Well, it’s that time of year when we are all making New Year resolutions, you know, the ones that everyone seems to make but few plan to keep. By next week most of us will have fallen off track. Listening to my kids around the table I thought it’s the same old story every year. In an effort to inspire them to approach these resolutions in a different way, I thought of all the people I had helped make huge changes to their lives over the years. Many of these people sought my direction and guidance after they had received the harrowing news that they had cancer or some other disease. It’s been a great privilege to have touched the lives of so many people as we have evolved along our similar paths. I have had a genuine connection with so many of these wonderful strong people. We have created strong bonds by sharing our many triumph and failures. I have worked closely with them, in seminars or on a one-to-one basis, to help them remove any obstacles that stood in the way of them making the changes that were necessary to improve their individual situations. Of course, many of these people had made a conscious and deliberate effort to change because they have been pushed to their limit through a diagnoses or illness. This gateway into their lives has given me a first-hand glimpse of the pitfalls that we encounter when we try to make change and how when change is absolutely necessary we find the will and determination to overcome the obstacles and change our story. So, if these people can make such huge changes why do so many find it so difficult to stick to new year’s resolutions? We do not need to wait until our back is against the wall to find the courage to make lasting change when we can do it now! We all make the same promises every year. My Daughters were slagging each other the other day about how they send the same list every year to each other on Jan 1st "Drink 2 litres of water a day, eat less chocolate, read more, eat more raw foods, exercise more......" and the list goes on. We all know what we have to do but why do so many fail to live up to their list outlining "the perfect person they want to be"? because nobody is perfect!. Instead of a list of 27 things you need to adhere to strictly and become so disappointed in yourself when you give in to the various temptations and the list eventually goes by the wayside, scrap the list! This year why not make a promise to yourself to become more conscious. More conscious of your food choices, more conscious of how often you are reaching for a bottle of wine after a hard day at work or with the kids, more conscious of getting outside and getting some exercise and fresh air in your lungs, more conscious of how you talk to the people around you through your tone and words, more conscious of being kinder to yourself and the people you encounter and becoming more conscious of your actions and choices. So many of us are on auto-pilot these days. We are so busy with modern life, working, raising kids, running errands that it's easy to pick up the chocolate bar at the checkout and eat it before you have even realised it or reach for the takeaway menu rather than prepare a meal after a hard day. Try to notice these moments and ask yourself do you really need or really want that chocolate bar or is it just a bad habit you have gotten into? How will you feel after the small 1 minute window of enjoying eating it? Will you feel disappointed in yourself? Will you feel like your never going to get on top of your health or maybe your weight? Will it leave a bad taste in your mouth ( pardon the pun) & will you wish you could give your teeth a good brush? Well then, is that minute of indulgence really worth it? I think we all know the answer. So next time you go to reach for the chocolate beside the cash register wake your consciousness and think will this be worth all the bad feeling I will have after I eat it, will this help me in my goals to live a healthier life or will it set me back and give me a feeling of failure. If the latter is the answer then why would you do that to yourself? It's not worth it! We often make judgments based on past disappointments, the diet that did not work, the membership to the gym you never used. It is so easy to become trapped in a mindset of failure but I believe we learn valuable lessons from failure. If we allow ourselves to be free from judgement and to be open to new approaches, we can make the choice to change the negative patterns of behaviour we have been stuck in. Looking at our behavioural tendencies can help us strip away the negative belief systems and behavioural patterns that we become entrenched in. I really believe you have to provide people with a few common-sense steps that are easy to implement if they are to make the changes necessary to improve their health otherwise the just will not stick to it. As I am interested in finding real and meaningful ways to promote health and well-being, I want to use this New year’s resolution blog to address the connection of how we see ourselves - because how we see ourselves becomes our reality. Our thoughts are the inextricable link to our overall health, they are the most important component for health and one that has been largely ignored and underestimated. Apart from the practical steps about diet and exercise, I have had to find stepping-stones that enable my readers to get beyond the conditioning, the rut and the limitations they have built up over the years. If you are to respond to lifestyle changes in a positive manner, YOUR STORY is so important especially if you want to make change for life and not just for a week or two. To turn your New Year’s Resolutions into action and results you have to change the story you run in your head about yourself. For example “I am a smoker, I am fat, I am too busy.” You are not a smoker, you have just developed a habit of smoking. You are not fat, you have a bit of weight you want to lose. You are not too busy, you’re just not prioritising your needs. Rather than putting an inventory of the obstacles in your way, switch what you are saying and doing that defeats you. As the negative habits begin to fall away, it not only raises your awareness of your self-responsibility to yourself, it also empowers you to take control. Positive talk will help you gain clarity about what you want, and how to get better results. This simple tactic will create the momentum that will drive you to revolutionise your health. If you really want to leave behind the old habits and succeed with those resolutions, change YOUR STORY. So rather than the same old lists of eating veg, giving up meat and dairy, drinking more water , exercising etc this year I ask that you do two things as best you can, become more conscious of your actions and thoughts and change the story you are telling yourself. You are not all these negative things you tell yourself you are. You are an amazing person who has all the will power and determination to fulfill your goals once you awaken it! Don't wait until a crisis to do it and if you are having a health crisis then now is the time to take control and change your life. Remember you are always only one decision away from a totally different life! Much love Bernadette PS: If your looking for the knowledge and tools to make lasting change my Change Simply 4 week course starts on February 29th Please see HERE for details or give me a call for a chat about it on 01-8452957.