Forget the resolutions, make life changes

Yoga retreat. Costa Rica.

Yoga retreat. Costa Rica.

Interview with RishHealth. She is a health and wellness coach and soon to be yoga-instructor, based in metro-Detroit. She is a world explorer and family-oriented. She shares her views on focusing resolutions for a vision that resonates with you and adapting a plan that is realistic and do-able when developing goals for the year to come. For more tips and inspiration follow: on Instagram.

What’s a good an alternative approach for developing resolutions?

 Create a vision

Resolutions listed on a piece of paper may work for some, but creating a more detailed vision on what you will look and feel like is key. How has your life changed for the better? We’ve heard of Oprah and The Secret in creating vision boards and how they unconsciously manifest your goals by triggering you to consciously make changes. Well, the same goes here. For example, if your goal is to be more tranquil and calm, envision how your life will look like, who is with you, where you are and how that feels. If you need a visual, go ahead and make a vision board. The most important take-away is have a vision that you can periodically refer to as you are creating your goals.

As we plan for 2018 and make a vow to be healthier, why do resolutions associated with health and wellness tend to fail?

 Make an Action Plan

Many of us make goals but don’t have a plan on how to reach them. For example, a popular goal is to lose weight, however most of us leave out the details like, how many pounds/kilos, by when, an idea of an exercise or diet plan. Time and discipline are often overlooked, so we set ourselves up for failure.

Develop your support system

As part of your action plan, I highly recommend we develop and nurture our support system. This can include role models, a friend or family member with whom you share your goal and plan, and can encourage you along the way. Usually in January motivation is in full-swing, the treadmills are full, spinning classes are booked, but as the year goes on, we lose motivation. Your support system can help motivate you, or even join in as you work toward your goal.

For me, my husband is a big part of my support system. Since we have similar goals on health and living, it’s easy to motivate each other on the tough days or weeks when we don’t want to get off the warm coach on a cold winter’s day. We hold each other accountable for our health and wellness.

A big challenge is time. What’s the best way to find time to work on life changing goals?

 Just start

I recently heard a quote, "20 minutes of doing something is better than 20 hours of thinking about it." It’s so true! Rigid plans like two-hours at the gym, becoming vegan and cutting out alcohol all at once are difficult to follow and continue. By week 2-3, we usually revert to our old habits, since the new ones are so extreme and can’t be followed. However, tiny changes can make all the difference and can be more easily adapted into a busy lifestyle. If you can start with 10 minutes of daily exercise a day, GREAT! Perhaps you can eventually fit in 10 minutes two or three times throughout the day, equating to a 20 - 30-minute workout. Even better. Regarding your diet, instead of going extreme, perhaps start by examining your weakness. If you eat a lot of meat, perhaps limit to once or twice a week, instead of eliminating it completely. Or simply increasing your vegetable intake by preparing simple, healthy snacks or meals. Perhaps portion control is a starting point. You decide what makes sense for you and just start.

What happens when we don’t see results? How can we overcome that sense of ‘it’s not working’?

Carefully define results

The key to ‘results’ is the way we define them. For example, a result related to weight loss is usually associated with the numbers on the scale, rather than the way clothes fit, or your increased energy or decreased stress. Obviously, it is easier to measure numbers rather than energy and stress levels, but it is important to review this when defining results associated with your goal.

After you have clearly defined ‘success’ related to your goal and have started your plan, give it some time. Results won’t happen overnight, depending on your goal and focused result. Over time, if you still see no results, make adjustments to your action plan.

I always see articles on the best way to start your day with morning routines and rituals. How do you start your day? Why does it work for you?

 Suits you

My body clock wakes me up each day at the same time. I then head to the kitchen and have a ritual of preparing a perfect cup of black tea with a splash of milk and sugar. Yes, real sugar. I climb back into bed with my tea, relax, focus on the tea. Then I shift into plan-mode, reviewing the day ahead and mentally preparing for it.

Just as there is no silver bullet way to reach your goals, there’s no one-way to start your day. For me, I like the ritual of preparing my tea. Tea is a big part of my life, since childhood, as it is cultural and nostalgic, so there is a special comfort and ease when I start my day preparing it and sipping on it. Taking time for me in a calm and relaxing way, is just what I need in the morning and has worked for me for many years.

How do I stay motivated?

Corrected lens for your blurry vision

As mentioned, if you have created a detailed vision, this will help you on the tough days. Your vision will remind you how you hope to look, feel and be, and will assist you to get back to your action plan, or make alterations to your action plan, if needed. Also, as I noted before, use your support network! That is what they are there for. Discuss your demotivation with them. They can help you get back on track.

For me, my vision involves staying healthy and maintaining a solid energy level to be able to do all the things that are important to me including: travel, spending time with family and friends and being active with my grandkids. I envision myself aging with grace, through natural methods, without prescribed medication.

Sounds fab. As a now mother of two, what’s your advice to young mothers with young kiddies? Getting up early to meditate, exercise and prepare a tea or journal about your dreams seems impossible.

 Motherhood bliss, be kind to you

Each one of us are unique. Our lifestyles, goals and realities are special to us and change over the course of different life phases. Therefore, do what feels right. Getting up early may not be realistic. Sleep is under rated and an extra 15 minutes in bed may be more valuable than getting up after being up all night with babies. Involve your kids, play with them, take them to the park. Health and wellness is just as much spiritual and mental as it is physical. Use your support system/community and most of all, be kind to you.