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This is the first in the four-day countdown to launching RESET 2021 on Friday, January 1 2021. This is both exciting AND a bit daunting, as I have never attempted something like this, for such a significant amount of time, 365 days!
BUT there are no New Year’s Resolutions here, because, well, they don’t work for a majority of us!
Each year millions of us start the New Year with hope and enthusiasm that this will be the year we finally achieve our dream of losing weight, getting fitter or just living a healthier life.
However, by the end of February we have probably already fallen off the wagon a couple of times, if not, parked it up at the roadside and abandoned it completely for the rest of the year, hoping that next year will be different, but, of course, it won’t!
Over today, and the next three days, I am going to provide you with an insight into:
- the behaviours I am going to change over the next year and why I have chosen these particular behaviours
- what metrics I am going to be using to measure my progress and success
- how I am going to overcome blocks and learn from mistakes
- why achieving these goals is so important to me
Then over the next 12 months, each week I will explore in more detail the ‘tools’ I am using to help me achieve my goals, such as strategies, exercises, activities and book recommendations and I will share the progress I am making, or indeed, not making. I will be completely honest and if I stumble and fall along the pathway to changing the negative behaviours I have chosen, I will share that and how I am going to address that particular challenge, so I can continue my journey and finally on the 31 December 2021, I can celebrate my achievements, with non-alcoholic wine, of course!
In the first blog post, 17 December, I outlined how this all started when I set myself this challenge in a post and podcast for a not-for-profit I am a co-founder of, Carers’ Hearts CIC. I also explained that I am going to be making reference to both Carers’ Hearts and The Secret Time Academy, which is a membership I am launching in Spring 2021, as well as my MSc studies and my role of being a full-time caregiver, as these are all going to impact, not only on my heartfelt desire to achieve my goals, but will also, in different ways, bring trials of their own, which are likely to challenge me and my success throughout the year.
Over the next few weeks and months I will delve into the emotional and psychological reasons of how I chose these three negative behaviours to change in 2021, and why but in the meantime, here is a summary of them:
- Negative behaviour – Self-medicating with wine.
- What: Abstain from wine for the full 365 days of the year.
- Why: What started as a way of ‘treating’ myself for a difficult week, has developed into a learned behaviour and has now become a habit. I only drink two varieties of white wine and don’t drink any other alcohol, so if they aren’t available, then I wouldn’t have any. However, to ensure that this behaviour is as watertight as I can make it, this change will include all alcohol, just in case!
- Negative behaviour – Swapping wine for chocolates and sweets.
- What: Not consume any chocolate, sweets, biscuits, cakes etc. for the full 365 days of the year.
- Why: In the past, I have regularly achieved 1-3 months without wine, Dry January, lockdown etc. However, I found that all I did was replace the wine as the ‘treat’ with something else, equally as unhealthy, and have ended up consuming a lot of high sugar, very unhealthy treats! This time I need to think differently, so these need to go on the naughty list as well!
- Negative behaviour – Failing to balance my personal time with the demands of running Carers’ Hearts, being a full-time carer, studying etc. At the moment not having that balance feeds into negative emotions, such as resentment, guilt and anger.
- What: Develop a realistic weekday schedule, protect weekends to ensure personal goals are met and include physical activity throughout each week.
- Why: I am neurodiverse (ND), with ADD, Dyslexia and various other ND traits, which means that I flit between having the attention span of a 2-year-old and being hyper-focused. By being more prescriptive in planning my week and weekends, I will ensure that I achieve my weekly actions for Carers’ Hearts and The Secret Time Academy. However, I will also have time to complete my MSc coursework, as well as undertaking some physical activities and things I enjoy doing, like trying to learn French!
OK, so there we have it, all out in the open, written down and shared! These three actions are all part of the reasons why setting goals, rather than New Year’s Resolutions, will help me, and of course, you, achieve them and I will explore these and lots more useful strategies in much more detail next year.
Tomorrow, as I move one step closer to my RESET 2021 challenge, I will share the metrics I am going to use to measure my goals, using milestone, incentives and pre-planned strategies to deal with a potential crisis.
If you have already identified some unhelpful or negative behaviours you would like to address in 2021, or even if there is something that just isn’t working that well for you right now, then why not take this opportunity to really consider them and think about how you will make the changes you desire and take a massive step forward to living the life you want.
See you tomorrow!
Music Composed by Michael Coltham – Black Lab Music
Black Lab Music