Weekly greetings to you my valuable community member.
January is already drawing to a close soon and I hope you are not feeling disappointed by arbitrary new year's resolutions that you "made" and did not keep. So much of this disappointment and inaction comes from approaching change and habits from a black and white, all or nothing paradigm.
Recently I was interviewed for an article in a New Zealand-based Health and Wellness magazine (I'll share that in the next few weeks when it's live) and one of the questions I was asked was:
"What do you mean by Be Intentional but Flexible?"
Here's a sneak peek at my thoughts...
"I believe most successful things in life, including nurturing our health, happen in shades of grey rather than black and white. The black and white paradigm is aligned with an all-or-nothing approach, which is really harmful when attempting behavior change for the purpose of creating healthier habits. Whereas, the shades of grey paradigm is aligned with both intentionality and flexibility. Intentionality is grounded in the things we can control such as planning, organizing, directing our attention, taking action, etc. The flexibility allows for what we can’t control and provides a way for us to feel successful rather than defeated when we honor necessary adjustments.
For example, perhaps you had a goal to get more physical activity this past year. Maybe you even had a very specific action plan that you were initially able to execute to the point of it becoming a habit. All of this required a great deal of intentionality. You then became ill which affected your energy, you got behind at work, and you simply could not keep up the original plan. In black and white mode, you get frustrated and feel like a failure, in shades of grey mode you recognize it as an opportunity to respect what’s actually going on and be flexible. You recognize that rest needs prioritization on the physical activity continuum for now and then because you are present with your reality, you also recognize when your energy shifts and you need a little bit of movement, until you are eventually able to resume your regular exercise routine. If you continue to stay present, at some point you will notice your routine becomes mundane and you will need to be both intentional and flexible again. This is likely the case for most areas of your life, there’s a meandering, an ebb, and flow, but what’s most important is to notice when you get away from yourself and gently find your way back."
Try and take this approach on board and see if you have more success creating habits that serve you. I will look forward to sharing the full article with you in the coming weeks. In the meantime, take care.