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To create more positive results in your life, replace ‘if only’ with ‘next time.’ Unknown

Do we make New Year’s resolutions? How has making New Year’s resolutions worked in the past? Did we get more exercise? Did we eat healthier?

One of the ways to make a New Year’s resolution stick is to make it small, specific and attached to something we already do. Do we even in our own mind know what getting more exercise means? What does eating healthier mean? How can we make getting more exercise and eating healthy small, specific and actionable?

Last night on TV they were profiling a gentleman in his eighties, for thirty years he was an insulin-dependent diabetic. He now fasts and prepares his food for the week on Mondays; it looked like he was cooking mostly plants. He intermittent fasts each day meaning he fasts 14-16 hours per day and eats during a window of 8-10 hours. Men fast for 16 hours and women fast for 14 hours. Is there a benefit to a full day of fasting plus the 16 hour fast he does each day?

He has lost weight, is off all insulin, checks in regularly with a Doctor and looks very healthy for his age. He is on one medication they didn’t specify what it is for. They didn’t say what the impetus was to make this change after living with diabetes for thirty years.

He made huge changes and it changed his health and his life. He may or may not have started small, he is an example of how we can change our life by changing the way we eat. We can make one of the many changes he made, and over time incorporate all of them, or we can do them all at once. The three-week vegan challenge my son asked me to take in 2015 made a change in mine. It got me off dairy, I now realize because I rarely eat it, how it affects me. When I indulge, as I have over this season of too much of too much. I pay the price.

If we have problems we believe may be caused by food, elimination diets work to find the culprit.

By changing nothing, nothing changes. Tony Robbins

No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself. Madonna

My goal is to go to the gym three times per week. When I get to the gym on Monday I’ve started the week off right. Even if I can’t make it to the gym three times a week when I get there on Monday I can relax a little, I went to the gym this week.

One of the ways we can change our life is to change the story we believe about our self. If we don’t exercise and we want to change that, we have to believe we can become a person that exercises. We need to change our story to see our self as an active person.

Timothy Wilson in his book Redirect describes impressive research on how stories can change behavior long-term.

We need to write out our existing story. Paying special attention to anything that goes against the new habit we want to adopt. If our present story doesn’t include healthy eating and activity we need to rewrite the story to include healthy eating and activity.

It takes a minimum of 21 days to create a new habit. We need to get rid of our all or nothing belief that missing one work-out ruins everything. Believing one meal out ruins our new better way of eating is not productive. We should adopt an 80/20 rule in our eating and exercise routines. If we eat how we think we should 80 percent of the time and eat how we want or how the situation presenting itself warrants 20 percent of the time, we will be healthier and happier over time.

Here again, perfection is enemy of the good. We need to change our habits to create a life going forward that is an improvement over the one we had. When we think we have to give up forever some of the things we’ve enjoyed, we give up our program instead. If Lobster dipped in butter is something you love don’t tell yourself you have to give it up for life. If you’ve never seen a cheesecake you didn’t love don’t tell yourself you can never indulge. Going shopping or a trip will interfere with your exercise program; real life will get in the way. Go to the gym the next Monday you are able and eat following your new eating plan, continue building the life you’ve decided you want to build.

When we change our story to eating healthier and exercising it doesn’t mean we never enjoy dinner out, holidays, take out, trips or opportunities that pop up in life. We get more out of life by eating healthier and exercising, not less. This is a gift we are giving our self, not punishment.

If we have a change we want to make in our life isn’t now as good a time as any? Can we start small? Can we be specific? Can we attach it to something we already do? Can we change the story about our self to incorporate our new change?

When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. Wayne Dyer

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow. Mary Anne Radmacher

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