When you have a chronic illness, looking back can be hard, so generally I don’t do it. But looking back can serve if we choose where to focus the spotlight. At this time of year, considering what worked in the last year can help galvanise our motivation for what we need to do in the year to come. We can also choose to learn from what doesn’t work.
So what worked for me in 2018?
- Consistency: The more consistent I was with any of my self-help the healthier I became. Being consistent with taking my supplements twice a day was really important (but not always that easy). Being consistent with my gentle yoga had noticeable effects on my energy. In June I was lucky enough to start working with a coach who really new how to encourage consistency (something I’m hoping to share with you this January to help you get the year off to a great start!).
- Routine: I found it really difficult to do things consistently unless I stuck to my routine, if I didn’t keep up the early stages of my routine, I’d never get around to the later stages. Each part of my routine would lead into the next and without the earlier ones, the later ones would get lost! Setting up my day well was the foundation for the rest of my day working well.
- Time restricted eating: In terms of settling my gut symptoms and blood sugar issues, nothing in 10 years has worked for me as well as restricting my eating to a 9-hour window. I’ve even been able to eat a little more fruit as a result. When I was managing to do it consistently, I also lost a bit my menopause weight.
- Energy testing my supplements and food. As well as helping me feel healthier, I think that I also relaxed a bit about my gut health and general well-being. Although a lot of the foods that I knew were a problem were backed up by the energy testing, I found that not everything I thought was bad for me, was. Eating the right things just became easier and less stressful, I trusted my body to tell me what it needed instead of following often confusing dietary guidelines.
- Journaling: Writing things down, particularly focusing on gratitude and abundance, kept my mindset positive, which helped me have the motivation to keep going with all the self-help I needed for optimum health.
- Tick box recording: Seeing the ticks pile up really kept me motivated too. And when I let it go for a while, I really noticed how much less consistent I became.
- Stimulation-free rest time: I was so tempted just to read through my afternoon rest but when I made myself just let go of all stimulation for at least 10 minutes I really did relax a lot better.
- Reading instead of Netflix: When winter came around and I started watching Netflix in the evenings, I’d found myself wanting to watch it during my afternoon rests too. The more Netflix I watched the more difficult I found it to settle down and sleep at night, even if I’d switched off relatively early. In the summer I went months without watching a thing, spending my low energy time with a book instead. Those were the months that I was happiest and healthiest.
- Screens off early: The earlier I switched off my computer the less obsessed I was with checking Facebook or emails and the more I was able to relax, enjoy life and get a better night’s sleep.
- Drinking lots of water: When I replaced some my herbal teas with drinking lots of water instead, I felt a lot better. It was particularly effective when I was experiencing allergy type symptoms, more effective than anything else I tried to counter them.
And what do I need to learn from what doesn’t work?
- Reading in bed in the morning, although tempting and luxurious, always effects my motivation for my morning routine, and if my morning routine doesn’t go well neither does the rest of my day. Getting straight up in the morning and starting my routine right away is probably the single most powerful thing I can commit to this year!
- If I really want to optimise my well-being, I really need to aim for no more than one Netflix show (45-60mins) a day and to be finished by 8.30 pm so I can wind down and get an early night. I also need to be equally self-disciplined at putting a good book down!
- If I don’t catch an early sleep wave I have much more trouble getting better quality sleep. I need to be in bed by 9 and lights out before 10pm for the most rewarding sleep. When I get into a good book at bed time and don’t put it down at the moment when I feel the wave of fatigue wash over me, I miss my best chance of sleeping well. Getting the best sleep possible is really very important to everything else.
What has worked for you this year? And what can you learn from what hasn’t?
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