Supporting Our Choices

Happy New Year! I hope your 2013 is off to an excellent start! The new year is often a time of reflection for many of us, looking back on the past year, what we accomplished, the events that stand out for the year, and a looking forward to the new year ahead of us. Many people make new years resolutions or set new intentions for the year. The new year is a natural time of renewal, transformation and change. There’s something about the start of the new that makes people want to make different, and often better, choices. Gym memberships increase in January, more people can be seen exercising and working out and new habits are being practiced all around us. On my first day back at work this week, my colleagues and I were all talking about how we want to “get back” to exercising more and eating healthier.

The desire to change our life or habits and make better choices is wonderful yet chances are that if we do not have something in place to help support those choices, come February or maybe March, those intentions will have fallen by the wayside. Research shows that although we make our new year’s resolutions in good faith and with conviction, they are difficult to keep and we often fail. It doesn’t have to be this way though. There are things we can put in place to help support our resolutions and intentions for the new year. We CAN be successful at making new, better, healthier choices. “But how?”, you may ask.

I believe that the best and most successful way to keep our resolutions and intentions is to gather support for them. Let’s face it, we are more likely to do anything better when we know others are there for us, whether they are encouraging us to do a good job or holding us accountable to what we say we’re gonna do. It helps to have others in our corner helping us hold those intentions for healthier choices and cheering us on when we start to lose faith in ourselves. Change IS hard so why not gather support and allies for the new choices you want to make?

As I shared in my first blog, I made big changes in my health and exercise routine because I saw myself becoming something I wasn’t happy with. This change didn’t happen overnight and I had been saying I was going to make this change YEARS before I finally made it. Like many of us, new year after new year I had set intentions to change and I failed, year after year. So what was it that finally led to my success in making better choices for my health? I realized that I needed a concrete goal to work towards and that I needed support along the way. Change is HARD and we often can’t do it alone, nor should we have to.

I love to run and I knew that if I wanted to get back into shape and live a healthier life, running was something that could support me with those choices. However, telling myself I was going to start running again wasn’t enough for me as I had done that in the past and it didn’t last long. So I decided to sign up for a run, a goal that I could work towards. I signed up to run a full marathon in a year. I also talked about my goal to others and this led to other forms of support. A cousin of mine learned that I was running and this was something she too wanted to do, so we started running together once a week. Two years later, we have run several half marathons and a full marathon together and we just started training for our second one! We also have a third running partner who joins us now. I recently learned my next door neighbor is a runner and wants to join me on my early morning runs!

All of these things and people support me in my choices and intention to be healthier. I know that without all of this support I probably wouldn’t have done all those races or continue to wake up at 4:40am to get my run in for the day. I know I have people in my corner, cheering me on and even running with me towards better health and well-being. So what can you do to gather support for your new choices and intentions/resolutions? Who do you need to tell about your desire for change? What groups are already out there to help you move towards these goals? I am an avid Facebooker and I use it as a form of support. When I am up another day at 4:40am to run, I let my FB peeps know this and they in turn give me support to keep moving forward. I also subscribe to Facebook running pages and inspirational pages and let us not forget, inspirational blogs (hint, hint)! Last year I wanted more gratitude in my life so a girlfriend and I made a commitment to email each other daily about what we were grateful for that day, and one year later I can honestly say that gratitude is an integral part of my life. A simple yet effective form of support. MeetUp groups are also another great way to connect with people that share your same interest or goal.

So I ask you, what can YOU do to gather support for your new intentions/resolutions and choices? What or who can help you continue towards the life you envision for yourself? Please let me know what you come up with and what has helped you thus far. By sharing your knowledge and experience, you can support others in their choices too! This is the beauty of community and I hope you will support me in building one here at Choicepoint – a blog about making better choices and moving towards the life you envision for yourself! Happy New Year, make it an awesome one! Thanks for reading!

Until next time, aloha!

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