Are you setting yourself up for failure this week?

Image from www.dzinepress.com

Image from www.dzinepress.com

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” 
~ L.M. Montgomery

I’m all for change.  That’s part of our power – the ability to move in a new direction, to make ourselves over, to become something new or different to where and how we were.

But how do you achieve that change?

Are you one of those ‘all or nothing’ people?

You know, the ones who declare (publicly, or to themselves with deep conviction), “Right, I’m starting this tomorrow.  No excuses.  Full on.”

‘This’ could be a diet, an exercise plan, some epic project, or for good measure ‘a complete life overhaul’ with everything thrown in.  Whatever it is, it looks vastly different from the place where you are right now.

These sorts of commitments are usually entered into on a Monday, leaving Sunday as a last day for cramming in all of the things you won’t be having/doing/not doing.

Goodness, some people spend a week or more ‘saying goodbye’ to all of the things they are leaving behind.  I’ve just watched a friend defiantly posting pics on facebook of all of the last beer, chips, pizzas, cocktails, desserts, chocolates, wine, burgers etc etc that they are giving up when they start an intense detox.  They’ve binged on more junk food in this last week than they probably ate since the beginning of the year.

I have a girlfriend who asked me to be her ‘commitment buddy’ and emailed me a list of what she was planning to stick to each week, starting on Monday. With her permission, here’s her list:

  • Give up all forms of sugar
  • Drink 3 litres of water a day
  • No alcohol
  • No more junk food or take-aways
  • Take full range of supplements and get back on my herbs and juicing each day
  • Give up all caffeine
  • Grain free diet
  • 30 minutes yoga and write in my journal each morning
  • Pelvic floor exercises – five minutes morning and night
  • Protein breakfast, morning and afternoon protein snack, salad and protein lunch, vegetable and protein dinner – no carbs
  • No more meals in front of tv – family dinners at table
  • Walk at lunch time
  • Prepare healthy home-made lunches and after school snacks for the girls
  • Reading – 30 minutes each night of a self-development book
  • Writing – 3 x 2 hour stints each week to have my book finished by Christmas
  • Husband – 2 intimate sessions a week to rekindle romance
  • Walk girls to library each week and take dog – train dog while on walk
  • Clean house including washing on and clean kitchen each night so we have a fresh start each day
  • 3 weights and resistance sessions at gym down the road each week. Perhaps before pick up girls from after-school care.
  • Gardening – 2 hours each weekend to bring yard back up to standard
  • Renovation – 3 hours each weekend on one project until all projects on attached list are ticked off (attached is a BIG list)
  • Join and attend a weekly dance class or cooking class to extend my circle of friends and put energy into my own interests.

I am tired just reading that list. These are massive changes, and there are so many of them. My girlfriend’s a mum who works full-time as a nurse in a stressful environment, and she’s married with four little kids. Her life is already a whirlwind.  She’s time poor and always exhausted. This list is a radical departure from her current life.

And that’s why I’m asking you if you’re setting yourself up for failure this week…

My friend doing the detox is going to a retreat that specialises in colonics, raw food and ‘clean living’. The entire experience is regimented, controlled and locked in.  No chance of failure there, unless you leave. But that epic binge before they went?  Did that really do their body any good, and will one week of virtuous detoxing erase years of self neglect?  What changes will they make when they come back to the real world?

And my girlfriend – the nurse with the major life overhaul plan? I rang her and we talked about it. There was laughter, there were tears and in the end we made a new list.  Here it is:

  • Buy a water bottle and take it with me.  Aim to drink two refills by the end of each day.
  • Cut back coffee to two on weekends with husband, and one a day.  Review in a month. (She loves coffee, but is drinking up to 4 lattes a day.)
  • Cut down from two sugars in each coffee to none, or swap to stevia/natvia.
  • Make a conscious effort to increase salad and vegetable intake each day.
  • No midweek alcohol.
  • Have a date night with hubby, and let the girls have a weekend sleepover at gran’s house once a fortnight. (This is a win for everyone in the family – girls happy, grandparents happy, and friend and her husband happy)
  • Yoga class each Thursday night and husband will look after the girls.  They can have whatever they want for dinner – husband to organise.
  • Arrange for a house cleaner once a fortnight.

I’m still going to be my friend’s commitment buddy, and we’ll still check in.  I have faith that these are the kind of changes she can succeed at, because she’s not overwhelming herself, and as these new lifestyle changes become habits, she can gradually bring more changes in if she wants to.  There’s no major stress, and no massive expectation.

Unless we have a massive motivator (eg terminal illness or some other equally pressing life event) most of us won’t keep up a regime that is completely different to where we are now. But when we make small changes and adjustments over time, we have a much greater chance of lasting success.

What small thing could you include or remove from your life this week that will improve the quality of your life over time?

Start small. Finish what you begin or let it become a part of your daily routine. Form habits of completion. This builds lasting change, self belief and confidence. And when you’re ready pick another thing, start small… *rinse and repeat*.

Howling at the Moon

Image from Wikia

Image from Wikia

 Those are the same stars, and that is the same moon, that look down upon your brothers and sisters, and which they see as they look up to them, though they are ever so far away from us, and each other.

~ Sojourner Truth

It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and I’m wide awake; fretful and fitful and just a bit teary.

Maybe it’s the Full Moon…

Or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve had three days of doctors, more tests and been given my new expanded treatment regime for Chronic Lyme.

I’m introducing three new drugs to the existing two.

That’s a lot of drugs…

And there’s a super-duper new restricted diet to go with that.

I don’t know why that should bother me.  I’ve spent thirty years following various diet plans, supplement and medicine plans and assorted other ‘get-me-well’ protocols. It’s not like I’ve gone from a normal life to this strangeness. This ‘strangeness’ is my normal!

I even have a helpful letter from one of my doctors, that I must use to release myself from a program I am now unable to complete.  I had to open the letter so I could fax it off to the recipient.  My doctor’s final words caught me by surprise, “her prognosis is guarded: I do not anticipate any form of recovery in the next twelve months. This is a most regrettable situation.”

Regrettable?  Yes, I guess it is.  And he makes me sound so sick.

Oh wait. That’s right.  I am.

I’ve been mostly coping okay, and I’m sure that after a bit more sleep I’ll be fine. But tonight, as my skin itches as if I’m being bitten by a thousand angry ants, as my left eye throbs and pulses from the bacteria inflaming my optic nerve, as my joins swell and pain, my head pounding, my ears burning, my gut a tortured length of misery, I am sitting in overwhelm.

I just want to howl.

I can imagine the wild dogs tonight, back at my farm, full voiced as they scream their collective angst and passion and solidarity to the sky.

I wish that I could join them.  The howl’s just there.  A primal thing pressuring the back of my throat.

But the neighbours in this respectable Brisbane suburb might think it strange to see a pyjama clad, tear-streaked woman howling her pain and frustration to the heavens. They’d probably call the police.

If I feel into this unvoiced howl though, if I lose myself to the pain, something comforting happens. Beyond the suffering and the infinite sadness at the loss of so much of my life to this damned thing, I find a strength. If I keep feeling into the howl I find a kinship.

I belong to a kind of fellowship, its members bound through the most primal and visceral of suffering. And I know something powerful about this membership – it transforms you.

Through this journey of chronic illness and pain I have found beauty, wisdom, courage and kindness. It has opened me up to a depth in myself I would never have otherwise explored.

I lay down on the couch, looking out the leaf-framed window to the silver moon above me. I feel the voices of the wild dogs.  I feel the kinship of the suffering on whom this same moon shines.

I am comforted. I am connected.  And I know it’s already okay.  I am okay.  I will be okay.

So I’ll keep gazing at the moon, bathe in her light, and wait for sleep to claim me.

Namaste ♥ xx

Image by Jess Newman

Image by Jesse Newman

Just this moment…

2012-10-18 18.12.35

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” ~ Groucho Marx

It started with a twinge. Just a twinge. So insignificant I might have missed it, if not for the telltale flutter, like a moth caught under my ribcage.

I stopped in the middle of the empty moon-bleached sand and put my hand to my chest.  Hello heart, I said, is there a problem? But like a shell held against my ear, all I heard in response was the gentle sigh and chuff of the ocean.

It changed the end of my holiday, and my days since. Back and forth to doctors, hospitals, specialists.  Endless opinions and possible courses of action – none of them especially palatable.

I’m good with it, whatever happens. I have become a master of managing overwhelm. In fact yesterday I was able to look at a bright-eyed doctor, flushed with the excitement of my case, and whom had just enthusiastically declared me (not me as a person, me as a collective assortment of organs and symptoms) fascinating, and NOT slap his face or take offence. Instead I felt like an old, wise Nana, smiling indulgently at a child who’s been given a challenging puzzle and who is boasting about how easy it will be.

My heart’s misbehaving. But it’s still beating, and I’m still here. (Did you hear that Universe? I’m making a declarative statement!)

No-one knows what the future looks like. All each of us can do is live in this precious moment.

Someone asked me recently what to do about the feeling of time speeding up and life slipping by. While I don’t recommend a life-threatening illness, I do know that living with your attention on what’s happening RIGHT NOW gives time a lustre and a depth that cannot be had while your mind is back in the past, or racing into the future.

Life is beautiful. Life is precious. And all we ever truly have is this moment. Don’t waste it – breathe in, satiate your body with the sights, sounds and smells of the essence of your current reality. Live it, before it slips too quickly through your fingertips. Life lived this way can never be ordinary. YOU will never just be ordinary.

Trust me on this one – the magic is in the Moment – starting right NOW…

thai-lotus-flower

When is it okay to break a promise?

Image from blog.chasebrammer.com

I take giving my word very seriously. Promises made are never made lightly, and since childhood I have rarely needed to break one.

But I’m going to break one now. This isn’t information I’d normally share, but I have given so much thought to this that I felt my musings might be helpful to someone else in a similar situation…

A while ago I blogged about knowing when to let go.  Today I realise that for me, with one relationship, it’s time. Why now?  Because where I find myself is not what I signed up for.  Let me explain why I’m walking away.

Image from timshome.com

When I came to your aid you were drowning. Drowning and calling my name. I jumped into that seething river, (as any reasonable person who could swim might), held up your head, and with all my might I edged us back towards the shore.  As you stopped panicking, as we moved to shallower water and your feet touched bottom, you quit struggling and began to help yourself.  Finally we got to shore. You thought that was the end.  I knew it was only the beginning, and I pledged to stay.

We moved further up the bank, away from the danger. Others came to help.  You were safe. And after a while I quit holding my breath and trusted you.

But you keep throwing yourself back in that damned river.

And you expect that I will keep jumping in after you.

So far I have.  Every single time. And each time you’re sorry.

And then you do it again…

It has worn me out. I can’t keep doing this. I can’t uphold a promise when you won’t value it yourself.

To keep jumping in after you puts ME in danger. As much as I have a responsibility to you, I also have one to myself.

Image from safetybanners.com

So I will stay here on the bank. You know where to find me.  I can help you from here. And we’ve been in that river enough times now that YOU know how to navigate the hazards and get back to shore.

I’m not giving up on you. I’m still loving you.  But it’s time to love yourself.  That’s one thing I can’t do with you, and I sure can’t do for you.

Image from kcgraphics.tumblr.com

If you give up on yourself I’ll feel so sad for you. But it won’t make me save you at my own expense. I’ve learned to love myself more than that. I pray one day you learn that too. ♥

Image from loversinvain.blogspot.com

Doing Nothing is Productive!

Image from wallpapers-biz.co.cc

Are you one of those people who needs to be productive?

I certainly am. Not from any external pressure –  I just LIKE getting stuff done, and I always have several projects on the go, a big fat to-do list, as well as a schedule that stretches out towards the horizon.  Life, and its possibilities, lights my fire!

But there is nothing like a good dose of burn-out to help you realise that less is more, and a dose of near-death really does help you to clarify your priorities.

Where one upon a time I worked endlessly, I now work in bursts, and then have some time out that is totally unscheduled.

Before my big cycles of crash and burn, repair, go full tilt, crash and burn, repair, go full tilt, crash and burn – okay, you get my drift – my life looked like this:

Image from freeicons.eu

I was a busy little robot working harder and harder, doing more and more, and somehow expecting that I could just carry on that way forever.

I actually thought that if I worked harder and harder I would achieve more and more, ad infinitum.  But of course you end up working with the Law of Diminishing Returns.  More does not make more.  More becomes less.

More work means less sleep. Less fun.  Less clarity.  Less inspiration.  Less connection.  Less well-being. Less healing capacity.  Less opportunity to be spontaneous. Less flexibility.  Less ability to cope with the unexpected. Less true creativity. Less chance of seeing new possibilities, meeting new people and expanding in new directions.

When you keep trying to fit more and more in, something will inevitably break, and that something might be you.

I know this, because I’ve been there.  More than once.  And most of it has been self-inflicted.

I’ve had to ask myself the big questions in life.

I am okay with diminished output if it means better quality of life, and a longer life. I mean, realistically, how much can you get done here if you’re dead? And in the end, does any of that stuff on your to-do list really matter?

So now my life looks much more like this:

Image by Lecsmile – Photobucket.com

I have periods of deep rest, relaxation and doing totally NOTHING.  And then I have periods of doing things, being active, connecting, learning and being crazy-mad infatuated with taking up all life has to offer!

Truth is, I’m more productive than I ever was, in the areas that matter to me.

I hadn’t expected that.

Oh my goodness I wish I’d know this important little nugget of wisdom years ago.

Less is more.

Image from msugradwellness.wordpress.com

That’s right.

Doing nothing is good for you.

If you don’t know how to do nothing, here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Naps.  Napping is awesome!
  • Curl up on the couch with a magazine.
  • Go to bed early or sleep in.  Sleep all day if you feel like it.
  • When something frees up in your schedule, don’t fill that spot with another task or expectation.  Let yourself luxuriate in that new spare time.
  • Dawdle. Potter along on a nice slow walk, amble through a park or shopping mall.
  • Go to the movies.
  • Read a book.
  • Nap.  Did I say that already?  Oh well.  Have another one!
  • Lose yourself in a book.
  • Hang out at the library.
  • Go for a surf.
  • Get a massage.
  • Take a bath.
  • Quit something so you can free up your schedule!
  • Say no to things you don’t want to do.
  • Have an early night and bunk down with some tasty treats and a good DVD.
  • Go on holidays.
  • Have a phone free, computer-free day.
  • Stay home and do… nothing! No housework, no odd jobs. Do what makes you happy. Maybe some craft, or cooking, or just hang out.
  • Spend time with the ones you love.
  • Sit in a coffee shop and read the weekend papers while having a long breakfast or an extended brunch/lunch.
  • Go window shopping, just to pass the time and fill yourself up with images, ideas and dreams.
  • Sunbake.
  • Sit by the ocean or the river.
  • Perch on top of a mountain.
  • Fluff around, not getting anything much done, but not minding that either.  Some people call this procrastination – I call it exploring my desk or kitchen drawers to see what’s really in there…
  • Spend time with the family pet – these guys really have relaxation down to an art!

Magic happens when we give ourselves down-time. And a magical life is definitely one worth living. You never know what might happen if you just create a little space in your day…

Image from The Fox and The Child, Hopscotch films, 2009

 

Eight Ingredients for Better Health

Image from healthycare-tutorials.blogspot.com

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.  Buddha

Our bodies are the vehicle for our Souls. By honouring and looking after our physical vehicle we are then much better able to access and work with our mental and spiritual gifts.

There are eight practical, proven and simple things that we can do or include in our lives each day in order to help build up energy within our bodies, and to maintain our physical health and vitality.  This is not rocket science – it is fundamental and basic information.  Yes, what I am about to share sounds like what your Nana might have told you (in fact, my Nana told me).  Yes, it works!!!

These ‘miracle’ ingredients for a long and healthy life are:

  1. Water
  2. Sleep
  3. Fresh Air
  4. Clean and Nourishing Food
  5. Movement
  6. Spiritual Health
  7. Love
  8. Self Control

Let’s explore each of these eight vital ingredients in more detail.


1.  Water

Drink plenty of fresh, clean water.

Image by ecowoman.net

Suggestions:  For best results take your water at room temperature to minimise pressure on your internal organs which would otherwise have to heat the water up before using it.  Keep a bottle of water with you at all times, even beside your bed.  Often residual low level fatigue is the result of chronic dehydration.  For even better results, write positive words and affirmations on your water bottle.  If you suffer from dizziness or low blood pressure, add a small pinch of celtic salt to your water bottle.  This will help restore the electrolyte balance within your body and assist with the uptake of water and oxygen by your body’s cells.

2.  Sleep

Get adequate (what your body really needs, not what you let it have!) sleep.

Image by ALAMY

Suggestions:  Most of us need a minimum of eight hours, and sometimes more if we are fighting off an infection, healing, growing or changing.   Did you know that most of the western world’s adult population is sleep deprived?  Since the introduction of the electric light bulb, and then television, adults have been slowly eroding their hours of quiet time and sleep during the evening hours.  Where we once had a few hours of quiet talk, or reading, or other gentle and relaxing activities to wind down before sleep, we now have over-stimulation from television.  We sleep from one to four hours less per night on average than our physical body requires.  The artificial light we are exposed to during the day in offices and shopping centres, and at night in our own homes reduces chemical and hormonal input from our bodies that would ordinarily prepare us for sleep.  We lose our natural sleep rhythms.  This sort of prolonged sleep deprivation, where you get substandard sleep or inadequate sleep takes some months to recover from, and prevents the body from healing, solving problems and spiritual connection during the sleeping hours.

To improve sleep, get some exposure to natural full-spectrum sunlight every day.  (Don’t wear sunglasses as this changes the spectrum of the sun’s rays.) Twenty minutes would be a minimum.  Don’t go to bed immediately after a big meal.  Let the digestion process have around two hours first to get started so that your sleep is not compromised.  If this is hard to do, eat earlier, or make your main meal lunch so that you are only digesting light food at night time.  Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and well ventilated.  Take at least half an hour before sleep to wind down.  Don’t do this in front of the television!  Take a shower, read a book, listen to music, meditate, make love.  You may also want to remove electro-magnetic radiation from the bedroom, or at least get rid of electrical appliances beside, behind or under the bed.  Lavender essential oil aids relaxation and sleep.  In winter keep your feet warm, or have a warm shower just before going to be so that you don’t get into bed cold.

3.  Fresh Air

Oxygen and clean air is vital to our well being on every level.

Image by shutterstock – naldzgraphics.net

Suggestions:  Get out into the fresh air and sunshine each day.  Oxygen is vital for our well being.  Sunshine is important for providing vitamin D. Use good posture to enable you to breathe deeply and to avoid shallow breathing.  Take several slow, deliberate deep breaths a few times a day to recharge and re-oxygenate your blood.  Make sure that your home, office and bedroom are well ventilated, with a good flow of natural air.  Don’t spend all of your time in air-conditioning, and if you do use an air-conditioner keep it well maintained.  Minimise dust and mould in your environment.  Avoid exposure to chemicals, especially within your home.  Don’t exercise on busy roads.

4.  Clean and Nourishing Food

Food is both fuel and medicine for our bodies.  Our bodies are the direct result of the quality of nutrition that we put into them.  Eat regularly to maintain a good supply of fuel to your brain and body.

Image from toptenzlists.com

Suggestions:  Food is best when it is freshly prepared, chemical free, and made with love.  Blessing your food, and eating in a relaxed environment really does make a difference.  Favour a plant-based diet, with the inclusion of good quality fats and proteins. Choose organic meats and free range chickens, and wild caught seafoods.  Grass fed beef has the same essential fatty acid ratio as fish – grain fed beef does not, and is not nearly as good for you.  Make sure you get a good range of fresh vegetables each day – these can also be eaten as juice.  Fruit is better taken as a whole food than as a juice so that you can minimise your concentrated sugar intake.  Eat fruit and vegetables in season.  Out of season food has often had to travel a long way to get to you, and will have lost a lot of its vital energy and goodness.  Nuts and seeds are good, and so are whole grains.  Naturally fermented foods such as yoghurt, keffir and so on are also good for your gut health.  If a food has a prolonged shelf life, it will also have little life force.

Reduce and avoid food that is mass produced, fast food, or high in sugars, salts, stimulants (such as caffeine) fats and flour.  Avoid artificial colours and additives.  Eat when you’re hungry, and pay attention to when and why you eat so that you can identify and manage emotional eating – where we eat for comfort or entertainment rather than because our body needs fuel.  Sharing a meal with a friend or family member is always a good way to reduce stress.  Don’t eat in front of television, and don’t eat when you are upset.  Always calm down before eating.  Different bodies prefer different diet variations – if necessary find a good natural therapist or dietician to help you with your food choices.  Listen to your body – it will soon tell you what it does and doesn’t like.  In times of stress or illness, it may be necessary to take additional supplements of vitamins, minerals and/or herbs.  Seek help if you need it.

5.  Movement

Our bodies were designed to move.  They must be moved, nurtured and stretched on a daily basis.  Movement allows the internal organs to function well, it keeps joints lubricated, circulates blood, oxygen and lymph within our bodies, and helps us to stay supple, strong and mobile.

Image from healthwise-everythinghealth.blogspot.com.au

Suggestion:  Movement helps decrease obesity, depression and a host of other ills.  The longer we go without movement, the more difficult movement becomes.  Find some exercises that you enjoy, and try to become active at work and home.  Learn some basic stretching, and if you want to understand and nourish the physical body on an even higher level, learn yoga, tai chi or qi gong.  Movement was never just about going to a gym, although you might enjoy this.  Movement is also about walking, surfing, lawn bowls, stretching, swimming on a hot day, skiing in winter, dancing anytime, gardening, housework, fencing, playing with children or animals, chasing your lover around the bedroom, building, creating, self expression and pure joy.  It can also be about the discipline of a martial art or practice such as yoga, or about the fun of teamwork playing footie, cricket, tennis doubles, or tug-of-war.  Not so bad after all, is it?

6.  Spiritual Health

Those people who have an active faith, and who practice regular connection with that faith have better physical health and longevity, lower stress levels, faster healing, greater rates of ‘unusual and unexpected’ recoveries and greater levels of personal acceptance and satisfaction.

Painting by Goro Fujita

Suggestion:  Spirituality isn’t about going to church, although for some people that can be an important focus of their faith.  It means taking time to talk with God and your Guides, Angels and Loved Ones who’ve passed over.  It’s about having a connection to the earth and all living things.  Some people do this through listening to music, some people do this through creating art, and some people do this through going for a walk in nature.  How you find your Soul, and talk with your God is up to you.  Spiritual Health is about making time to go within, through prayer, meditation and self reflection.  And doing these things as a normal part of your daily routine.  Take time to learn about your spirituality, to read and share and grow your faith.  Take time to practice your connection.  Use spiritual tools, and give and receive spiritual energy.  Pray for yourself and others on a regular basis.  It is also powerful to meet with like-minded people to share the experience.  This can be through worship, group meditations, sharing healings and readings, attending festivals and workshops, or even just holding hands together before a meal.

7.  Love

Love is fundamental to the human spirit.  We need to learn to give and to receive love, and to do this daily!  Love is the most powerful energy in the Universe.

Image from www.soupornuts.com

Suggestion:  Self love and self care top this list.  This includes treating ourselves well, and surrounding ourselves with energies that uplift and support us.  We all need someone to love.  Family, friends, partners, even animals.  We need to be able to actively demonstrate love through our thoughts, actions and intentions.  It is also important that we open ourselves up to receive love as well.  This is often much harder to do, than to love others.  Become involved in helping others.  Use your spiritual faith to help you find ways to express Love in the World.

8.  Self Control

Self control is a conscious development of our will.  It is the voice of our wise self, and it becomes stronger and easier to identify the more we use it.  Self control allows us to stay true to who we are, and to what we know is good for us.

Image from arabia.msn.com

Suggestions:  Self control requires self trust, and self love.  If we come home from work feeling tired, it is easy to eat junk food and forgo exercise.  Self control is the wise and caring voice within us that urges us to eat something healthy, to take the dog for a walk, or to say ‘no’ to a second helping of dessert.  It is often difficult to exert any self control if we have not worked with this part of us for a long time.  When self control is not exercised, our inner critic – the ego, can make us feel very unhappy and inadequate.  This fuels low self esteem and can make the lack of self control even worse.  Our wise self whispers, “eat a salad and some fish” and we then need to exercise our self control to enable this to happen.  If instead we eat toast with jam, and a bowl of ice-cream, the ego will chastise us.  Your self talk might then sound like this: “Oh, you are so fat and weak.  You might as well eat another bowl of ice-cream.”  And so you do, and end up feeling worse about yourself, and believing that you have no will power.  If your self control is weak, start with small promises that you make and then keep with yourself.  As you fulfil each promise, this will strengthen your self control by building your sense of worth and self confidence.  If you slip back, be kind with yourself and just start again.

Journal Activity: Revisit each of the eight ingredients of good health.  For each ingredient, write down one small step that you could take in the next few days to strengthen that area within your own life.  Make sure the actions you want to take are small, measurable and achievable so that you can continue to strengthen your wellbeing, self belief and self control!