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One of my commitments during my 30 days is to engage again with my Gratitudes Diary. This diary has a special talent. That special talent is that it creates an uplifting energy to my day.
A few years ago I may have said that a Gratitude Diary was a good thing to have, but I wasn't engaging in it. I remember thinking, "surely just thinking positive thoughts is enough"?
I don't believe it is, the thought is a great beginning, don't get me wrong, I love the power of positive thinking, however, as a stand alone, I believe an action needs to be undertaken to complete the power of the thought.
This action is writing about it. The action of writing about a positive thought, lets that thought settle into your very being, it creates a vibration within you that goes cellular - well, I believe so anyway!
Actions cement a thought. Have you ever tried to learn a new concept? Did just reading about it cement it in for you? Or did you have to actually go out and do the thing to really learn about the process?
I have always found in learning, especially when it comes to new habits, that repetition, repetition, repetition always works well!
So, take action today, grab a piece of paper and start tonight. Write out five things you are grateful that happened to you today - it may have even been someone cutting you up in the traffic, because it led you to a different way to work, that meant you got to see some amazing graffiti that you wouldn't have seen before (now you get to see how my mind works!!).
Get writing and let me know how you feel after you've written out the five things that made you smile throughout your day today, and whether it gave you a lift or not.
Check out my video on my Facebook page too where I discuss the Gratitudes Diary!
Starting on the 30 days of commitment is a challenge. There are always going to be hurdles that the Universe will put in your way, I find they are usually hurdles that test your commitment to your desired plan.
Have you noticed that this happens? You set yourself a goal, e.g., it might be the no alcohol commitment that I have just made, and THEN, out of the BLUE, comes a party invitation. Now, the struggle is: Do I accept and be among others that are partying and having a few drinks OR do I reject it and hide so that I can keep my commitment to me?
What would you do?
Well, this is just what has happened to me! So, I've decided to go to the party, and I'm taking along my special drinks for the evening. This time it will be my kombucha and soda water, and I'll make sure that I have some slices of lemon and/or lime to go with it. For me, the drinking is about habit, it's not about the drink itself. Finding myself at a party with an empty glass can be awkward, it can make you feel like you're alone while others are having a ball.
What I have learnt on my travels over the years, is that planning to succeed is what will get me through the evening. First step in my plan is to have fun! That's through setting an intention to have fun, and to stick to my commitment (as it's about benefiting me and my goals, not for anyone else). This intention is the most important step of the plan.
The second step in my plan is to make sure I'm the designated driver. This ensures I cannot fail in my commitment to myself. I have had tougher tests, especially when the host of the party has offered to put us up for the night. There goes that incentive to not drink. However, by planning to succeed, I have managed to overcome this.
The third step is to ensure I have plenty of my swap out drink on hand. This means ensuring I have a supply of drinks, a nice bottle for them to be in, the lemon slices and a nice glass to have my drink from.
This is the planning that is essential for succeeding in any commitment you make.
After my first 6 days of my 30 days of commitment, I'm very happy to report that I have completed my goals this week.
Those goals included:
no weighing on scales after day 1
drinking more than one litre of water a day
sticking to my healthy eating plan, this included two cleanse days
writing in my gratitude diary every evening
blogging daily (well, yesterday I posted my quick blog on Facebook, so I'm counting that!)
exercising 7 hours over the week (I actually walked for 7.5 hours overall)
What I have discovered so far this week is that keeping at the forefront of my mind my 30 days of commitment has certainly helped me when rocky moments have occurred.
My next goal to achieve over the next 7 days, is no alcohol. I have been abstaining for all of last week (apart from last night when we had visitors, hence why I didn't want to start from last Tuesday) and am all set up for my first week. It may not seem like a big goal to some of you who rarely drink, or even those that don't drink at all, but for me, I enjoy my glass of wine over the weekend, so next weekend will be my test.
I hope you enjoy my photos from today's walk along the beach, we thought it would be nice to have a beach break this weekend.
Today is a Friday. Just saying that it's a Friday brings into play habits, expectations and desires.
The habits are that it's time to kick back, relax and put my feet up, maybe have a glass of wine, or three! Let's be honest it's the beginning of the weekend and this brings to mind many different expectations and desires as well as habits.
Friday night for about 30 years has meant the finishing of work and the beginning of play time. And for me, it usually involves friends, food, relaxation and wine.
Tonight is going to be different!
Due to my 30 days of commitment to myself, and looking after my health, one of those commitments is to reduce my alcohol intake significantly. Okay, it is to completely cut it out (so far this week, that's been achieved) however, before I made my commitment, I knew I had a friend arriving tomorrow that I've not seen for years, and there will be a few little drinkies to be had. Sooo, my official commitment to no alcohol for 30 days begins on Sunday. However, I have been faithful to myself and my future pledge and not had any alcohol since Monday. I began my commitment on Tuesday if you remember!
So, while I'm sitting here writing this, my hubby is upstairs with a glass of wine. I'm soon to join him, company only, and pour myself a glass of my kombucha and soda water. This is my 'swap out' if you like. I make sure it's in a lovely glass, with a slice of lemon and looks the part. That is my way of ensuring I stick to my commitment.
When you are initially swapping out something, you need to maintain some of your habit around the initial sway, then it doesn't feel like you're doing it tough, that you're denying yourself anything. That's my experience.
Enjoy your weekend and kick back, have one for me (or maybe two) and enjoy your time with friends and family, doing something that makes your heart sing.
This morning on my walk, I stopped to talk to a man taking a photo, he had a tripod and a good quality camera, but for the life of me, I couldn't see what it was that he was photographing. So, I had to stop and ask. It turned out he was photographing a tiny spider web, as it had grasped the tips of two different plants and made the web holding them together.
It got me thinking about what we see and how we see it. The spider web was obviously a thing of beauty to this man. To me, it was nature doing what it does best, living.
We all see the world through our own rose tinted glasses, and I'm always reminding myself and others of that. We all see a situation differently, a scene differently and even how we see ourselves.
I was recently reading an article that discussed how we view ourselves. In particular, how we view our body.
Did you know, there are studies that assess how you view your body, on a 'fat' day and on a 'normal' day. Now, the 'fat' and 'normal' aspects of a day are in your head. Your body has not changed from yesterday in a discernible way so that you would notice it.
Have you noticed how you view yourself in the mirror? Some days it's with an ounce of love and joy, others that love and joy have turned into criticism and hate.
I would suggest that we start appreciating our body, that we always shower it in love and joy, and appreciate what it does for you every single day, the millions of actions that occur to make it function mean that your body is AMAZING!!! How it looks is in your head. It's not how it looks to the person next to you or even to the person next to them, both of them will view your body differently. Now, start viewing your body with love today!
Today was influenced by a struggle to enter that wonderful world of sleep last night! Yes, on Day 1 I was overthinking and overstimulated. This resulted in a difficulty in falling asleep.
Now, I like to think that I live my life in a field of no excuses. You stuff up, you stuff up, there is no excuse, just get on with it. So, today has been a day of working on myself to step into my self belief of commitment.
Yep, you guessed it, the late night and the lack of sleep culminated in a distinct desire to remain in bed this morning. So, I did succumb to this. All the while thinking "30 days of commitment, 30 days of commitment". I have decided that tomorrow morning, I will go for a 2 hour walk, that keeps me in alignment with my commitment to 7 hours of exercise per week.
I continued with all my other plans for today. Today was Day 1 of my cleansing. Hence, the Headaches! Normally I don't have headaches when I'm cleansing, so this is a new experience for me. However, I've just realised that I've not been drinking my water. Soooo, I'm now onto my 3rd glass of water in about 15 minutes! That will certainly take the edge off the headache.
One of the other things I was to implement for my 30 days was my Gratitude diary. I started that last night, and it's always great to get back into a place of gratitude, for the small things as well as the large. By the small things, I mean things such as being grateful that I had time out with my husband over a coffee where we discussed how I am going to implement my 30 days of commitment, and how he figures into that plan. Because, he is not going on this journey with me, it is about me, and how I commit to myself. He understands that, and is ready to support me in any way he can (yes, he's my coach, I've given him permission to ask the tough questions!).
I've also kept up with my commitment of no scales. I hear you titter and laugh, yes, it's only Day 2, BUT I've been weighing myself daily for the last few years as a way to be aware of my maintenance. There was an article I read a few years ago that highlighted that those people who regularly weighed themselves were more likely to maintain their goal weight than those that don't. It made sense to me at the time, as you can correct any out of control upward spirals if you're aware of them happening, before they become out of control! Now, it's just a morning routine habit, so keeping away from those scales is a mission! I'm already looking forward to 2 June, when I get to step onto them again.
However, weighing yourself isn't the only way to measure your journey, and it's not the only way I measure mine. I also take measurements of myself when I'm monitoring where I'm heading too on a journey. This is because I've been caught up before in the whole "omg, I've worked so hard this week and I've not dropped an ounce" routine. This is because, back then, I didn't understand the relationship between fat and muscle. Fat weights lighter for the volume it holds than muscle. So, for example, a kg of muscle is smaller in volume than a kg of fat. Soooo, when the scales don't move and you've been pumping the iron, exercising well, it may very well be due to the loss of fat, and the gaining of muscle! Now, I'm much more aware of measurements - oh yes, and the loose waistband is the BEST measurement ever!
Well, I've now got to continue on with the rest of my daily commitments with my work, and that includes my study, so I'm off to do some learning.
What does it take for you to be true to a commitment? I've committed to goals in the past, and they have generally slipped away. Why you ask? Well, to be perfectly truthful, I'm a great and energetic starter, and a poor finisher. This can be seen often in my work, I am full of enthusiasm for new projects, for new ideas, and after some time, they fade, I lose interest and the completion date comes around more quickly than I realised.
Now, don't get me wrong, I do always finish! I'm a great last minute finaliser of projects in work (in fact, here I am at 6pm at night writing a blog I promised myself I'd get done today, at 8am this morning I promised this!).
So, I'm working on changing this.
How do you do that? With a plan!
Thinking I'm strong enough to do this alone is a bit silly, I've failed at it before, and no doubt, without a mentor, a coach and self belief, I'd continue to fail at it again.
So, this time is different.
I have a coach on board, they will daily be questioning me on whether my choices fit in with my set goal and plans.
I have a mentor on board, a group of like minded individuals all cheering each other on (I believe there are over a thousand of them, but all supportive and with some great ideas). This group offer tips, hints and motivation on a daily basis, my coach will be asking me if I have looked at them every day.
I have my gratitude diary set up and ready to complete on a daily basis.
I have my blog, and a commitment to write on it every day, revealing the difficulties I encounter and how I overcome them, as well as the good times, the gratitudes I want to share.
I can see that this is different already. For starters, I am writing this instead of closing up my clinic and heading up to the comfort of the lounge. That is a bonus for me.
So, what is my 30 day commitment? It is specifically this:
Healthy Eating on a 5:2 plan for 30 days
No alcohol for 30 days
Writing on my blog for 30 days
Exercise for a minimum of 7 hours per week (can be 2 hours in a day)
No weighing on the scales for 30 days (Day 1 and Day 30 only)
Always see my body and send it love on a daily basis
When I first began my journey, I was committed and lost 23 kg over 8 months. Consistency won the day, and for the following year, consistency allowed me to realise that I can maintain my weight. Holidays and a failure to be consistent reminded me that I do love food, and wine, and the consequences are a couple of kgs!
I will be honest and admit that I have rebounded by 6 kg over the last 2 1/2 years (they do say that on average an adult increases in weight by 2kg/year). However, I am still in a body I love, one that is healthy and exercised regularly. I do wish to do this for me. I want to stop the sometimes/wishywashy/it'll be ok/oh, next week is fine attitude. For me and my self worth, I am committing to 30 days of routine!