create new habits for sustainable change
Since we’ve waved goodbye to 2017, I’ve found myself glancing back over my shoulder at the reflection of the year past and looking forward to this new year with excitement and anticipation. Even expectation.
This chance for reflection is one proven reason why making resolutions at this time of year can actually be effective.
Get this…Reflection + Resolution is apparently a winning combo!
There’s so much to be grateful for as I move into this new year.
I’m especially savoring the evolving relationship I have with my teenage son, Gilbert. As he grows up and becomes more independent (yes, he just got his Driver’s License!) and clear about his own needs, desires and passions, I’m also able to recognize the development (sometimes obvious, sometimes slow) of his emerging habits and patterns.
How do I teach or influence a behavioral shift or commitment to intentions?
It’s a question I’ve been pondering and a subject I’ve been studying over the last month or so. Not necessarily just in relation to Gilbert, but more specifically in my devotion to my own patterns of behavior, as well as yours.
You see I’m after sustainable changes in our lives. The stuff that makes a long-term difference. The life-changing opportunities.
I see a detox or the commitment to healthier eating habits that many of us make at this time of year, much like a vacation, as an opportunity to step back onto our unique path of what feels good—not as a stipulation for restriction. It’s a chance to sink into our purpose, with diet, yes, but also with all of our desires and aspirations.
I think of a detox as coming “home”.
It’s from this place of physiological fluency that we can realize our dreams.
A detox like a vacation??, you might be thinking.
Yes. You read that right. In the same way a vacation allows us to slow down, take stock and recommit to notions like “balance”, a detox, if done in the right way and with devoted support, can offer the same.
It’s not surprising to me that some of the most successful people speak about aspects of how they commit to their intentions. For many in that category, the intention itself has become such a driving force that all behaviors need to be in service to it.
That service may play out in how they eat, meditate or tend to their sleep cycle.
It may also be about embracing routine to save the time that can get sucked up by decision-making.
While I continue to study the benefits of routines and resolutions, I recognize that for my son, the best thing I can do is continue to serve as a healthy model of these practices.
I love witnessing how he starts to allot his after school time—making sure there is room for homework, piano practice, a workout at the gym, tennis lessons, or making time to visit and study with friends.
I appreciate how he opens the fridge and makes himself a snack of sauerkraut and carrots or black beans and corn chips or hard-boiled eggs with sea salt and black pepper or when he whips up personal drink concoctions in the blender. (The raspberry pink splotches on the wall I could do without.)
Where did he learn the habit to tap into his body’s craving for a particular snack and how can I teach him the benefits of wiping down those splotches from the wall in a way that is sustainable, that can become a part of his cook/clean kitchen cycle?
Time will certainly tell. As it does for all of us.
What I know from practice is that we create sustainable habits step-by-step.
17-years-old may bring a bit more eye-rolling and seeming indignation, but I’ll take it if it comes with the laughter, compassion and accomplishments that Gilbert and I have been experiencing together lately.
I’m also grateful for the evolution of a his personality to remind me how to stop and articulate some of the aspects of life we take for granted–why we work out, make the food choices we do or take on a new challenge, and how we go about doing it.
This new year I wish for more of the same in terms of a graceful progression of my relationship with my son. It’s actually so much more than that. I thank Gilbert for being my truest teacher. And I aim to provide both practical and whimsical models of how to be an adult that lives with passion, purpose and curiosity, surrendering to possibilities.
Could it be my routines and habits that allow for more room for the personal adventure?
If your resolution is to commit to healthier eating habits this new year–I hope you’ll join me for Good Riddance: The Real Food Remedy that Rids you of your Symptoms to create change and commit to habits that are both supportive and sustainable.
P.S. If you’d like more ideas and support to kick the year off with a fresh start, join me for my celebrated elimination detox—Good Riddance: The Real Remedy that Rids you of your Symptoms.