Get back on track with your New Year's resolutions
I don’t know about you, but I think my New Year’s goals lasted two weeks! But, the idea behind what I was trying to accomplish definitely still has me motivated. Luckily, we have some inspiration from a fellow T1D. Justina is a yoga instructor with an awesome attitude and she has some great tips to help us all get back on track with our resolutions!
Well, January 1st has come and gone and so has that excited pep in our step. By the beginning of February, those dreams of what we wanted for our new year have crashed and burned. Everyone knows the typical resolutions—exercise more, eat and drink healthier—but how do you pick yourself up after you so quickly fumble?
Have no fear my friends – Justina is here. I’ve given you 7 simple steps to R.E.S.O.L.V.E those tired resolutions. I’ll have you up and running in no time!
R- Rewrite the resolution after it breaks. YES write it down and consider that crashed January version your rough draft. Life doesn’t always go as planned, so never be afraid to have a plan B.
E- Embrace exactly who you are. Shift the focus away from things you can’t change. Sorry, darling, there’s no cure for type 1 diabetes. Accept it, take accountability for it, but cut yourselves some slack when you have an off day. I have found that in my mentoring of hundreds of people with diabetes and even those without, over the years, that we (PWDs) are way too hard on ourselves. Our worlds revolve around food so the slightest change can be more difficult for us. Never let something you can’t change be your excuse not to try.
S- Shrink down those mega-sized resolutions into more appropriate, bite-sized portions. Maybe signing up for a marathon before you even run is a pretty big bite that you may choke on later. Shrink it down! Instead, maybe you commit to running 3 times a week, gradually increasing duration and distance as your body gets stronger. Don’t buy your shoes too big and hope to grow into them later. Start from exactly where you are now, not where you want to be in the future. It doesn’t necessarily mean your goals should be small and easy, just realistic.
O- Open your mind to new thoughts and ideas—new and exciting ways to train both physically and mentally. I constantly teach my students to flip their perspective. See yourself and the world in a new way. Get the blood flowing to that big, beautiful noggin. In yoga, sometimes this means literally inverting your body. And, if you’re not quite ready to stand on your head start by laying on your back and slide your legs up the wall. Focus on breathing deeply, slowly and steadily. Sometimes, slowing down is what our bodies and minds need. Meditation and relaxation, aren’t about controlling those negative thoughts in our head. It’s about not letting those voices control you.
L- Love is the biggest motivator. Everything you do in life should come from love and be for love. Hate, anger, regret, pity, and sadness are all very heavy emotions. When you see someone in these states, what do they look like? Hunched over, unfocused from thinking of the past or worrying about the unknown future, right?! Resolutions borne from negative emotions or self-judgments are likewise, weighed down and unfocused.
Those emotions are like bricks in your backpack. They will slow you down. Let every resolution you make be fueled by everyone you love and everyone who loves you right back. Too often, resolutions come directly from a negative thought. Some see a slightly bigger waistline and they think to themselves, “I’m overweight (horrible negative thought). I have to go to the gym (now associated with punishment).” Negative thoughts will never make positive changes.
V- Visualize who and what you want to be this year. See yourself moving in that positive direction. Close your eyes and picture the goal in your hand. Get specific, what does it feel like, who are you celebrating with? Make sure you’re the star of your own mind. Don’t let your visualized hopes and dreams come from someone else’s magazine…those are always Photoshopped anyway.
E- Evolve from month to month, year to year. Once you crush that goal, set a new one. Never fear failure. Don’t always set the same goals. Mix it up and keep it fresh.
Our brains thrive on repetition, running in auto mode. Our bodies crave positive routines. Tie your resolutions to a repeatable, scheduled plan that includes celebrating your commitment and even the smallest victories. Remember resolutions will never stick if they are set up to punish you for the previous year’s actions, or habits. Now go out and make 2018 your best year yet.
Editors Note: In addition to teaching yoga, Justina is a MiniMed Ambassador, marathon runner, and mother of two. She was initially misdiagnosed with gestational diabetes and now has type 1 diabetes. If you’d like to connect with her to learn more about her experiences.