As we kick start this new calendar year, we continue to revisit the Monday Basics series I drew up a few years back. As the weeks chug along, I'll be updating these posts just in time for re-publication. I hope you are game to join in the fun!
The idea is, every Thursday this year, we will dive in to one idea a week. I invite you to join in implementing the concepts presented in this series. (Part #throwbackThursday, part setting good intentions.)
Want to play along? All you have to do is read up these posts on Thursdays (published on the site, and via my social media feeds below), and start working at implementing the goods in to your daily regimen. Be mindful about it! Set your intention. And get to work! #thursdaybasics
This week’s topic: HOW TO GO ABOUT THIS.
Adding in one good thing at a time. No more, no less. Spoiler alert: it feels better.
THE COLES NOTES:
1. Start with where you’re at.
2. Add only one good thing at a time.
3. Work on building the positive.
Worksheet included (click here). Now go forth and support vitality, will you?
Today's post is a short and sweet one, on account of to do lists and things to tend to, places to be and people to visit. (You and me both.) It will be a good one though, I promise.
In the final stretch of this challenge I set out for myself back in that first week of 2016, I am coming to the realization that these posts encompass A LOT. A lot of ideas, a lot of material, a lot of science, a lot of work, a lot of reading and a lot of rethinking one's approach or relationship to food.
If you were to look at the entirety of the content (from practicing mindfulness to the idea of batch cooking), you would undoubtedly feel completely overwhelmed.
This is warranted.
But I give you my trick on how to go about this and stop the overwhelm:
Start with where you are.
And add only one good thing.
Only one good thing at a time.
The idea is that over time, you will be building those good things at a manageable pace, and eventually the lesser things will fall to the wayside. If you add one good thing in, it will eventually crowd out the bad. So instead of concentrating on knocking out those less desirable habits or choices (and beating yourself up for it!), you focus instead on adding one good thing at a time. Building the positive.
And here's the secret: it feels better.
I have developed this idea with my one-on-one clients in supporting them on their health journey. I often remark on how they'll feel like I have given them a pile of recommendations a mile high, and they have no idea how they will get to the work.
I tell them to put the pile of papers (err, recommendations) on their desk, I tell them to close the door to their office and then instruct them to go make a cup of tea. With their worksheet in hand, (download one of these handy dandy sheets here if you feel so inclined) they are to open the door to their office, take one recommendation off the top of said pile, and close the door to the office again. I invite them to figure out where this new idea will fit on their worksheet, either something they want to do in the morning, something they want to ensure they tend to once a day, or if it's something they're aiming for at least once a week. They are then instructed to write this idea or recommendation in the right spot. And then they walk away.
I invite my clients now to work on implementing this new idea in to their life, and to take their time doing so. Get comfy with it. Once they feel they have this recommendation down pat and feel it has now become a part of their life, I invite them to go back to their office desk and pull yet another thing off the pile. But only one more thing. And again, off they go to work it in to their worksheet, and into their life.
This way, you only move on to the next good thing once you have a handle on this first good thing you picked off the pile. Doing so cuts down on the overwhelm, and invites a person to really get to know the concept behind their new recommendation, and to really work it into their day to day life. Giving yourself two to three weeks to grasp the concept of, say, cooking with good fats will help set you up for success. You get to play with a few different fats, get to know flavours, ditch the rancid fats that have been taking up too much space in your pantry, and you get to start putting in those small changes that will lead to a manageable turning around of the ship as it were.
The concept of doing one good thing at a time is a way to approach this in order to change the course of direction in a manageable way, so as to not induce a massive detox or swing your ship in a completely different direction, equally off course. Adding one good thing at a time is a sustainable way to support your body and your mind (and your adrenals!) to go at a manageable pace so as to not upset the equilibrium. (Oh and how much love this showers on to your adrenals, it really is at the root of it all my friend. Insta-de-inflaming, it's my middle name.)
Another reason I love this idea: it really gets you to pay attention to the changes going on in your body, and gives you the knowledge of what changes have really resonated, or what kinds of things have altered with this one good thing. In your first two weeks, have you been drinking more water perhaps? Have you noticed your headaches have reduced? Yes? Well hooray, detox is revved up and dehydration is abated. No changes in your headaches? Well now we may be looking at a histamine issue, or something structural. Could possibly be a vitamin or mineral deficiency, or a hampered ability to digest. But this is all good information to have! And we only get to know this piece of information if the only change you implement is that increase in water consumption.
And it is information for you. My favourite thing about this whole one good thing at a time idea means you are now armed with the knowledge of how your body works; it really empowers you to know the impact of your choices, and invites you to really own the work.
So friend, add one good thing at a time. Go easy on yourself. Self-care at its best.