New Year

Feel Like Giving Up?

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Photo Credit :Lucy Trevatt

As we approach the January halfway point, I wonder how your new year resolutions, disciplines or goals are going? Are you making progress and celebrating your success along the way, or perhaps the novelty is beginning to wear thin and any changes are feeling hard? Have you been tempted to give up yet? If so, we want to encourage you today.  

Although making changes in life sounds relatively simple in theory:  ‘you stop/start doing something new’, in reality, and in practice, it is actually quite hard!

We are hard-wired to be efficient, to stay safe and to conserve energy.   Making change requires a lot of willpower, risk and effort.

Making changes to any existing habits, disciplines or routines, is not easy, but here are 3 things that might help in reaching goals or adopting new disciplines or resolutions for this year.

1 - Remember your ‘why’

Ask yourself “Why did I(start/stop/fill in the blank) in the first place?

Rarely does anyone attempt to make change lightly. It is usually only after something becomes so unbearable, or something else becomes so compelling, that we feel change is necessary.

Once we begin to make changes in the new and improved direction, the ‘unbearable’ can quickly become a distant memory, yet the ‘compelling’ still remains a long way off, despite all our efforts. It is then that it is often much easier to settle back into old routines and comfortable, safe old habits.

Going back to remind ourselves why we wanted to make any changes in the first place, can really help keep us motivated during this time, especially until the new behaviour becomes an unconscious habit.

2 - Create an environment of reminders

Once we have established our motives for change, putting meaningful reminders front and centre of our everyday activities is really important.

Things like; putting pictures of what ‘success’ might look like on our bathroom mirror to look at while teeth brushing, writing encouraging notes and sticking them on the fridge and make tally charts or scorecards to record every time we make small steps in the right direction, can all help.

Sharing our successes with others or inviting others to ask how we are getting on when we next see them can also help keep us accountable.

3 - Accept failure when it happens

Perfection is an illusion. Failure is inevitable, and never more so than if we have set ourselves the “perfect” picture of how we will change or how easy it might be.

If we chose to humble ourselves and accept that a degree of failure as a likely option, we can be intentional in exploring and creating a plan for how we will overcome those obstacles before we are faced with the potential reality.

If we aim for perfection, we don’t accept failure as an option, and it will be much harder to start (and therefore put ourselves at risk of failure) to achieve our goals in the first place, and we are more likely to give up altogether.

So this week, if you feel like giving up, please remember why you started, put reminders of that on your fridge, and when you mess up, remember that success only comes after you get up one more time than you failed! 

Keep pressing on and don’t give up!


If you've been thinking about becoming an Intentional Health Church Partner, Angel or Prayer Warrior - and want to partner with us to prevent sickness, save lives and inspire healthy communities - now is the best time for that too! ;-) 


If you want to start on your journey towards being more intentional about your health then why not download our FREE Intentional Health journey workbook by clicking the picture below, to help start your journey to living a healthier, happier life.

And as always, if you found this post helpful or inspiring, please share it so others can benefit too! and we'd love you to get in touch and share with us about how you love to laugh.

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The impact of a grain of rice?

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Photo Credit :Julien Pianetti

I heard a story last week about a grain of rice, a king and a chess board.

The king offered a reward to a man who was in his debt. The thoughtful man asked for a single grain of rice, doubled for every square on a chess board. So, 2 grains for the first square, 4 for the next, 8 for the next, 16 for the next, and so on. The king was initially insulted as this didn't seem like much of a reward - until he was later informed by his staff that to honour this reward required more than all the rice he had in the country!

I have no idea if the story is true, but it resonated with me because it emphasised the seemingly insignificant impact of something small, as well as the surprising, cumulative compound impact of consistently repeating small things.

At the start of the new year, we can tend to think about making big, new year resolutions, and for some people who prefer an all or nothing approach, that works!

If that is you, well done! and do keep going!

But as the rest of us mere mortals begin to feel the strain of big resolutions,  I would like to suggest that, instead, we think about reducing some of those big hairy audacious goals, and focusing instead on just making one or two very small and achievable changes.

Changes that are seemingly easy and sometimes seem almost too good to be true, perhaps even as insulting as the king would have thought.

If we have struggled in the past with making bigger goals, I wonder, In 2018, what would happen if we gave ourselves permission to stick at smaller, more consistent changes, whilst also putting ourselves in the way of good things?

Instead of giving up all alcohol, we intentionally start the day with a glass of water and have at least 2 dry days a week.

Instead of giving up food altogether, we intentionally have a piece of fruit at breakfast and limit the chocolate to one small bar over the week which we really savour and enjoy.

Instead of giving up swearing, we are intentional in seeking out one or two opportunities to be kind, to say something positive and encouraging to someone, and set up a charity swear fine box for everytime you do let something blue, or negative slip out.

Instead of planning an hour reading or meditating, we start by being intentional in sitting quietly for at least 5 minutes every day before breakfast. 

Instead of giving up the couch and declaring to run a marathon when we haven't yet run a mile, we're more intentional about going for a minimum of a 20-minute walk every day, taking the stairs or getting off the bus a stop earlier than necessary.

When we can make one or two of these, seemingly small but consistent and repeated daily choices, rather than attempt to go all out on crash diets, crash exercise plans and unachievable marathon goals, we actually make significant progress in the long term. Real, sustainable, life-changing progress.

Because we are creatures of habit, each one of these new small behaviours soon become unconscious habits; become part of who we are, the normal way for our future-self to live.

Before we know it, we could even find ourselves becoming the person who can enjoy a glass of wine without getting drunk, able to enjoy chocolate without eating to excess, become the person that can sit quietly, and who edifies and encourages others we meet along our journey. Who knows? We may even find ourselves training to run marathons!

All resulting in a healthier, happier life.


If you want some help to start you on your journey towards being more intentional about your health then download our FREE Intentional Health journey workbook by clicking the picture below.

If you found this post helpful or inspiring, please share it so others can benefit too!

We'd love you to get in touch and share any resolutions, large or small, that you are making progress with!

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Happy, Healthy 2018 from Intentional Health

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Happy New Year!

No blog today, but the lovely Helen Gardner - a coach from Liskeard was chatting about Intentional Health on her local radio station just before Christmas.

You can hear her interview here :)

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Back on the blog next week!

 

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