It’s January – a new year!
A lot of smart, busy women have a conflicted relationship with this new year thing.
We make big goals. We have big plans. Maybe you head back to the overcrowded gym or buy another self-help book. Social media is filled with inspiration and ways to “get started.” This is going to be the year.
Unfortunately, the energy and enthusiasm tend to have a limited shelf life. Most people find themselves falling back into old habits and patterns sooner rather than later.
I don’t know about all your goals, but I do know what you can do to make sure that 2019 is the year you finally make peace with food and break free from patterns of emotional eating and overeating.
How can you make THIS year, THE year?
I’ve got a few pieces of advice to make sure the path you take really is aimed at creating lasting peace with food.
1. Start by acknowledging an important truth. There’s a reason you overeat.
Be curious about why overeating is a problem and why food has the power that it does in your life. Respect that even the most ineffective strategies are an attempt to solve a problem or accomplish a goal. Stop beating yourself up for any lack of success or failure that occurred in the past. Resolve to learn from what didn’t work
2. Tackle overeating in a permanent way by learning how to feed yourself what you really need and crave (that isn’t food).
Starting with this approach means you’re a lot less likely to feel deprived when you start to make changes. In fact, you’ll actually be addressing your needs and feelings better, and more directly. So much of overeating happens when we use food to cope with emotions or other Hidden Hungers. If you haven’t already, take the free Hidden Hunger Quiz to find out your best place to start.
3. Don’t underestimate the power of small changes and regular steps.
So often, goals and resolutions fail because we overwhelm ourselves with unsustainable expectations. One of the things I hear most consistently from my 1:1 coaching clients and participants in the Missing Peace Program, is how unexpectedly powerful small (and do-able) changes can be when they are applied strategically. You don’t have to change everything in the first month of the year – and you’ll probably be more successful if you layer on changes and habits at a pace that allows you to digest and get comfortable with the changes that you are making.
In my online programs, I release training one piece at a time and even include weeks off. This helps you slow down (especially in the beginning) and create change in a way that actually fits with the other pieces of your life. This step-by-step pace feels so different from the dramatic habit changes that can feel like you’ve quickly built a gigantic house of cards – where one mistake or bad day can send the whole thing crashing down.
Ultimately, making this year your year to create freedom from overeating is about doing things in a way you haven’t done them before.
It’s always a good reminder that we don’t succeed in making our goals a reality if we keep doing things the way we’ve always done them. Something has to change.
It’s not enough to make the declaration. If it was, you would have figured this out years ago. Truth is, if you really want to break free from overeating and emotional eating for good, it’s time to do things differently.