How often do we intend to change things then get frustrated by lack of speed at getting desired results and give up? For many of us the answer is all too often. I find coming in to the New Year I can be full of good intention and as the days are often dark, cold and wet I find that my good intentions often get flung aside with an overwhelming desire to just stay comfortably the way I am. So plans to go out and see friends more in the evenings can get shelved because it is so miserable outside. It is far more enticing to stay at home and just chat by text or by phone. The trouble is that is a sort of detached communication, which although nice, is no match for sitting in person and having a good laugh. Starting healthy eating plans which include salad is much the same. It is wild outside and cold so a nice leafy salad doesn’t quite fit the bill. So what is the answer? To just accept failure during the winter months to and wait until the weather changes to begin a positive new approach in to life? Or, is it not better to devise a plan that you know that realistically you can stick to and then continuously work at it until it becomes a habit?
If you want to change the way you are living for the better, no matter what it is that you wish to change, you need to firstly make sure that the new plan fits with your present life and then that you recognize that you will have to continually work on it, each day, reminding yourself why you wished it in the first place and what you are wanting to do it for. Once you recognize both of these things then it is a simple matter of repetition. This is how our brains work best. Repeat and repeat the thoughts and actions until you are truly comfortable with them and they become natural and not forced. As the American author Henry David Thoreau wrote
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
So I am sticking to my new healthy eating plan and have included lots of nourishing homemade soups to keep me warm during the cold days. I have arranged a set evening to see friends and will stick to it because it is important to me and I have bought good rainwear to make sure I stay nice and dry on my planned long walks with my dogs, and a new raincoat for one of the dogs, who has got a little too big for his last coat due to steroid treatment and an increased appetite. The others all still fit theirs so we are all set, no more potential excuses. All of these things are important to me but whatever it was that I had decided to change I know I will have to keep at it until a bit like riding a bike it becomes second nature, with little conscious thought to it required. It may be it is just your thoughts you want to change to learn to let go the negative and focus on the positive aspects in your life. The same thought process applies. Each day consider what you have to be positive about and are grateful for and concentrate on those. After a while you will find that these things multiply as thinking positively becomes natural and you find more and more to be positive about. Have a great start to your New Year.