The start of a new year is great.
You feel like you have a completely clean slate.
The previous year is past, gone, forgotten.
It’s time to start anew…create the new you that you’ve always wanted.
We create our resolutions, set our goals for the year ahead and get excited about the possibilities that the New Year holds.
We look at our lives and start to work out what we would like to improve.
We resolve to lose weight, eat better and exercise more.
We commit to becoming a domestic goddess (well Nigella made it look easy enough…)
We decide that this will be the year where our career moves to the next level.
We are determined to become the best partner / mum / friend / sister / daughter in the world.
We will give up all vices (smoking / drinking / chocolate etc etc).
We agree to finally sort out our debts once and for all and start that savings account that we’ve been talking about for ages.
The only challenge is, as women, we have a tendency to want to (and expect to) create perfection.
And when do we want to see this impossibly perfect version of ourselves? Immediately.
We start the new year off with a mountain of pressure on ourselves and what seem like impossible to achieve goals. It’s no wonder that new research has shown that the many people give up on their resolutions after less than a week!
So in order to help you to enjoy the process, I’ve created six steps to achieving your resolutions the feminine way:
1. What is your why?
The first thing to ask yourself is what do I really want? It is so easy at this time of year to feel pressured by everyone (family, friends, even the TV!) into what we think we *should* be doing. We’ve already discussed the dreaded ‘should’ word here so if you hear yourself saying the ‘S’ word (be it to yourself or to other people) take a moment to have a read and remind yourself how to stay out of the ‘S’ trap.
The second question to ask is what do YOU really want? If you’re completely happy with you and your life as it is…then why change anything? If you like your job as it is, then why focus on a promotion? If you are happy with your figure, why try to change it?
If it isn’t broke…don’t fix it! 🙂
If you do want to change something, what is most important to YOU? What would make the biggest difference to your life? What would make the biggest impact to how you feel? What would make you the most happy?
In order to be connected to our femininity, we need to look after ourselves first, in order to then give the best ‘us’ to the people who mean the most in our lives. In order to do that we must focus first on the things that mean the most to us.
AND…if we’re trying to achieve something that means a lot to us, since our ‘why’ is that much stronger, we’re more likely to be successful than if we’re doing it for someone else anyway! 🙂
2. Be Realistic
Overwhelm is a major problem for us ladies. We take on everything at once, try to make it all perfect, and then wonder why we end up crumbling under the pressure we’ve put ourselves under. So rather than expecting to make every area of our lives perfect in the first two weeks of January, how about we pick the one which means the most to us first? That’s not to say that we aren’t going to do anything on the others, it just means that we’re going to look at them one at a time.
Who said that resolutions or goals needed to be set in January? You could do them every few months if you wanted to. That way you could do something for four different areas over the course of a year. The chances of success are far greater if you focus on one thing at a time rather than pressuring yourself to do everything at once.
We also tend to be quite unreasonable in what we expect of ourselves, and then end up beating ourselves up emotionally when we don’t hit our target. So first we need to be realistic with what we can achieve. For example, aiming to lose 3 stone in weight (that’s 19kg for our metric ladies!) in a month is not going to be achievable in a healthy and sustainable way. So step one is to make sure that were not setting the bar too high.
The next step is to take any large goals we have and break them into smaller, more manageable chunks. If we want to lose some weight, why don’t we start with just a few pounds in the first month? If we reach our goal ahead of time, fantastic…we will feel great about our achievement and can create a new goal (and even be a little more ambitious if we want to).
3. Focus on the next step and enjoy the journey!
As you may know, last year I agreed to start training for a marathon…so I did a lot of running in 2011. One thing about running that I always struggled with was hills. Especially big steep hills.
I realised that the challenge was being caused by my focusing on the top of the hill all the way up. The top always felt like such a long way from the bottom or the middle (or wherever I was located on the hill at the time!) When I looked at the top, the task of getting there always seemed overwhelming and would often cause me to stop running.
I then discovered a neat little trick.
Wherever I was on the hill, if I just focused on the next step that I had to take I was fine. The next step was always manageable. The next step was always possible. The next step (as long as I took it in the right direction!) always took me another step closer to the top.
So my advice to you is always to focus on the next step, rather than setting and focusing on expectations for yourself that seem overwhelming or a long way from where you currently are. If you want to improve your fitness, rather than setting yourself an expectation of doing something every day of the week, focus on what you can do today in the direction of your goal. You can then do the same tomorrow and the day after. Likewise if you’d like to lose a significant amount of weight by a date in the future, also set yourself a target for this week and focus on that first.
As long as you keep taking the next step you’ll soon be at the top of the hill wondering how you got there!
As feminine women, being completely goal-orientated isn’t a part of our core nature (as opposed to our masculine counterparts) and so focusing on the journey rather than the end point is a great way to stay connected to our femininity along the way. Even better, if you can focus on and find a way to enjoy each next step on your journey your femininity will flourish with every step!
Come back on Friday to find out the final three steps to achieving your resolutions the feminine way…or if you just can’t wait until then you can receive part two later today in the Feminine 1st weekly Newsletter. To receive part two today as well as your free “First steps to Femininity” MP3 to kick off the New Year, just sign up to the newsletter here.