Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Practice makes perfect!

Can you guys believe that Christmas is 3 weeks from today??!!  With Thanksgiving falling so late this year, I'm completely caught off guard by how soon Christmas will be here.

So where does that leave us?  I am hearing a lot of panic and frustration from people.  So, if you fall into one of those categories - STOP.  Ok, take a deep breath.  Do you feel like you are failing?  Do you feel a little mentally out of control?

Now I want you to sit down for 10 minutes today.  With pen and paper or a tablet or whatever works for you and make a list of goals.  What do you need and/or want to get done?  These goals can be either short term or longer term goals.

Perhaps you are not ready at this very second to make any radical life altering changes.  If this seems to describe you, let's look at those goals and how you can begin to practice new habits even if you're not ready to fully commit to the process right at this second. It's totally okay to do this in steps!

Let's say one of your goals is to exercise for 30 minutes 5 days per week.  But right now you can't commit to that because of the crazy-ness of the season.  Make a commitment to work out for 30 minutes ONE day this week.  You can spare 30 minutes, right?  NO EXCUSES.

Another thing that is running through your head is how you HAVE to get the house cleaned for Christmas guests that are arriving December 20th.  Don't wait until December 18th and then go insane trying to clean the whole house!!  How about you vacuum and dust the guest room tonight?  It might not last completely until they arrive, but it will be so much better and you can just give it a "once over" before they arrive.

Are you cooking?  So why not sit down and start making your list today?  You can add things as you think of them and then be super organized when you go to the grocery store rather than running around like a chicken with your head cut off 2 days before Christmas.  AND you could pick up a few things the next time you go to the store for your regular trip that will keep - if you're making green bean casserole, buy the beans and soup NOW.  Cross them off your list - they will be there Christmas Day!

Gotta wrap gifts?  Don't set out for a marathon wrapping day - wrap 1 or 2 gifts a couple times this week.  There, that's done!!!

Have you fallen into the trap already of over-indulging in tempting treats?  But your goals is to lose 30 pounds.  Don't beat yourself up!  Make a commitment to eat right tomorrow.  For one day.  And then if you want to eat a treat this weekend, tell, yourself you can do it.  You are PRACTICING good habits that you can commit to completely when you are ready.

Need to pay off some credit card bills?  Forget thinking you're going to have a windfall at tax time and will pay everything off.  Pay $10 more on 2 cards this month.  That's not much but it's a small dent.

What you DON'T want to do is to say - "I'm totally changing my life come January 1st!"  NO!!  Start those good habits now.  Maybe not 100%, but ANY change you  make now gives you the knowledge of what works and what doesn't for when you are ready to make that change.  

Remember, one of the first changes I made was to cut down on soda.  I went from drinking 1-2 Mountain Dews per day to 1-2 per WEEK.  It took me about 3 months but I have been "clean" from ALL SODA since May of 2010.  I had success by practicing better habits but still allowing myself to have some bad habits until I was ready.   

All these small skills that you are learning can help you achieve long term goals - whatever those goals may be.  Can you see how list making and breaking things down into PARTS will serve you well not just for the holidays but after the holidays as well?  On my tablet, I currently have a "To Do" list, a "To Buy" list, a "Future goals" list and a "What's happening Saturday" list.  

You don't train for a marathon by waiting and waiting and then going out and running 26 miles, right?  You start by running short distances many times!

Let me know if and how you are implementing some small changes and how it is working for you!!

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