Did you go ahead and create plans and goals for 2021?
My husband says that for now we write our plans in water!
It’s true, it’s difficult to make any medium and long term plans in the middle of a Pandemic, but despite how despairing and depressive that may sound, I am very grateful that we are not completely at the mercy of our circumstances because there is always something good and positive that we can focus on.
I didn't learn that lesson very well until I was diagnosed with chronic pain. I went from being very active to barely being able to sit in the car or walk to the end of my drive.
I noticed that if I stayed angry and stressed about my condition, my pain levels would go up, so I was 'forced’ to calm myself down!
It wasn't easy, but I had to stop myself thinking the worse and focus on something that would give me hope for my future.
As one of my favourite past times was working out at the gym, I had to search for other things that motivated me. So, I enrolled on a Beauty Nutrition Course and decided to use the time to finish my Diploma in Organic skincare formulation.
On a good day I would be able to read my Formulation notes, and on a really good day I would be able to make a bath or body product. On a bad day, all I could do was rest and sleep.
The journey to recovery has been extremely slow. I am still in pain, but without a doubt, what I done above prevented me from giving up in despair.
I didn't know it at the time, but those little steps were laying the ground work for my skincare Brand to be called Nudge! I learned the value and power in persevering and not quitting. Every tiny step took me closer and closer to achieving my goals!
In fact, if I had given up, I would not be running Nudge today.
So let's kick start this year with the Nudge approach to goal setting in 2021
Step 1: Start from a place of mindfulness
Worrying about tomorrow will distract you from taking small steps today. When you think about all that could go wrong in the future, it induces anxiety, but practicing mindfulness does not induce the same feelings.
Whenever your mind wonders into the future and you feel your stress levels going up, practice bringing your mind back to today.
Step 2: Act on your deepest values!
Will power or ‘I should’ are not long term action agents.
As you think about what you want to achieve, find motivation to act by digging up your deepest values buried inside your heart.
- Do you want to improve your eating habits?
- Is embracing more eco friendly habits something you want to improve on?
- Do you want to increase acts of kindness?
Why do you want to achieve your goal?
Perhaps you want to have more energy, or you want to leave a better planet behind for your children or grandchildren. Maybe you see the pain others are in and want to make a positive difference in their lives.
All of the above can be worked on during lockdown, and are great ways to keep the mind and emotions in a healthy place.
A personal one for me is I‘ve put on quite a few pounds due to chronic pain and not being as active during the pandemic. However, I’ve decided that I do not want to keep investing in the numbers going higher this year!
In the past, a holiday in the sun would have been a motivator to get back in shape, but I have realised why wait for the chance to go abroad when the simple desire to lose weight can be a motivator to making tiny changes today?
Step 3 Make little Nudgey behavioural changes:
My changes are very small, simple and effective nudges, such as.
- Collecting all the chocolate, and other high sugar snacks, and find a home for them outside of my kitchen cupboards.
- Ensuring I replace them with delicious snakces that I would enjoy eating
- This is an easy one. I put salad or veggies on my plate first, followed by my protien dish, which leaves alot less less room on the plate for heavy, starchy carbs like chips!
- Walking up and down my stairs 20 times per day (then increasing that to 3 times per day)
As you can see, these are small changes. What would your ones be?
Step 4 Don’t be hard on yourself, be kind:
Even if your motivation is flat or you don't achieve the little goals you set yourself, it’s ok! Sometimes the best nudge we can practice is kindness.
We live in unprecedented times, and the shock and pain of it all needs to be faced and processed.
Sometimes it’s ok just to ‘be’, this may be the one goal that is all that is required this year.
Allow yourself time to breathe and heal, and when you do feel ready to do something, take the Nudge approach!
- Practice Mindfulness
- Dig up your deepest values
- Make a small behavioural ‘nudge’ change that you can implement straight away by setting a small goal
- Be kind to yourself. If you’re feeling flat, be sure to give yourself time to process your feelings.
All the above can make a major difference to the appearance of your skin.
Because the above steps can help reduce stress and anxiety, which if left unchecked impacts the appearance of the skin and can even lead to inflammation.
Living your deepest values will help build a positive outlook on life, which has been linked to ageing well. (Probably the best 'anti' ageing cream around!).
I hope my suggestions help, and if you have any questions or want to leave feedback, I would love to hear from you!