How’s the New Year treating ya so far? Are you flying high, knocking those resolutions out one by one and taking names while at it? Good for you!
Are you wondering how it is already February? When will it warm up already? When will these pants fit again? And oh while we’re at it, when will I stop feeling like crap about about the above…?
Listen, I get it, I’ve spent most January’s counting the days till Spring. Beating myself up over my first, second, third diet “slip-up”, and well, just feeling blue.
A few years ago I decided that year was going to be different…
I told myself, no more winter blues. No matter what my circumstances. I will not fall prey to the post-holiday slump no matter what the weather or my waist line is telling me. This year, I told myself, I’m not just going to beat the winter blues, I’m going to avoid those suckers altogether.
So how did I do it?
Well it was strategic, let me tell ya. I decided to apply all my years of work and study in the nutrition, wellness, personal development, mind/body, you name it, realm and it apply it towards making the start of that year new year truly different, and I want to share it with you!
Ok, so where to start?
Well, of all the things I’d learned I can tell you the most powerful (and only) tool I needed came down to one simple concept.
One thing that only I could control in order to set my trajectory in one bad-ass direction.
On the surface it (obviously) helps to be busy. Ok ok, yes, I am busy, who isn’t? I’ve got a lot of balls in the air, almost to my detriment, but anyone can be busy and yet feel uninspired. Anyone can have a packed full schedule and still feel empty. And sometimes none of that matters when we just feel blue. But get this; it’s in those exact moments that we have a choice. We can choose to feel better or different than we do.
Stay with me here…
Our feelings follow our thoughts.
How does this work?
Let me break it down for you. Simple, simple.
First, we have a thought, our brain does what it does and conjures a thought. What immediately follows is a feeling about that thought. If our thought is derogatory, negative, or pessimistic towards ourselves, our situation, someone else, etc., you better bet the way you feel in the coming moments is going to nose dive. If our thought is uplifting, positive, or optimistic about ourselves, our situation, someone else, etc., then yep, you guessed it, similar feelings will ensue.
How the heck can I control what I think?!
Of course we can’t always help what pops in our mind! But we can choose whether we’re going to entertain that thought and let it proceed down its path, or, in the case of an unsavory and unwelcome thought, quickly note it, push it aside, and replace it with something different.
Anything else, anything to stop that little creeper from becoming a monster thought that can literally invade our head space, take over how we feel, and even our subsequent actions. Think about how you act sometimes (behaviors) after spending morning thinking and feeling crappy about yourself. I’ll give you an example:
- THOUGHT: “I can’t believe I’m 4 weeks into my New Year resolutions and the scale has hardly budged a bit! Ugh, I’m fat.”
- FEELING: Failure, defeat, disgust, annoyance, sad, hopeless, depressed….(you get the point)
- ACTION: Screw this, skipping the gym tonight and going for that meatball sub. And while I’m at it, I think I’ll wash it down with a half bottle of wine dammit!
- RESULTS: Likely having similar (if not worse) thoughts, feelings, and actions the next day, and the day after, and the day after.
Now, let’s reverse engineer this all too common, and soooo easy to fall into, scenario:
- • THOUGHT: “I can’t believe I’m 4 weeks into my New Year resolutions and the scale hardly budged a bit! Ugh, I’m fat.”
Whoa!!!!! Hold on there! You have been hitting the gym, eating clean, and feeling great. This is waaaay more important than a number on a scale! Let’s take a T.O. and insert a new thought:
- NEW THOUGHT: Wow, I thought by now my efforts would be reflected on the scale, but hmm, I AM feeling awesome, my clothes are feeling a bit more comfy. I’m actually pretty proud that I’ve kept this up so far. And boy, it sure is easier when I feel so damn good every day.
- FEELING: inspired, proud, capable, strong, relentless, unstoppable, rock-star, maybe even feeling “light” in your body (despite that wretched scale).
- ACTION: Continued healthy behaviors and actions feeding positive momentum and manifesting a win-win (NO FAIL) outcome.
Do you see how what we think and how we subsequently feel can directly and monumentally impact our actions, behaviors and ultimately outcomes?
This can applied to any cycle of thinking, whether it’s about your weight, a relationship, your work, and so on. It definitely takes practice; it ain’t easy to get used to doing when we so easily default to the dark side.
There are plenty of tricks and tools that can help you along in this process; journaling exercises, gratitude work, adding a short devotional or meditation practice to your life, or simply committing to being aware of this phenomenon and making a concerted effort to turn it around as best you can when you recognize it.
Different modalities help different people differently that’s for sure! One thing won’t be perfect for all. Personal Development books, accountability partners, even coaching can be of great benefit when you first get started. One thing’s for sure, you certainly don’t have to continue feeling the way you’re feeling if you don’t like it.
Taking control and turning that ship around is a lot easier than you may think...easier in fact than you’re probably thinking right now! (ha! did I catch you!?) 😉
I hope this inspires you! If you have any questions or if any of this resonates with you and you’d like to chat, shoot me a message!
The mind/body piece is absolutely interconnected, we cannot neglect one and expect the other to flourish!
Reverse engineer your thoughts today, right now for a happy February and awesome year to come!