are all such unique beings. Women particularly for example have such delicately balanced hormones that it's not quite so simple. Our needs fluctuate considerably over the week, month and years.
The effects of constant over-stress sneak in with such a huge array of symptoms; from lack of patience with loved ones to anxiety and weight gain, we often barely recognise they're related. Repeated injuries and illness, fertility challenges, increasing pre-menstrual tension and irregularities, digestive issues and poor sleep to name just a few. Then menopause arrives with avengance and we wonder where on earth it came from. What if it’s just one more physical sign of stress, exacerbated by the crazy load of modern life?
Clients and patients often come to me at crisis point. They’ve known something needs to change for a while, then often the final straw such as a change in management at work, sudden illness, the increasing reliance on medication pushes them to breaking point. Hence over the years I’ve learnt to help them peel back the layers of life - dissatisfaction at work, responsible job, kids challenges, family feuds, financial issues, disconnected from friends to get to the root of what’s going on.
Clarity is required in 3 main areas:
1. Clarity over the answers to deeper questions such as:
WHAT is actually going on?
WHY aren't you feeling the way you desire?
Exactly WHY are you having the sugar cravings / sleepless nights / anxiety attacks?
HOW do you really want to FEEL?
WHY do you want more energy?
2. Clarity around what is the one MOST powerful action you can take right now, with the limited time you DO have, to feel the way you want to feel...
Take a shower?
Surrender and do absolutely nothing for at least an hour.
3. Clarity over the cost of NOT taking action:
Eg. for stress...the awareness that the alternative is to keep going and waiting until crisis point, which invariably cumulates in a visit to see your equally time-short, exhausted doctor, whose most obvious choice is to prescribe one of the magic 'A' drugs: an anti-depressant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory or antibiotic. Maybe combined with a sleeping pill just to make sure you aren't loosing precious sleep.
I know from my personal experience and that of my clients, what a huge problem for women all the varying pressures on them create. The pressure to have it ALL together, in ALL areas of their lives, at ALL times. Perform in the challenging job, yet don't let it compromise being first and foremost a mother / daughter /best friend. Work out and look fit, but don't let it interfere with family or social time. Have the house stay immaculate, though ensure the whole family eats healthily and make sure it all gets done with a smile on your face.
Research is mounting that pressure induced mid-life crisis amongst women is not only increasing, it's an epidemic impacting EVERY area of life. Because here's the thing, hormones really do rule. So you might be able to put on a great mask of 'having it all together', but your body, health, life and relationships will likely pay the price.
The plans, the hows, tools and the strategies then follow, but first you need to know the root of the problems and have the clarity of an informed and intuitively guided vision to counteract them.
The VISION has to be smart and bigger than the pain. Sadly the pain so often wins because the VISION isn't clear enough in the first place.
Once you get the CLARITY on the extent and truth of the problem, and only then, switch your attention to the solutions you have at your disposal, you're much more likely to take the CONSISTENT and long term action required.
If you recognise any of the symptoms - from weight gain and anxiety, to exhaustion and difficulty being present to truly ENJOY life, I personally urge you to gain CLARITY NOW. In my opinion it's why the resolutions so often don't work and why people don't get the results they desire.
Who’s to say we need resolutions at all? I’m all for people reaching their potential and staying on great form, but there are optimal ways of doing so.
The great news is that there ARE ways to feel consistently fabulous and accomplish your ambitious goals. Yet the action steps required need to be implemented in the best way for YOU. For example if you're depleted and overwhelmed, you might be better joining a meditation class instead of the gym or going for a walk instead of a run for now in your very precious time. Your exact action should be considered very wisely, because the dear world of google may have you believe that you need to do MORE. The reality is, your physiology and hormones may firmly disagree and either launch you further on a downward spiral or considerably limit the speed of your progress. Hence you need a personalised, carefully created plan.
The other good news based upon my observations from 20 years of working with high achievers, is that they are often fast action takers - a fabulous trait when you aren’t exhausted and are taking action that will work for you.
Clarity is the first topic we kick off with in our Thrive 365 Mastermind. This is a small and intimate online group of amazing women who desire support to not only achieve their ambitious goals, but also feel fabulous along the way. We commence on the 14th January, though we’ve already started the process of consciously creating a great year and not relying on those resolutions. You can find all the details and book a short call to discuss if it’s right for you HERE.