Tag Archives: accountability

Why the Ball Drops on Your Intentions

Ever wonder why you have great intentions at the new year and THEN the ball drops? You just need to be a little “S.M.A.R.T” – er.

This formula will help you get on track in any area of your life as you contemplate changes for the new year

S. = Specific

Be specific with what you want during the new year. Most of the time, the ball drops because you are too general with your intentions.

If you want to find balance, then be specific with scheduling. “For an hour a day, I will use 15 minutes to workout, 15 minutes to have quality conversation with someone I love, 15 minutes to decompress after a stressful day, or 15 minutes to have quiet time.”

For weight loss, be specific: “I want to lose 10 pounds.”

M. = Measurable

What tool will you use to measure your progress? A planner? A scale? An iPad? An app?

A. = Achievable

Many times a goal isn’t reached because it’s too big. Start with what IS achievable.  If you have no exercise routine at all, then just start with scheduling time for what you DO have.

R. = Reward

Most S.M.A.R.T. models utilize this as the “realistic” component.  I will insert “REWARD” here as a means to positively reinforce a new behavior.  The best incentive is to reward yourself weekly for having met a goal for just that week. Mind you, not with unhealthy food if your goal is to eat better or lose weight!

T. = Time

Give yourself a timetable for reaching your goal.  If you don’t, it’s easy for the goal to be dropped as fast as the new year’s ball.

 

 

 

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Anxious Living: “C” in R.E.S.I.L.I.E.N.C.Y.

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The “C” in R.E.S.I.L.I.E.N.C.Y. acknowledges four concepts for buffering stress. Consider the following:

CALM

Learn to cultivate calm evenings.  In particular, there are two recommendations:

  1.  Do not discuss “heavy” topics at night with family members.  This activates the brain in ways that is not conducive to restful sleep.  If needed, discuss stressful topics during daytime hours.
  2. Develop a calm bedtime routine.  This may include a relaxing bath, soft music, no blue light (for an hour and a half before bedtime),  reading a hardcover book, etc.

CONNECTION

Share your stress with a trusted friend or professional.  You are a “jar of clay” (2 Corinthians 4:7) and need to have an “inner circle” to connect and commune with during challenging times.  In addition, these trusted individuals can bear the burden of your stress by either just listening, or actively serving you to lighten the load. In either instance, put pride aside.

CAFFEINE

The tendency to be stimulated during a time of stress is a vicious cycle, especially if you haven’t been able to sleep well.  Be intentional about greatly reducing your caffeine intake.  If you’re used to caffeine at all three meals, begin by deleting it at the dinner hour.  Once your body is used to this, delete the caffeine at lunch as well.  Ideally, drink your cup of Joe in the morning and be done.  Your body is already stressed enough; caffeine doesn’t help the cause.

CRY

My grandmother always told me that a good cry was good for the soul.  Neurobiology has confirmed her wisdom.  The hormone that causes the production of cortisol is found in your tears.  Specifically, a 2-4 minute cry has stress reduction benefits. So go ahead and cry; however, beware of a pattern.

With these 4 concepts in mind, how can you…..

A. Make one change – and eventually more – in your bedtime routine to alleviate stress?

B.  Identify a trusted friend, family member, or professional to share your stress with?

C.  Monitor and delete your caffeine intake? Perhaps a family member to hold you accountable?

D.  Not suppress your feelings and give yourself permission to cry?

In summary, use these tips to manage stress.  Remember: The idea is to buffer and build (resiliency).

This is Hope Unveiled!