The new year can be the beginning of the healthy life that you have always wanted if you follow some simple steps, gain clarity about your desires, then fuel them with intention.
Don't cast aside the idea that new year resolutions are a waste of time until you listen to this episode and gain an understanding of how valuable setting clear goals that have emotion and meaning behind them can be for you.
Read Full Transcript Below:
This is Laura Lummer, the breast cancer recovery coach. I'm a healthy lifestyle coach, a clinical Ayurveda specialist, a personal trainer, and I'm also a breast cancer survivor. In this podcast, we talk about healthy thinking and mindfulness practices, eating well, moving your body for health and longevity. And we'll also hear from other breast cancer survivors who have reengaged with life and have incredible stories to share. This podcast is your go to resource for getting back to life after breast cancer.
I am Laura Lummer and you are listening to Episode 19 of The Breast Cancer Recovery Coach.
This is the first episode for 2018 and I'm really excited to be back because I have been gone for a little while. I had plans to take a vacation for the holidays of the month of December and that turned into not just a little bit of vacation time, but also the flu and strep throat, and a whole month worth of not really being able to talk well enough to record a podcast.
So, it's the New Year, new health. I'm back, and here we are with podcast episode 19. And this is going to be a great year. I know I can feel it. And one of the things that I was lucky enough to be able to do while laying around in bed, nursing, my health was to get to read a lot.
And I mentioned in other podcasts that I am an avid reader love books, I love audiobooks as well. And one of the books that I read was so great. And I think that it really lines up with what we're going to talk about in this episode, which is a new kind of resolution.
So we're going to talk about new or New Year's resolutions, and maybe not in the same way that you have thought about them in the past but maybe in a way that will help you be more successful with creating an even healthier life for yourself this year.
So, the book that I read is called, Into the Magic Shop. And it was written by James Doty, MD. And this was just one of those books that you just love. It's just one that was so inspiring and so well written story was just really, really great.
So, to give you a little bit of background and help tie it into this week's episode, James Doty talks about his childhood and how he grew up in Lancaster, California. As a very poor kid, his parents struggled financially, his mom struggled with very severe depression and his father with chronic alcoholism. And so, his childhood as he tells the story is not very happy. And at one point, he goes to a magic shop in Lancaster, because his father had given him a magic set It was a very important set for him. And in that magic kit was a plastic foam, and he could not find this plastic thumb. So, he got on his bike. And he went into the magic shop in Lancaster looking for a new plastic thumb. And in doing that he ran into this woman who was the mother of the gentleman who won the magic shop. And she took a liking to him saw something special in him and told him that if he would come back every day, for the next six weeks, he was on summer vacation, that she would teach him about real magic.
And of course, as any 12-year-old kid would be, he was super excited to hear this. I mean, it's a lady and she and her son own this magic shop. So of course, she must know all the tricks that are out there. So, he came back on a daily basis to learn these magic tricks. And what these magic tricks really were real lifelong lesson for him.
And this woman her name was Ruth, she taught him mindfulness practice, taught him how to meditate, and taught him how to visualize his future. And also taught him how to tune into his own heart to get a true understanding of what was the best direction for him to take, and not necessarily what you think is good for you, right? So, this is the beginning of the story is set it up for you and it is just he tells a fantastic story.
Well Dr. Doty used these practices throughout his life, to achieve all of his dreams. And he became a very successful and very well-known neurosurgeon. And he goes into how that came about in the book too. So, as you're reading the different chain of events that happened to him and how he used these practices taught to him when he was 12 years old. It's really, really remarkable. So maybe check it out. It's called Into the Magic Shop.
But how that has something to do with what I'm going to talk about today. And with what can impact us with our New Year and our new resolutions. Is that these are the four secrets, the four magic tricks that he was taught. The first one was to relax his body. The second one was to tame his mind. So, talking about all of those voices telling you the things they tell you throughout the course of your life. Open your heart, as I said, to really tune into what's meaningful to you and what's right for your life in your stage of life. And to clarify your intent to really visualize what you want and we're going to talk a little more detail about that.
So, as we come up onto a New Year, obviously it's very common for people to make a New Year's resolution. For me one of the biggest things that stands out for me in the New Year is this fresh start. And even though every day is a fresh start, every day, every minute we have an opportunity to change directions in our life to make new choices in our life. But there's something that just seems even more special and even more big about making these decisions and changes when it comes to the New Year.
I remember when I was in treatment, I was in chemotherapy and my completion date, my last treatment was set for December 30th. And so, as I was going through this process, my mind and my heart was just set on this date. Right, December 30th, it's my last chemotherapy. And then I went out from there when, you know, this week, this is how I'm going to feel this week. This is what I'm going to start and just planning how I was going to get back to being healthy and enjoying the active life that I like to live.
And about the beginning of that month, so that would have been my sixth treatment. And after the fifth treatment when they did my blood work, my white blood cells were virtually gone. And then he called me up and said, you know, we're going to put you on prophylactic antibiotics, we're going to take some more blood. Here's the process. Here's what we want you to stay away from. And we're going to check you again before we come back in, because if they haven't come up considerably, we're not going to be able to do your six treatment.
Well, that was probably one of the most crushing things that I had heard. And in my head, I was like, there's no way there's no way that I am not doing that treatment on December 30. Because for the past four months, that was my deadline. That was, that's the day I put all this behind me. That's the day I turn this new leaf. I start the New Year, done with chemotherapy and moving forward away from cancer, right. And my heart was set on it, my mind was set on it. And I'll tell you that, you know, when you're going through that and you're in the middle of this treatment, of course you look at it one way and say well, I didn't go through all this just to stop now and not get the full dose and then end up, you know, not completely getting rid of my cancer.
And on the other side, as I just said, going, no, my heart is set on this and I'm going to be done! And I really did spend a lot of time I followed the directions to the tee; I didn't want to get some kind of infection or get sick or anything like that. And everything did turn around and I was able to get my sixth treatment on time. And even though I was obviously not feeling great on December 31st, I still was in a good frame of mind because I knew I had finished. And I knew what I was so excited and looking forward to.
So, let's talk about things that we look forward to, people, when the New Year comes up, we often make resolutions. And as you know if you go to the gym or if you exercise or if you ever have in your life, you know that the wellness places the gyms, the exercise facilities are packed come January 1st. And by March 1, no problem, right? It's back to the same old way crowd of those people who've made it a part of their lifestyle.
I read a statistic once I think it was in Forbes magazine that only 8% of people who make a New Year's resolution actually keep it.
So, at the beginning of this year, I was talking to a young woman, and a client of mine, and we were talking about what she wanted for herself this year, what she wanted to create for herself. And one of the things she wanted to do was to exercise more. So, I said, great! How are you going to make that happen? And she says, well, I'm going to go to the gym. Okay, when are you going to go to the gym? I don't know. But I'll just make sure I go to the gym more. Well, I can tell you that right at that point. If we hadn't gone through a much longer process, which we did. At that point, I knew that she was setting herself up for failure.
So, when we talk about making a new resolution, we're going to go back to some of those secrets I talked about from The Magic Shop. First, what is right for you? Opening your heart and knowing what is right for you. So, when you're making a new resolution, if you want some healthy changes in your life. And those changes, may not be food or exercise those changes may be something that helps you to relieve some anxiety, something that helps you to let go of fear. Maybe you're just newly coming out of treatment, and, you know, in that new fresh stage, there's a lot of emotions that, that are going on. And maybe it's getting in touch with those emotions, understanding them processing, letting them go in your own way and moving forward in your life. This is a very, very healthy commitment to make for yourself. But if that's something you want to do, how do you make that happen, right?
So, we're going to go to this fourth trick. You know, I could go into all the beauty of relax the body and tame the mind and I will in other episodes, but really what I want to talk about when it comes to a new year's resolution is clarifying your intent.
So, a lot of people like I don't bother with New Year's resolutions because you can never keep them. And as I just said a few months ago, right, that's, that's very common, and a lot of people can't keep them. But that's because when you set that resolution for yourself, and you just state the goal and you say, you know, I'm going to lose 10 pounds. I'm going to exercise more whatever it is. You really have to go through that process of clarifying that goal, clarifying that intention, and working backwards into this first baby step of Okay, if ultimately, that's my goal, what's one thing I can do today?
So, let's talk a little bit about that. When we set a goal for ourselves, and let's say that that goal is health and the most common Year's resolution, let's just go with it is saying I'm going to lose 20 pounds or I'm going to lose 10 pounds losing weight? Well, first, I think it's important to ask yourself, why do you want to lose weight.
Now, as I've talked about in other episodes, I've had an issue with gaining weight when I was in treatment. And it was a big focus for me to be able to because I wanted to get back to this what I perceived as the ideal weight for me. So, if weight is a goal for you, why is that a goal for you? It's really important to stop and think about that. Is it really something that's important to you? Or is it important to you because you think that it's an expectation for other people around you? Is it important to you because you feel better? Or is that important to you because you think you're a failure if you can't?
So really stopping and asking yourself, if this thing is important for me to set this goal for myself for this New Year, why is this goal important? And I would really urge you not to set goals based on scales. But if weight loss is a goal for you, then I would ask that you stop and think about that and say, what is it about losing weight that's important? Is it just because I want to be a size six? And so, what, what if you are a size six? What does that mean? Does that mean that you'll be able to be more active? Do more things with your kids, maybe with your grandkids? Is there a trip that you want to take? Do you want to have a family photo taken, but you don't want to take it down because you're not happy with the way that you look?
Why is it important for you to lose that weight? Do you have a family history of health issues that are you know, comorbidities that are side effects of being overweight and you want to prevent those things from happening in your life? Those kinds of goals that are really emotionally meaningful for you are going to help you so much more when it comes to attaining that goal.
So, going back to the first one, let's say that If your goal is to move beyond fear of having a cancer reoccurrence, why is that important to you? What is that stopping you from doing right now in your life? Think about that. Give that some time, and then clarify that intention.
So, if I'm able to let go of this, what will my life look like? What will I be able to do that I'm not doing right now, because of this. And that's how you really helped to get your emotions tied into that goal. Find something that's meaningful for you, not just this abstract number that's on a scale, or just this idea of, you know, letting something go, I'm just going to do it. I'm just going to do it. Because that's, it's just not how it happened. So, it'd be like me saying, this year I'm going to be a millionaire. And people say, well, how's that going to happen? And I'm going to win the lottery. Okay, well, not that I wouldn't love to win the lottery. But is that really step by step plan that I'm in control of to create a million-dollar income in a year?
And that applies to any goal. If you set it, you really need to work yourself backwards and say, Okay, if it's exercising more, if it's eating better. Well, it's really hard to shift an entire lifestyle. So, start small, let's say that the goal is eating better. What does that mean to you? Does that mean that you'll incorporate more vegetables into your life? Or does that mean that you'll eliminate maybe some sugary foods that are in your life and maybe changing your perspective to this new goal? You know, a lot of people will look at creating a healthy lifestyle, and there, they're looking more forward to their cheat day than they are to be having this new healthy life.
So, I was talking to a woman one time and she was saying how, you know, I don't drink alcohol, and I'm not in a relationship right now. And, you know, on and on about the things that she didn't have in her life. So, she said, you know, the one thing I do have is this junk food that she liked to eat.
But really when we stop and look at that and kind of peel back the layers on that, is that eating your junk food a treat? Is that really doing something well for your body? Are you looking at that and going this is my treat for me? Or is it really abusing yourself because you're not happy with where you're at?
So, we flip that around and say, you know what? I'm going to treat myself to a day with NO sugar. Because I know that sugar creates inflammation in my body, it increases my chances for cancer recurrence. It increases my risk of diabetes of heart disease, and of course, you know, it helps a tremendous help and putting on weight.
So, it's really, the treat is that new healthy lifestyle that you're bringing into your life. Not the cheat and not the thing that you think you're depriving yourself of. And as you start to transform and make those choices, you start to see, well, I feel so much better when I start my day with yoga. So, it's not like, Oh, I have to get up so early to get to yoga before I can get to work. And you know, this is a drudgery, but it's actually this is a real treat. It's so nice that I've made this time for myself. And I feel so good the rest of the day, because I've taken that time and done something well for me, something good for my health, something good for me.
Maybe you don't eat any vegetables. Maybe you say I will have two servings of vegetables a day. Maybe we'll start off with saying I'll have two servings of vegetables twice a week. But you see building this lifestyle and knowing on that day when you're eating those vegetables not going oh my god, I can't stand broccoli. But you know, drizzling a little white truffle oil on that broccoli and maybe a little seasoned or what are they not season but smoked salts. They have all these beautiful salts now that have like herbal flavors and smoky flavors and things into them. And say this is my treat I just treated myself well by eating something that was good for me.
So, putting that intention in helps you to solidify it. Backing it with emotion makes it even more likely that you're going to stick with it, and setting yourself up with little baby steps of what can I actually do today to take a step towards that? It doesn't have to be all or nothing.
A few years ago, I came across an article in the yoga journal written by Claire Kense is actually an interview with Claire Kinsella Holtje. And its H-O-L-T-J-E, is her last name. And she has a company called Financial Safety Space. And she was being interviewed in the yoga journal, and the way that she looked at finances and managing money in your life as being tied into just the flow of energy in your life was fascinating to me.
I loved her perspective. And when I read this article, I thought, you know, I really want to work with her, because I want to understand how she views setting up financial goals and how she views the flow of money into your life. And so, I did, I called her up and we had a couple of appointments and I learned a tremendous amount from her. She was a brilliant lady with a background and on Wall Street as a financial professional, and I believe that she helped entrepreneurs or startup companies or something like that. But anyway, the point of the story is that even in working with Claire and looking at money and looking how to set yourself up to achieve your financial goals.
One of the things that stuck out the most to me, was how she said once you clarify this goal, you write this down, you read a daily, you look at what that goal is, and you consider every time you use your money for something, is this getting you closer to your goal?
When you realize, yes, this thing is good or that, you know, if I, if I don't put my money here, then I'm getting closer to my goal. If I put my money here, I realized that maybe this isn't getting me closer to my goal. But this is something that is a desire that I have, you know, it's something important enough to me that I'm willing to put my money into it. And even though it's not going to get me closer to my goals, so you're making an intentional decision.
And so just as the Deepak Chopra saying, that intention transforms, this was the same lesson that she carried into the way she worked with people on their finances, to be very intentional about everything that you set for yourself and to infuse every financial decision that you make with your intention. It is such a powerful tool, and it's so simple. You may be listening like oh, okay, well, how does that how does that change anything?
Well give it a try. Give it a try for yourself, set that goal for yourself. Sit with your heart, to make sure that the goal you're setting is something that's really right for you and where you're at in your life, and then create that intention, and really, really clarify it.
What do you want for yourself? How do you see yourself? How do you see yourself? Living a Healthy fulfilling life? What does it look like? Are you surfing? Are you just able to cook dinner for your family every Sunday without being exhausted? Are you traveling the world? What are you doing and what are you feeling in your heart and seeing when this goal manifests?
And then put all of your intention into it and approach those things that are important for you in 2018 in a whole different way. Then just the way you have in the past and just setting a goal and saying this is what I'm going to make happen.
And make this a year filled with the magic that's in you is a saying in the sacred texts of yoga and Ayurveda, the Upanishads. And that saying says that you are what your deep driving desire is, as your desire, so is your will, as your will, so is your deed, and as your deed, so is your destiny. So, what is your destiny? That's something you have to check in with your own heart. Where does this life take you? And how does today start you on that path?
I would love to hear from you. If you give this podcast some thought, you have some questions, or you have some goals you'd like to share. I'd love to have you post them on my Facebook page. You can find me on Facebook at Laura Lummer or Instagram @TheBreastCancerRecoveryCoach. And if you haven't done so yet, I would love it if you'd go to my website, LauraLummer.com where you can download the free e-book, Six Habits of Healthy Happy Breast Cancer Survivors.
So, thank you for tuning in for listening this week. And I'm really excited about all the great stuff that I have coming up for you this year in 2018. It's going to be a fantastic year, with some new programs coming out and some great podcast content. So, make it a great week, actually great two weeks and I'll talk to you again two weeks from now and until then, let your lifestyle be your medicine.