What are your non-negotiables for 2017?

As 2016 is coming to a close, it’s common to look back and see how well you did with your New Year’s Resolutions, you know the ones that you made on January 1st, 2016! Far too many of us start off the year with the best of intentions but generally fall off the wagon by February and as the year is coming to end we often beat ourselves up because yet again, we will have the same resolutions in 2017.  

Resolutions just don’t work, unless you have a strategy attached to help set yourself up for success. So many of us, turn to vision boards (which I personally love and create every January 1st myself), these generally work much better because we are able to see our goals every single day. We have all heard the saying energy goes where attention flows ….. and that is so true. When you focus your attention on what you want every day, somehow someway we bring these wishes into existence (most years I am always amazed at what I brought forth that I never thought would be possible). 

But the thing to remember here is that it’s not about putting up some pictures and looking at them every day that you will bring forth anything without one very big piece…. do you know what that is? That piece is your commitment, that’s the big secret. We have all put our minds to things and when we make certain things in our life as non-negotiable we somehow find a way to make these things happen. 

The pictures on your vision boards are suppose to motivate you, inspire you and push you when you feel like throwing in the towel, when you just don’t think you can, when you want to give up - it’sthose pictures, those images that help re-direct our focus and remind us what is important. Without them we often fall short…. but it is important to add things to your vision boards that represent what will be non-negotiable for you in 2017? As a celiac, I’m suggesting you make your health and healing one of these non-negotiables. 

Creating visions boards are also about adding some creativity to your goals. It’s about linking up a different part of our brains to our goals, dreams and resolutions. It’s when we chose pictures or images that we think would be nice to have or would be cool but we have no pull or no commitment behind these pictures that we fall short of reaching our goals. If you images don’t elicit a real visceral response, than either you have chosen the wrong image/picture or the wrong goal.

This truly is the difference between having a vision board that 70 to 100% of your goals are met versus one where 10 to 20% you have accomplished. I can absolutely attest to this after doing Vision Boards for almost two decades now. When I am not 100% committed to the goal, I absolutely fall short every year. And, when I am 100% committed - I refer to it as the magic…. things just suddenly shift and come into play that either I never knew was there or they are now available to me, if I chose that path. Commitment and getting off your butt are key to making your goals, resolutions, and dreams come true. There is no right or wrong way to create vision boards however there are so many different formats to choose from. The best one, is the one that speaks to you and keeps you motivated.

Most people don’t really see how your health can really work on a vision board, especially when you have a lifelong condition like celiac disease. It’s not like celiac disease is ever going to suddenly disappear from your body. You will still have good days, bad days, setbacks and complications from this disease that won’t change but what will and can absolutely change is how you bounce back. 

We all know when you have been glutened and you feel like crud everything in our world absolutely stops…. The way a vision board can help is it reminds you that feeling like this is temporary, it can remind you to look forward to a better tomorrow, it can remind you to make better choices, it can remind you to be more careful - day to day and it can keep you focused on your health. 

Don’t you think if you did all that: stayed positive (even when you don’t feel well), made better choices around food every day and you made your health a priority that you wouldn’t have a much more successful year? Don’t you think that if you focused on your healing, focused on feeling better, focused on educating yourself more about the crazy places gluten hides, read more labels, started appreciating your body (instead of being upset and angry at it for having this disease), worked out consistently (even if it’s not the way you use to), listened to the signals your body is sending you and made your health a priority that your health would be better? - I can guarantee you that it will!!! That if you did all of these things with celiac disease or no celiac disease that you will absolutely be feeling better come the end of 2017! Zero doubt!

That is why, I truly find vision boards a crucial step in making huge shifts in my life, especially around my health…..

In order to make any kind of lasting change, Tony Robbins (one of my mentors and master strategist) always says you have to do the following:

I know for me, when I first figured out that gluten was poison to my body I knew that if I did not get a handle on my health and soon, that I wouldn’t be around much longer. My body had been screaming for my attention for wayyyyyy to long and I had ignored it (and had been misdiagnosed so much) that I knew that I hadto do something NOW before my body completely shut down…. I was having so many complications and was in so much pain that if I just had to remove some gluten from my diet, I was there. No questions asked! I was thrilled at the possibility that it was in my hands, my choice, my decision and that I wasn’t going to have to be dependent on a bunch of doctors and drugs for the rest of my life. (So did I get leverage on myself - you bet….. I knew without changing my lifestyle 360 degrees that I would get sicker and most likely get cancer due to the laundry list of additional complications I was having). How about you, what kind of leverage do you have on you? What do you want to be able to enjoy that you no longer can? Who do you want to be around for? What would you like to experience that you haven’t been able to? 

For me, I use to be like nooooo, not again and I felt like a sitting duck. Like I had no control over when and where this happened and I went into a pretty sad and dark place. Often the gluten funk would set in and all my choices from this place were never good. 

Did I really have no control over my health? No and I know that is a bunch of BS that I was telling myself. I do have control over this, because when I make better choices and pay more attention to what goes in my mouth and on my body I have cut down these incidents to maybe once a year versus one to two a week. 

Getting glutened no longer leaves me feeling helpless it deepens my commitment to help make this not happen again. It sets off a barrage of more empowering questions like “What can I do differently? How can I be better? The next time I’m at ____, what will lI do differently?, How can I take better care of me? Then after answering these type of questions, I flip into major self-care mode (which is very different than poor me mode).

This process absolutely has made a huge difference in my ability to pick up where I left off, to get right back into the swing of things after a little down time. By no longer making this such a big deal, my focus and my recovery time is also a bit quicker too. How about you? What tips could you share, on how to interrupt your pattern and create a better day when you have been glutened? 

It isn’t until we learn to replace our previously crappy behavior with a new and empowering behavior that we will ever truly create lasting change. It’s all too easy to fall back into old patterns (because we know them so well and often we run them oftentimes, without even thinking). 

This step is absolutely crucial to making real and lasting change (you know the thing that we all wanted when we originally created those resolutions but we fell short on because we have no plan in place, when we get pulled off track, and you absolutely will get pulled off course many times in the next year). 

This is where vision boards come in, they remind us what we really wanted, they remind us to get refocussed on what we really want in our lives. And, they help us find better solutions to the problem. 

What has worked for me is going into self-care mode (I think about it more as self-healing mode): I rest more, I meditate, I buy a great book (to keep my mind in a positive place), I listen to some great music or someone who inspires me, I flood my body with pre and probiotics, I drink lots more water and I write in my journal (finding places to be grateful, creating better thoughts and better ways to jump back into my life once I feel better) and I do some light yoga or qi gong to keep my body moving.

These are some of my steps for turing a crappy situation into a better one, a more productive one for my mind and for my body. Everybody’s recovery routine will look different, the most important thing to remember here is to not let this pull you off track and forgot your initial goals and dreams just because of a mistake. What does your recovery ritual look like, feel free to share you could help someone else who is suffering?

Set yourself up for success and after a short period of time, get right back on track. This absolutely is what creates a better today and tomorrow when you are living your life with celiac disease. So I absolutely recommend creating those vision boards and making your healing a huge part of them in 2017…. I promise you won’t ever regret making the choice to take better care of yourself. 

Lets make 2017 the healthiest you have ever been.....