This is the Season of Willpower. The (sometimes only) time of the year when I feel chock full of energy, drive, and willpower. Willpower comes to me in dribs and drabs normally, but in January I usually get a good cup full and I feel like I can do anything.
I know many of you are feeling the same way: gyms have a surge of new memberships, Nature’s Fare’s Vitamin section gets busier, and many of you start a new diet or cleanse.
But it doesn’t always last, now does it?
Before I moved to the Okanagan, my favourite activity was rock climbing and my least favourite month was January. The gym was packed…but by early February it was back to just the regulars.
I was surprised to discover that as a nutritionist, one of my quietest months is January and my busiest time starts about mid-February. It seems our feelings of “I can do this!” start to fade by February and we look for help. It happens every year.
But I don’t want to paint a dire picture that whatever you’re hoping to do this year will fail. No, it won’t! Or, at least, it doesn’t need to.
Instead, I’d like to invite you to look at it a bit differently. Black and white changes rarely work. Things like restrictive diets, intense exercise plans, or anything that denies you of your favourite things indefinitely usually don’t create permanent change.
Real change happens slowly over time. And it can happen quickly when we look for possible changes that we feel 95% confident we can accomplish. Changes that only need a small drip of willpower to begin.
Take it from me with my willpower deficiency—if a change needs constant willpower then it just can’t stick. As soon as your willpower runs out your change will end. No willpower needed = a real and permanent change. Instead of making a huge change this year, look for a series of small changes you can do easily. They really add up!
Keep looking for simple and doable changes that you can make throughout the year. One change per week for three to four months, or one change per month for the year, is all it takes to make huge changes overall. Brainstorm some ideas with your partner or family and set reminders in your calendar so you don’t forget.
Feeling and looking healthier and vibrant is just around the corner!
Lisa’s Guide to a Spectacular 2017
Learn your body’s language by looking at when and what you crave. Crave sugar in the afternoon? Maybe your lunch needs some tweaking. Crave chocolate? You might need some extra magnesium.
Create a new morning ritual to start your day off well. I wake up a bit earlier so I can meditate for 15 to 20 minutes. A friend of mine spends a few minutes every morning snuggled with a blanket on her favourite chair with a diary, and writes love notes to herself. Love notes are beautiful daily affirmations. Meditation and affirmations reprogram your brain and help you start your day with positive thoughts.
Expand your diet by trying new things. New foods can squish out lower quality/processed foods. Always focus on adding before subtracting. Buy a new veggie from Nature’s Fare or try a new recipe or two.
Move: 20 to 30 minutes of movement per day is all it takes to reap huge rewards. Look for easy ways to work this into your day-to-day life. Take the stairs or park at the back of the lot. Maybe go for a quick walk at lunch. Spend the week trying out different ideas and find the one (or ones) you really enjoy.
Lisa Kilgour, RHN is Nature’s Fare Markets’ Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She is Board Certified in Practical Holistic Nutrition and provides free half hour one-on-one nutrition consultations in our stores.
Learn more: lisakilgour.com. Visit our Nutrition Consultation page to book a free consultation with Lisa.
This article was published in The Good Life magazine.