New Year Resolutions...Less or More of Everything or a Balancing Act?
That is the question for you in the New Year says Nicki Parker, Life Coach, of Aspire.
Less weight? More exercise?
Less alcohol? More water?
Less ‘junk’ food? More ‘diet’ foods?
The list is endless - and how unattractive it is! Classically, New Year resolutions are about criticising and depriving yourself and that can lead to low self esteem – hardly the recipe for feeling great about yourself in the New Year or for keeping resolutions!
Your mental and physical well-being is a balancing act that you are in control of. Here’s a tool you can try out to give yourself more balance in life and some manageable and achievable New Year resolutions.
1) Write down a list of all the aspects in your life that make you feel good.
2) Give each item a score based on a 1-10 scale where 1 is Very Unhealthy and 10 is Very Healthy.
3) Pair up the contrasting items so that you gain a balance between the Unhealthy and the Healthy aspects of your life.
For example, you may love the outdoors life which you have rated as 8 – it’s pretty healthy really, given the fresh air you breathe and the walking or cycling you can do. You may also love chocolate (as is the case for many women!) but have rated it as 3 because it’s seen as a ‘bad’ food. However by twinning these 2 items together you can put in place a resolution that is definitely achievable and also makes you feel good – i.e. ‘I will walk 3 times a week in the local park/on the beach for at least 30 minutes each time and then I will reward myself with a piece of dark chocolate after each walk’ (you may need to make this a change to your normal preference of milk chocolate which contains more fat and less of the beneficial cocoa solids – see below).
You only have to search the internet to find studies showing that walking is one of the best forms of exercise for women. Stated benefits include lowering the risk of diabetes, reducing the risk of breast and colon cancer, strengthening the heart, increasing cognitive -brain- function and reducing depression, also slowing the rate of bone loss (for more information see Medicinenet.com or ask your GP).
It’s also known that dark chocolate has many advantages to health. For example chocolate that is high in cocoa solids (at least 70%) has been found to contain chemicals that allow the levels of serotonin and dopamine to remain higher for longer in your brain which alleviates depression and produces feelings of well-being. It also boosts your mental agility, learning and memory as well as other health beneficial factors (American Academy of Science, February 2007). Combine this with the feel-good factor of the reward you are giving yourself and the benefits of low impact exercise and you have the recipe for success in making steps towards a healthier body and mind!
You can see therefore that resolutions shouldn’t be about depriving yourself of things that make you feel good, it’s all about balance.
Of course if life was simple we’d all be happy, fit and healthy, and not need to make resolutions. There are often obstacles in the way of our successful progress through life that need to be sorted out and sometimes you need help with this.
In order to ensure the success of your resolutions and to get help in identifying parts of your life to balance for your new healthier life, why not invest in your future by getting life coaching? Life coaching is a friendly, personable way to receive support and motivation for making changes to your life and learning to deal with obstacles that get in your way. It can help you to be strong and live life for yourself, not for others or through others’ judgements and values. Areas life coaching could help you with include careers, health, relationships, family, work-life balance, and finances.
Contact Nicki Parker at Aspire (www.aspireplymouth.co.uk) for further information and a free trial session, and give yourself a chance to achieve your potential.

Author's Bio: 

Nicki Parker of Aspire is a coach for success who loves to enable people to get the best out of themselves and have success in whatever area of life they want. She has much experience in coaching for careers and general happiness, among other areas. Based in Plymouth, UK, she can coach anyone wherever they live thanks to the wonders of the Internet!