This is another guest post from Jen, my really awesome semi-regular guest poster.
Jen believes that eating well shouldn’t be stressful and loves coming up with easy recipes, making food choices that make her feel good, and learning about healthy living.
I wanted to share with you this quote I read, from Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins:
“…ten days of small actions in the directions of your goals will begin to create a chain of habits that will ensure your long-term success.”
Surely, I thought, I can commit to doing a small group of things for only 10 days.
I hadn’t truly exercised in an unfortunately long time. I skip days of taking vitamins. I also always plan to start meditating, but I never consistently do. So this was my plan:
1. walk every day
2. meditate at least 10 minutes a day
3. take all of my vitamins/supplements every day
Confession: I wanted to write a hopefully helpful post with tips on how to commit to new habits for 10 days. But guess what? I didn’t even make the full 10 days myself. How did my motivation fizzle out so fast?
If you have done something like this, too, does it mean you have totally failed?
No, I don’t think so. I did some things differently this week for the first time in quite a while, and I’m counting that as a success.
You may be thinking, Taking a walk is no big feat! 10 minutes of meditating is nothing! How can you not accomplish that?
Yet I’m sure some of you understand that you can reach a point where you know you need to make so many changes that even small things seem overwhelming!
When I look at the excuses I’ve been using, they don’t really hold up. I can’t spare 10 minutes to meditate on any day, really?
Is my mental and physical health not more important than reading a few more pages for class, or just plain sitting around?
Out of the 6 days from last Monday through Sunday, I skipped one walk, skipped one meditation, and skipped the vitamins only one day. That’s better than nothing.
When you want to make something a regular part of your life, I think starting small is the best way to go.
Here are some of my thoughts on starting to commit to positive new habits:
1. Food is always at the forefront of my mind, but diet is not the be-all, end-all
Honestly, at this point, I think diet alone is not what’s holding me back from the clearest skin possible.
Do you tend to neglect other lifestyle aspects that could use some attention, like me?
I started thinking about some non-food related changes to consider, that relate to mental health and stress relief. These are more ideas for habits I also want to incorporate!
- a goal of drinking more water.
- reading something positive every day.
- making a mental note to a think of a certain meaningful affirmation. throughout the day.
- starting the day with easy yoga.
(P.S. I bought the book Slim Calm Sexy Yoga by Tara Stiles, and I intend to utilize it more! I think it’s useful especially if you don’t have easy access to do a yoga DVD or have done yoga but are lost when it comes to doing it on your own. Good pictures of easy-to-follow series of poses, including one for “Clear Skin.”)
2. What are some activities that are flexible enough where you could fit them in at different times of the day?
I think these are the most realistic for goals.
Even if I stay up 10 minutes later to meditate before bed, even if on certain days I swallow my vitamins before bed instead of with food, at least I did it. (Just before sleep is supposed to be a good time to meditate, anyway.)
3. If you can enlist someone to join you in some of your new habits, that’s great
My boyfriend was able to come along on a walk all but one of those days.
But can you guess what happened on that one day? It was the day I skipped walking!
I realized that I shouldn’t be that dependent on him.
4. I’m not giving up on the 10 days thing
I’m starting over. Today is day one! I still want to see what can happen if I really stick to some things.
What small actions toward your health goals will you commit to making?
hmmmmm… nice article….hopefully I will get a blender soon and start drinking some greens smoothie..cant wait to get great skin 🙂
Do it!! 😀
I haven’t had a green smoothie in over a month. That’s sad when I could very well have had 1 or 2 a week since then. I just don’t want to buy the ingredients :/ And I’m tired of the greens going bad before I can use them all. But I am committing to this friday as the day I buy a few items for one and I’ll drink one this saturday morning.
I’ve also broken out pretty badly around my nose and chin. I’m betting it’s on my limited use of benzoyl peroxide though. I’m sure you know the 16oz bottle that Dan sells is supposed to last 2 months but here I am on month 7 of the same bottle. Trying (and succeeding… sort of) in weening myself off of it. I do plan on using it for the next year though. Probably every 7 months.
err, every 7 months I’ll purchase a new bottle that is.
good for you on the saturday smoothie idea! that’s exactly what i’m talking about- small steps. my initial idea of fitting in all kinds of healthy lifestyle changes every day was obv a little too ambitious with my schedule. sometimes scaling back, like you’re doing, and making a plan to do at least ONE thing right on a specific day is just the right idea!
I think setting multiple small goals is easier than setting one big goal such as “achieve ultimate health.”
i agree. 🙂 i think getting really specific with goals and breaking them down is less scary than a big vague goal.
hi tracy! which vitamins are you taking? and what does meditation really mean? i mean, is relaxing with spiritual music considered as meditation as well? thank u 🙂
i know your question was directed toward tracy, but i thought i could offer my thoughts on meditation. i don’t think it necessarily has to be sitting cross-legged in silence. it’s just trying to empty your mind and be still. but it’s impossible to NOT think. thoughts are definitely going to arise, but many things you will read about meditation say to just see your thoughts as if they’re clouds and let them pass. or you could try silently repeating a mantra in your mind.
sometimes i do like to put on some ambient or calm music. lie in savasana (corpse pose in yoga) if you don’t want to sit up!
Hi Eunice… yes what Jen just said is right… it’s more about learning to slow your thoughts down, and when you do get thoughts, you don’t get worked up about them the way we normally do. In other words, you just see them as “things”… passing clouds, exactly, and don’t give them any meaning. You learn to let go and ‘let everything be as it is’. You can do this any time anywhere, doing any thing.
The meditational music I suggested is actually a special thing, different than regular music, as it’s got these kind of…. almost like hypnotic beats – called binaural beats – embedded in it, so that when you listen to it, it is specifically designed to gently guide your brain into a slower, relaxed, meditative state. This of course, is not by any means required! It just happens to be helpful if you want to seriously get into meditation.
Thanks Jen! But what really confused me is, Tracy said in her free ebook that if you’re too lazy to do meditation and all that stuff, you can buy meditational music which is supposed to be as good as the ordinary meditation, only it’s a lot easier. I was wondering if the Christian music from my religion can do the same..
This was the first time I read this article. Thank you Jen and Tracy! I needed to hear those words. For 3.5 years I’ve been wanting to do yoga everyday to make it my number one form of exercise, but for some reason I seem to sabotage that. In the last two weeks, I’ve done it 5 times (only once on my own…good suggestion Jen, to do it with someone) and feel shifts in my body already! I am going to just do small changes. THANK YOU to you both for all your support on this journey to clear skin and sense of balance. Namaste.