Resolutions: It’s that time of year again!

I wonder how many of us have said “My new year’s resolution is to lose weight/stop drinking/ stop gambling/ go running every day/ stop smoking? “We all do it, don’t we, even in some small way to try and improve ourselves. So, is it really that important that we do this, year after year?

I was listening to a TV programme recently and Josh Clark, the inventor of the “Couch to 5k” app that has helped millions of people start running and hence become more fit and healthy, and what started off as a scribbled note of instructions to get people (and mainly his mum) off the couch and out the door – turned into millions of people becoming healthy! 

However, listening to him explaining that what most people do when they make any form of resolution (whether it be running, swimming, gym, losing weight etc) is that they go for it too madly!

Instead of taking it slow like on his app – they would run fast for an hour and then wonder why they were in pain and then couldn’t run again for a week! When I thought of this in relation to other things other than running, it’s true – what do we do when we try to lose weight? Cut out EVERYTHING – virtually starve ourselves and then ….give up! The same with drinking alcohol….the same with stopping anything we need to stop, or starting any new good habit!

Take it slowly!

The idea therefore is to take everything steady – easy – slowly – step by step.

I just recently had major surgery (two weeks ago) and I desperately want to get back to normal. However, I KNOW my body will need to take the time IT NEEDS to heal, to repair, and get back to full strength again and there is nothing I can do to speed up – I simply have to take baby steps so that I get there in the end otherwise I am simply going to put myself back several weeks!

This time of year, the newspapers and magazines are FULL of articles on this subject – “New year – new You!” or “Start the new year as you Mean to Go On!” Experts are telling us how to do them, what to do, what not to do. Some of them will also tell us how many people fail – how many people give up after a week, a month, a day! One friend said to me yesterday on the phone – “I’m not even going to start any new year’s resolutions cos I know I’m going to fail!”

Resolutions give us hope!

New years resolutions remind us who and what we are. They give us hope that we CAN improve ourselves and I’m sure if we didn’t all go too mad at trying to achieve them all in the first week, we would make a pretty good job of self – improvement over the year!

However, when I work with people in a coaching capacity for things like weight loss, motivation for exercise, stopping smoking/drinking and generally improving their health and fitness, they do REALLY well. Why? Because they are accountable to me, and to turn up for a session with me having not done what I have asked them to do would embarrass them greatly!

Parenting coaching

Even when I am running parenting coaching programme for parents who are struggling with difficult children, they see an improvement so quickly because they are being consistent with their parenting.

Julia, a mum who I coached for 6 weeks because her child would NOT go to bed and she ended up spending four to five hours struggling with the child every night and then finally giving in and letting the child sleep in with her and her husband says: “ If Elaine taught me ONE thing about parenting it was to be “consistent” and I soon learned that when I wasn’t consistent things were chaotic again. I am now consistent in EVERYTHING I do which has made my life SO much easier! My daughter now goes to bed as soon as I say bedtime! And when I start to go to the gym again (when they re open) – I Will be consistent! “Julia Richards, Finchamstead.

So, for all of you out there who are going to start new year’s resolutions – think about what you want to achieve, find some one to be accountable to – be consistent and patient and in that way you’ll achieve what you set out to do!

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