Episode 15: Setting Your New Year’s Evolutions
Do you make New Year’s resolutions every year? How did you do on last year’s? Resolutions are based on resolve, or willpower, which really means hard work. Learn how to set New Year’s Evolutions instead. Learn the four most common reasons resolutions rarely last past Valentine’s Day, then discover the three Ps for lasting change, and what they mean in terms of how to do everything from shopping to exercising. Take some time with Renee to set your intention for the New Year, plus hear how clearing out the clutter will make space for your dreams.
Renee Stephens: Welcome to Inside Out Weight Loss. I’m your host, Renee Stephens, and together we’re accessing the control panel of you mind/body system, bringing ease and joy to your weight loss journey and fullness to the rest of your life. Today on the show, learn how to set your intention for the year ahead in a way that sets you up for success. It’s time for your New Year’s evolutions on Inside Out Weight Loss.
Renee Stephens: I started weight lifting when I was 15 years old, so I don’t have to do the forever workout in the gym. My weight lifting workouts are about twice, sometimes three times a week, more typically twice a week, and they last about 25 minutes. That’s it.
Renee Stephens: I know that this may sound extreme, but I’ll say it anyway; The weight struggle is oppression. In fact it’s the most insidious kind of oppression that exists, internalized oppression. We are our own worst oppressors when we criticize ourselves.
Renee Stephens: So go ahead and set your intention for this episode. Drop inside for a moment and become present with you. You’ve come to this show for a reason. There’s something here for you, something important. This time is for you, so wherever you are, whatever you are doing, open yourself up to get exactly what you need to take the next positive step forward. Whatever it is, go ahead and set that intention for today’s episode now. My intent with this show is to end the weight struggle and free as many people as possible to live their best lives. My intent in this and in all episodes is to enable you to dissolve what’s been holding you back and move clearly into living your dream, because I know that it’s possible. I know that you deserve it. And I know that you can.
Renee Stephens: Lets review what we’ve learned on the show since we’ve launched. We’ve been walking through the steps to end your weight struggle, to stop fighting with ourselves. I know this may sound extreme, but I’ll say it anyway; the weight struggle is oppression. In fact it’s the most insidious kind of oppression that exists, internalized oppression. We are our own worst oppressors when we criticize ourselves, when we waste our precious conscious mind, focused on what we will eat and what we won’t eat and when we will eat and what we should eat and what we shouldn’t eat and how fat we are and how we should look and how we don’t look the way we want to look and how horrible it is that our thighs are bigger than Kate Moss’s butt. We go on and on and on, around and around in our heads, oppressing ourselves, criticizing ourselves. We can entertain ourselves for hours, days, weeks, months and years of our lives this way. How much of your precious mental energy do you think that you’ve spent over the last five years, ten years, however long its been, obsessed with these thoughts in self-criticism. How can we possibly truly enjoy ourselves if we’re oppressed, if we’re oppressing ourselves? How can we truly give our gifts to others if we don’t even know what they are? And I’m not talking about the kind of giving that depletes, but the kind of giving that renews, that honors our divine nature, that fulfills our purpose and our mission in life. It’s time to end that struggle. It’s time to stop the internalized oppression that we inflict upon ourselves. So what are the steps to ending the weight struggle. We’ve been talking about it in previous episodes of this show. It’s all about creating the most powerful force for change that exists; inner alignment. Alignment where there was acrimony. Alignment where there was angst. Alignment where there was anxiety. And how do we do this? By resolving our inner conflicts, our simultaneous yes and no to losing weight, to self-acceptance. I walked you through this process in an earlier episode. And if you’d like more, I also offer you a guided journey to sabotage self-sabotage will resolve the internal conflict in the product section of my Mind For Body website. This process is the foundation for creating the alignment that will truly bring ease and joy to your weight loss journey. So whether you do it through the earlier episode of this program, if you write it down or listen to the guided journey that I offer on my site, do it, because it’s critical. This is the foundation, this is the antidote to the yo-yo dieting and will power based resolutions that you’ve had in the past. Also on this show, we’ve learned about what to eat, what foods will make our journey easier. Not good foods and bad foods, but simply which foods make our lives easier. We learned about how to make decisions about what and how much to eat. And we also learned how to set the foundation for long-term lifestyle change, because after all that’s what we want, isn’t it. Haven’t we had enough of the diet of the moment? Haven’t we had enough of the resolution and the resolve that takes us through a week, a month, however long, only to be disappointed again? Do you want to set yourself up for another disappointment? Or would you rather begin the practices and the habits today that will make your journey easier and easier?
Renee Stephens: The first of these concepts is a concept of kaizen, and I’ve just recently learned, thanks to an informative listener, I really love you guys, that the word is probably pronounced kaizen. The concept is that of continuous improvement. Making small incremental changes that may not seem like much, and in fact are very easy to make, but consistently. And when we make this kind of continuous improvement day after day after day, we end up making dramatic and lasting changes. The other concept, which we have discussed in the last several episodes is absolutely critical to your long-term success and to making it easier and easier.
Renee Stephens: We’re going to take a break now to support our sponsors who make this show possible. Supporting them is supporting Inside Out Weight Loss. This is Renee Stephens, and you’re listening on Personal Life Media.
Renee Stephens: We’re back now. And before the break we were reviewing what we’ve already learned on this show. Today lets talk about New Year’s resolutions. You know, every year, the beginning of the year with great resolve and enthusiasm and guilt that has been building and growing throughout the entire holiday season, now is the time you’re going to make changes. You’re resolving to never go back to the old ways again. You know, it’s the days when everybody signs up for the gym and resolves to go on their diet and to become neat and clean and organized, and this will be the year of a new you. And yet how many of us really stick to those resolutions beyond the end of January. Maybe a few fortunate ones make it through Valentine’s day, but certainly by Saint Patrick’s day they’re long since forgotten. Well how about we take a different approach this year? How about we do something that sets us up for lasting positive change. You see resolutions are based on resolve, will power. Another way to think of it is typically our resolutions are based on a strong away from motivation. And the away from are the kinds of excessive’s that we typically have during the holiday season; Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, holiday candy and cookies at every turn. These are things that have made us feel like we just can’t stand it anymore, our pants don’t fit anymore, it’s time to create a new you, you’re beginning to think about that bathing suit vacation that you might have planned in the not too distant future, and you better start going now. And yet resolve can’t last, because it is away from based. So what do we do now? We begin to create our towards motivation. If we want to make changes that last… You remember from the early episodes when we talked about your away from and your towards motivation, and the fact that away from motivation tends to peter out just as soon as we get a little bit away from the thing that we’re running from to make ourselves feel comfortable, to feel like the threat has diminished. But it isn’t enough to carry us through to lasting change. And that’s why we want to have both away from and towards motivators to keep us going in the long run.
Renee Stephens: Okay, so lets talk more about the downfalls of most typical resolutions. Number one, they’re often way too ambitious. “I’m going to lose all the excess weight.” “I’m going to home cook every meal.” “I’m going to meditate for half an hour a day.” “I’m going to keep my office desk clean at all times.” They’re a little too ambitious. Another of the downfalls is that there’s no concrete specific or actionable plan to actually carry out the resolution that we need. We don’t have steps one, two and three, four, five and six to bring that plan or that resolution into reality. Another downfall is that they’re often will power based. What do I mean by will power based, as we were talking a moment ago? They’re based on resolve, based on a strong away from strategy. As they say in twelve step programs, they’re about white knuckling it; “I’m going to make it through. I know I can make it through my two o’clock or three o’clock caffeine and candy craving. I know that I can make it through”, and so we clench our fists and we grind our teeth and we run the other way when the donuts appear at the office. And yet by day two, by day three it’s just too much effort. And so we give up. The fourth downfall of typical resolutions is that they’re unrealistic given your lifestyle. For example, if you plan to go from not exercising at all to exercising seven days a week for an hour a day, that seems like a bit of leap to me. Or you plan to go from eating all your meals in fast food outlets to going shopping everyday and cooking all of your meals fresh at home every night. Or perhaps you’re going to be raw, you’ll eat everything raw this year. Those are unrealistic given your lifestyle. Perhaps if you were a move star or a celebrity and you had personal trainers and personal chefs. But lets face it, that’s not the reality for most of us. We have jobs, we have busy schedules and we have to make something that’s going to fit in with our lifestyle. So what’s the alternative? New Year’s evolutions are the alternative. New Year’s evolutions are based on the idea that it’s as much about the process as the goal. It’s as much about the process as about the goal.
Renee Stephens: I want you to think about the three P’s of lasting change. The three P’s of lasting change are persistence, practice and patience. What does that mean? Persistence means that you will keep at it, that you expect to keep at it, day after day, even through the occasional fumble or maybe the frequent fumble. Even through the occasional screw-up or the frequent screw-up. You’re just going to keep coming back. There was someone on the Inside Out Weight Loss Yahoo group who was saying that they finally figured it out. That it’s not so much about having the mega workout to end all workouts, but rather going at it, keeping at it consistently, persistently day after day and week after week. And so what does that mean? That means if you can’t do the hour mega boot camp workout, and you can only do a twenty minute walk or a ten minute walk or at least take the stairs instead of the elevator, you go ahead and do it because you are persistent. I remember a while ago going to an exercise class here in San Francisco, and the instructor was in phenomenal shape, she was a true inspiration. She was slim and fit and curved in all the right places. She was amazing. And someone, my friend who I had gone with asked me, she said, “You know, how does someone get a body like that?” And I said, “You know, a body like that does not come from a month long program. A body like that comes from years of dedication.” And certainly for myself, now I’m not comparing my figure to hers, but I am saying that the reason that I’m, I look fairly fit for my height and for my weight, is that I’ve been at it since I was fifteen. I started weight lifting when I was fifteen years old, so I don’t have to do the forever workout in the gym. My weight lifting workouts are about twice, sometimes three times a week, more typically twice a week, and they last about 25 minutes. That’s it. That’s all I do. But I keep doing it year after year, month after month, decade after decade, on and on and on, I just keep turning up. I just keep going back. And so that the maintenance isn’t that big a deal. So the same thing for you, you want to start now, acting as if you are maintaining your body, your figure for the rest of your life. So you want to have a practice that you can keep up for the rest of your life. That’s persistence.
Renee Stephens: What’s the second P of lasting change? It’s patience. Patience. Patience with the results. It seems that everyone that I ever work with is impatient for results. They want to have, how much weight do you want to lose, “Oh well, if I could lose three pounds a week and lose 25 pounds in the next two months, then that would be great. I would love that. I’d be happy with that.” And this may be a person who has been overweight for ten, twenty years or at least years, and all of a sudden it’s urgent to take it off right now. Well the reality is that that mindset just doesn’t work, that mindset creates a level of psychic stress that is precisely the kind of thing that makes us want to eat in the first place. So the lesson here is to be patient, to focus on the journey, to focus on the daily successes that you can have. So what’s a daily success? You remember perhaps from a previous episode that a daily success can be as simple as a learning opportunity. It can be as simple as a screw-up. That’s right. Your success can be a screw-up. Your screw-up can be your success. As long as you mind that opportunity for learning, just like a baby learning to walk by trying, trying and trying again. So take that infant mindset, that mindset of the child who falls on his little bottom time after time after time just for the fun of it. And I know that this may sound farfetched, but your job, your mission should you choose to accept it is to enjoy the journey.
Renee Stephens: What’s the third P of lasting change? You might’ve guessed it by now. It’s practice. And again practice is like that little child pulling himself up again and again and again and falling back on his bottom until after a hundred or a thousand attempts he begins to walk across the room. Practice, daily practice. Masters, people who understand what it takes to be truly great at something. If you look at a professional dancer, if you look at a prima ballerina, if you look at an Olympic gymnast, if you look at a top athlete, if you look at a concert pianist or musician, anyone who has gained mastery in a specific area, you know that their ease, their mastery comes from practice, daily practice again and again and again. We’ll do a future episode on weight mastery and the four levels of weight mastery. But for now understand that the journey is one of practice, of doing the daily exercises, of doing your redos, of focusing on inner alignment, on the daily self-correcting. That’s the practice that will lead you truly to weight mastery, to becoming a naturally slender person. So the three P’s of lasting change are persistence, patience and practice. That’s all it takes, to keep showing up to your life and your journey as you enjoy it. So now thinking about how you would like to evolve this year, what is your intention? What if your intention for the year were to learn to enjoy eating like a slim person? What if your intention for the year were to be to eat like a slim person more and more with each week that passes, with each month that passes? Think about it. Think about what you would like to manifest. It could be anything. Any dream that you have for this year. And now think about how having that dream, achieving that dream will make you feel in your body. That’s right. I want you to go into your body and think about how it will make you feel. We’re almost out of time for today, but before we go I’d like to mention one more thing. If you want to bring something new into your life, you must make room for it. You have to let something else go. So think about what you are willing and would like to let go of in your life, so that you can make room for the new. Just as in nature, the trees drop their leaves before the new leaves can sprout in the Spring. If you want to change something in your life, you must create room for it. So what are you willing to let go of? Perhaps it’s as physical as the clutter in your house. Perhaps it’s a habit. Perhaps it’s watching less TV. Whatever it is, what are you willing to let go of, to make room in your life for your intention for the New Year. Go ahead and write down your reflections for the last year, what you’ve learned in the last year, as well as what your intention is for the New Year in your Inside Out Weight Loss journal. Make a note of how you plan to increase your patience, persistence and practice, what your intention is for the New Year, and how that will make you feel. And then finally put in what you’re willing to let go of to make it happen. We’ll go over some more steps and questions to ask yourself as you set your New Year’s evolution in motion.
Renee Stephens: That brings us to the end of our show today. Thank you for being present. As I mentioned a few minutes ago, there’s now an Inside Out Weight Loss Yahoo group moderated by a listener. This is a great place to share your dream and to support and be supported, to connect with others. Remember you’ll get double or more out what you put in to this journey, but you must put in to get out. To join the Yahoo group go to the blog at www.personallifemedia.com/renee, and click the link on the right hand side bar under blog roll. You’ll also find there links to other sites and resources I recommend. Do you have a question for me? Call 206-350-5333 and leave a message. I may play your question or comment on the air. For other shows on the Personal Life Media network, please visit our website at www.personallifemedia.com. There’s loads of intriguing content to feed your mind, body and spirit. This is your host Renee Stephens and I am on a mission to eradicate the weight struggle from the planet. Join me as we evolve the world by evolving ourselves. Take good care.