NEW YEAR, DIFFERENT THINKING…
The rhetoric around ‘New Year, New You’ is pretty much unavoidable throughout the month of Jan and certainly there can be the pressure of having to make ill-fated resolutions that invariably don’t stick, at least not for the long term. Indeed there is a lot of language around ‘giving up’ and ‘losing’ whether that’s certain patterns of behaviour or weight but actually the New Year, in my mind anyway, is just as much about gaining and giving back to oneself in a positive way. That also means being honest and true with your motivations and intentions. Those are the changes that are going to become a longstanding natural part of your routine rather than a quick fix. So with that in mind here’s a couple of things to consider that might help when you are deciding whether you do (or in fact don’t) want to try something new for the new year…
If it’s not a HELL yes then it’s not a yes
Does the thought of trying the same resolution you’ve had for years fill you with dread or just leave you feeling downright depressed? Then to put it simply you just might not be ready for it. If there is a waver of doubt then perhaps it just isn’t the right time. On the flip side if you are finally wanting to book into that course that you have been meaning to do, or finally quit smoking for instance, then your mind will be in the right place to do it. If you don’t want to go dry in Jan then don’t, maybe another month might suit you better. Often we fall at the first hurdle because deep down there is a part of us that is not going into something with 100% of us wanting to achieve that goal. It may help to write down some of the things that you want to achieve (and that doesn’t necessarily have to be in Jan by the way) and then alongside it rate on a scale how much it REALLY means to you. You’ll then have a better measure on the stuff that makes the most difference to you and your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Focus on the hell yesses and less on forcing yourself to do things you don’t really want.
Do what makes YOU happy
The New Year can be an exhilarating and exciting time but it can also be one of the most daunting too. It might come with some anxiety and stress and given that most of us experience stress in many different levels and guises then it is important to manage that too so it is really important to acknowledge that when we do take on changes, that around this time is typically related to nutrition and exercise, they come with a pretty large amount of emotional stuff too. The important thing to remember is that whatever changes we might decide to make that it really needs to totally resonate and that is entirely unique for each and every one of us. Try to stop comparing and thinking what you ‘should do’ and instead do what you feel is right for you and that makes you happy. With that in mind try to take measures to help manage stress on going that can start with meal times. Rather than gobbling furiously and being distracted by phones, tablets and the like sit down and eat your meal with time and appreciation. You will marvel at how much of a difference that can make in terms of helping us to tune out and wind down never mind how the gut also appreciates a bit of time to do its job more efficiently too.
Small changes make the biggest difference
Making changes can be empowering, positive and transformative but change can also be quite scary and overwhelming particularly if the aim is so out of reach. However the more we repeat something the easier it becomes. We humans are in fact variable, pliable in fact, and constantly changing so when we start to make positive shifts we naturally become stronger, resilient and indeed healthier. Our gut microbes are the best evidence of that. By supporting the microbiome and helping beneficial bacteria to flourish we can make a real, positive difference to our overall health and wellbeing. Smaller changes will invariably bring about much more satisfaction than any quick-fix diet or detox. These could be things like adding in a bit more veg into your diet and varying the ones in your fridge can be great ways of increasing your fibre and your repertoire of foods. Take advantage of the myriad cookbooks and online recipes around this time to learn one new dish per week. Rather than blindly following some other programme or the like that doesn’t really feel it fits with you then create your own personalised goals. Adding in small amounts of fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha and miso can also help to support the microbiome. And of course one of the simplest changes could be giving your gut a neat shot of SYMPROVE in the morning to get it off to a flying start.
Reaching the top of a mountain can seem insurmountable but taking one step at a time making mini gains and crucially enjoying the experience is just as important, if not more so, as getting to the end goal. Be happy RIGHT NOW and enjoy the journey, not fixated on the destination, and you’ll be at the top of that mountain sooner than you think and with a beaming smile on your face with it.