Just HOW do you get your head in the game?
We’re still at the beginning of the year. I know that many of you will have started the year with a hiss and a roar – I certainly tend to make BIG promises to myself about how I want my AIP caper to look for the year ahead; EVERY year!
And, I don’t know about you, but as of right now, I’m doing really well with some of my AIP goals for 2019.
Just not ALL of them.
It happens to the absolute best of us; that moment where it all just seems too damn hard and you’re so overwhelmed that you want to give up on all those big, hairy audacious health goals you set yourself in a moment of optimism at the very beginning of the year.
No matter what your chosen health framework is, change is hard; for everybody. I don’t know anyone in this AIP caper who hasn’t reached a point of absolute overwhelm at some stage.
So, I thought I’d share how I’m getting my head back in the game with my AIP caper…
These are some of my favourite strategies for getting myself back on track. Because this AIP caper works. And, it provides a seriously great road map.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar
Think ‘above the line’, not ‘below the line’
I’ve written before about the importance of taking personal responsibility for your health caper. One way to visualise this is with the concept of above and below the line as a way to think and behave. It is a useful model when it comes to unpacking your thinking.
As human beings, we often worry more about what might go wrong (before we even get to the start line) than what requires our focus and attention. Certainly, it’s good to be prepared, but getting caught in a spiral of ‘what ifs’ doesn’t serve you.
It can be all too easy to focus too much of your energy on things that are beyond your control. The finish line is well past your line of sight when it comes to making small, incremental changes to your health. And, there will always be things in your life that can derail you.
The important thing is to focus on the now, not what may be around the corner.
Try not to head into a tailspin because of ALL the things on your ultimate AIP ‘to do’ list, and what could possibly go wrong.
Rather, draw your attention to things you can control; things like creating SMART short-term goals, doing your best, and thinking positively.
Here’s a tip: If you’re one of those people who finds themselves constantly worrying about what might happen; if you have a tendency towards a ‘monkey mind’ – why not consider establishing a morning pages practice?
Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, a stream of consciousness writing, ideally done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages – they are not high art. They aren’t even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. The best thing about morning pages is that they help you to ‘Marie Kondo’ your mind and free yourself of all the clutter so you can focus on what really matters – your health.
When you make a mistake, learn from it and move on
This AIP caper is a process. In many ways, you are re-training yourself. It stands to reason that some days will be easier than others. You will make mistakes. Of this, I am certain (you’re only human, after all)
Your long-term success is not driven by the times you fall over. Rather, it is about your ability to pick yourself up and try again that really matters.
One of the reasons I’m such a HUMUNGOUS advocate for experimenting with finding a food and mood journal template that works for you is both because it works to help you stay on track, but also to build self-awareness and show you when you go astray.
Accept that mistakes will occur. Everyone makes them. No-one is perfect (not even The Paleo Mom, herself!), so don’t live your life expecting to undertake this AIP caper perfectly or you will inevitably be disappointed.
It is more about how you react to the mistakes that you make that really counts.
You need to make mistakes in order to learn. Accept that they are going to happen and be ready to learn from them.
If you’re still worrying about the last mistake you made, you will inevitably stumble and miss the next one. Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, focus instead on taking things back to AIP basics and simply putting one foot in front of the other.
Here’s a tip: Make nutrient density your hobby. This AIP caper is all about making small, incremental changes over time to benefit your health. If you prioritize this by choosing new hobbies to support your health, you are doubling down and giving yourself even more chance of success.
There are oodles of way you can expand your health knowledge – both in theory and in practice. You really are only limited by your imagination.
Set a goal to work on how you talk to yourself
We all have an inner voice that we engage with on a daily basis. It’s very common for this mental ‘chatty-Cathy’ to say hugely negative things about you, and for you to fail to recognise just how frequently this occurs because this is your normal.
Do you ever have any of these thoughts:-
- “I am a failure!”
- “What an idiot!”
- “I can’t do that”
- “Never good enough”
Would you ever talk to your friend like that?
We know that when you speak to yourself in a harsh or critical way, your body responds as it would to any threat – by initiating your fight or flight response. And, as any seasoned AIPer knows –we want to find ways to reduce our stress response.
There’s more… neuroscientists have discovered that the self-punishment that accompanies self-criticism can have the effect of disengaging you from your goals and actively undermine your performance. So, your critical inner voice actually serves to prevent you from getting your head in the game.
Become more aware of the conversation you’re having with yourself and actively work on keeping it positive.
Here’s a tip: If the idea of self-compassion (and talking to yourself with love and respect) is one you struggle with, check out this article: Why Self Compassion is Not Selfish. It includes a number of suggestions about how you can start to change the way you communicate with yourself.
Get fresh eyes by finding an AIP buddy
After you’ve been following the AIP framework for a while, you often find that you become quite focused on what you’re doing. So much so, that you can lose perspective on what is happening around you.
Sometimes when we focus intently on a certain area of the protocol, that’s all we can see. This can be to the detriment of other (possibly better) alternatives. Remember what Einstein’s definition of insanity was: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
If you’re in a rut and you keep trying the same thing to get out of it because you can’t see any other way, it’s time to get some fresh eyes working for you.
Whether that’s an AIP Mentor, a trusted peer, or joining a great group, you may well find you benefit from someone more impartial giving you advice. More often than not, you’ll find fellow AIPers have probably felt the exact same feelings of overwhelm that you’re experiencing. Just knowing someone has been through the same thing can help you stay the course. Especially if they have successfully come out the other side.
Here’s a tip: If you’re serious about getting your head (back) in the game and making AIP a priority, AIP Reset was created for you – a 30-day program dedicated to supporting you to (re)find your AIP groove when life events have tripped you up. It’s just the ticket if you need to recalibrate your AIP way of life by taking things back to basics.
If you’re looking for a community of like-minded AIPers, people who are on a similar path to you, this is the program for you.
Why not join me on an AIP Reset?