Tag Archives: health goals

listen to your body

How to Learn to Listen to Your Body

The other night I was speaking to a client and he said, “You know… when you first told me this I didn’t believe you.” (Yes, I was wondering where this was going to go). “But I’ve actually started to crave vegetables!” In fact, he went to one of his favorite fried chicken spots and ordered Brussels sprouts. Not because fried chicken is “bad”, but because he actually just plain and simple wanted the veggies. Moments like this really make me gush because our bodies are really so smart. When we give them a little love and attention, they start to point us in our right direction (because everyone’s right direction is different).

There’s no one way to learn to listen to your body. It’s something that starts to happen more and more as you set the intention to listen, and as you become more aware. It can definitely help to have a coach, or guide, but it isn’t necessary. For those of you who don’t have a coach, friend or mentor and feel a little stuck about where to start when people tell you to listen to you body, here are a few tips that can get you started.

Start paying attention.

Most of us work on automatic. We push through any discomfort in an effort to get through out days. Getting off of automatic is the first step.

Be curious.

Check in with yourself and your body. Go through each body part in your mind and take a second to focus in and see how that part of you is doing. Are your feet tired or achy? Do you have a mild consistent headache? Where is the headache? In the front of your head, middle? Are your fingers tired from typing? Maybe it’s just your right hand. Is the pain or discomfort dull, diffuse, or sharp?

Start noticing how you feel before and after you eat.

Were you tired? How did you know you were hungry? Did you see something that made you salivate? Are yo bored? Start asking questions.

Keep a log.

I don’t recommend this to everyone, especially if you have a history of disordered eating, but it can be useful to just notice what you’ve eaten throughout the day. I’m not talking about weighing or measuring your food, but just taking a general glance. From there you can start recording any persistent symptoms you are trying to understand and eliminate. Maybe red peppers give you a headache. Or sugar brings out your acne. Keeping a log is a great tool to help connect the dots.

Notice what you crave and why.

Be gentle with yourself.

When we start to pay attention to our bodies cues and come off of automatic mode, we realize that there’s often been a lot of negative thinking and harsh words we’ve silently directed towards ourselves. This can be a lot to come to terms with, but is the first step towards having compassion for ourselves and making the kinds of changes our bodies are calling out for.

 

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goals

From Resolutions to Results: 5 Simple Steps to Make Your Health Goals Stick

It feels really great to set a goal, but the trouble is that a lot of us set goals and come no where near reaching them. Did you know that it’s estimated that only 8% of people actually achieve their New Years resolutions? If you’re someone who wants to set a goal and see results, check out this 5 simple tips to help you get there.

Selection

Make sure your goal is important to you. It’s easy to get caught up in what we’re supposed to be doing. Everyone has an opinion – our parents, significant other, the internet, and our doctors. But that’s not going to cut it. Reaching a goal only works when it’s personal.

Small Steps

When we set a goal, we tend to jump right to the end result. It’s great to know where you want to go, but don’t forget that reaching that end goal is the result of accomplishing lots of smaller goals. Each time we accomplish a small goal, it helps us see that we are capable and gives us the confidence to keep pushing forward.

SMART Goals

SMART is a great acronym for goals that are Specific,  Measurable, Action Oriented, Realistic and Time bound. Making sure your goal is SMART is a great way to increase your chance of success. A SMART goal is specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic and time bound. And there’s a good reason it works! If you can’t see what the end result of what your goal looks like, it’s not going to happen. Ask yourself, how do I know if I’m making progress toward that goal? When do I want to accomplish it by? For example, maybe you want to exercise more. It’s a great goal, but it’s not SMART yet. How often is more? How will you do it? When will you do it? Where? Doing cardio at the gym every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 45 minutes after work is a way more doable and clearer goal. That also means that it’s way more likely to happen.

Stop Making Yourself Wrong

Most people want to be perfect. It’s official. The good news and the bad news is that none of us are. No one reaches their goals in a straight line. Anytime you set a goal, there will be a time when you fall short, when old patterns get the best of you. The question is whether you keep going or get stuck in making yourself wrong and feeling like a failure. If you keep going, you’re one step closer to reaching your goal. If you give up because you think you’ve failed, then you have failed. Failure is rare. Giving up is way more common.

Share and Get Support

Sharing and getting support are important steps to create accountability around your goals. When we tell someone we’re going to do something, we are way more likely to do it. And, when we tell people what we’re up to, they tend to get inspired. At the very least you’ll cheer you on, but they may even surprise you and join in. Sharing and getting support is a great way to have some fun and to create a safety net while working toward your goals. It’s a win-win situation all around.

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