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In my previous blog, “Essential Oils for the New Year,” I stated that creating changes in health that have long-term success are multi-factorial.
It is now becoming well-known that most resolutions fail and this futility may be why many people simply don’t make resolutions to begin with. I am currently working on a series for Natural Path on why this is true and present some alternative solutions for lasting changes.
One reason is that fear-driven goals based on superficial measures aren’t successful in the long-run. Psychology Today writes about the concept of change for positive, internal fulfillment rather than motivation based on negative, external pressure:
For every person, there is a different motivation that drives them toward their change goals. The Motivation Matrix breaks down motivation along two dimensions: Internal vs. external and positive vs. negative. The resulting four quadrants can each provide motivation, but will produce different experiences and outcomes.
- Internal-positive: Challenge, desire, passion, satisfaction, self-validation (likely outcome: successful change, fulfillment).
- External-positive: Recognition and appreciation from others, financial rewards (likely outcome: some change, partial fulfillment, dependent on others for continued change and good feelings).
- Internal-negative: Threat, fear of failure, inadequacy, insecurity (likely outcome: some change, possible relapse).
- External-negative: Fear of loss of job or relationship, insufficient respect from others, financial or social pressures, pressure from significant others, unstable life (likely outcome: some success, high risk of relapse).
This is in alignment with my model of true health that incorporates the inner rewards of gratitude for living a joyful life. It is based on finding the reason one wishes to be healthy and comfortable in their body versus achieving health and a perfect weight as a means to an end. As I previously wrote:
I advocate for a type of holistic health that incorporates body acceptance at every size, whole, unprocessed, pleasurable foods, joyful movement, and living life to the fullest surrounded by fun and friends. These, to me, are the main ingredients of how we can truly heal.
I listed some other important components in this model:
- rejuvenation, rest, and self-care
- making nurturing lifestyle choices
- being in community
What I have found with this approach is that most of my clients achieve a satisfying life in the following ways:
- they are free of sickness a majority of the time
- when symptoms do arise, they view them with curiosity versus panic; they realize these discomforts are simply messages from their bodies that need to be translated into a helpful action of support
- their bodies are flexible, they enjoy movement
- they are tuned into the foods that nourish them and optimize their metabolic needs, they no longer are afraid of food or restrict in a way that causes harm to their emotional, physical, and spiritual health
- they aim to view their body with neutral or positive regard and to be free of body shame and feeling trapped in a world of unacceptance and diet culture
Throughout the journey, we use essential oils, my favorite tool in medicine. This is because they benefit the body, mind, and spirit in healing and holistic ways, regardless of health status or biases. They even help process the emotions that come up with making changes, even positive ones, i.e., the fear of success (1) (2) (3). Below are two previous articles I wrote on this topic:
Below are two blogs that you may find helpful to come up with ideas to enhance your life for 2018, rather than subtract from it:
- 5 Alternatives to Making New Year’s Resolutions
- New Year’s Resolutions Are Bound To Fail. Try This Instead.
May this year be a year of fulfilling, gentle, and long-lasting transformation.
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)