Today's Episode

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It's done.

Christmas is done and I really hope you had a nice restful time.

Oh, I am so happy that Christmas is out of the way, although I must say I had a really, really lovely time with family.

I really connected with so many people in my family in my, with my siblings, with my parents, with my grandparents.

Um I, I connected with so many people and I had a wonderful time.

I must say though, I'm just not a fan of being surrounded by that much food and consumption and expenditure and buying and tapping and eating.

And I just, I'm just not a big fan of it anymore.

I think it's because I have spent so many years comfort eating and being three stone overweight and really struggling with my health.

Like always struggling with my health.

I was always drinking too much alcohol.

I was always binge eating or dieting or restricting or counting my calories.

I was always trying to be healthy that for 2022 2023 when I finally got healthy, when I, when I finally really truly became healthy, I mean, I gave up alcohol in May 2022.

God, it seems so weird that it's not less than a year ago anymore and I healed my relationship with food.

So I don't comfort eat anymore.

And I truly got healthy.

I think it's because now I'm truly healthy.

It's like, why is my house full of biscuit tins?

Why is my house full of mince pies?

I mean, what do I do with them?

Do I eat them?

Do I look at them, do I force them on other people?

And I really don't mean to be really negative about it.

It's just these new thoughts that are coming into my head now because this is kind of all new to me.

I mean, the old me would have just eaten and drank everything in front of me.

Having not wanted to doing it anyway to get rid of it.

To, to, I was always in that all or nothing mindset.

Well, you know, you've really done the dog now.

So keep going until the third of January and then just feel so bad in myself.

But I was watching Joe one of the days make dinner.

He made this amazing roast turkey Brussels sprouts with bacon.

Um, two types of potatoes, like mashed potatoes, roast potatoes and it was just the most wonderful spread.

But after I had my dinner, I was just looking at all the rest of the food going.

So now what do we have more?

Do we do we help ourselves to more?

Even though that's called overeating, we've Joe.

Joe had spent whatever, two hours, three hours making the food to just eat it like in five minutes.

And I don't know, we were just chatting about it last night myself and Joe because he's gone on this health journey as well.

And we were both just going God, like it's, it really is nice to get out of the whole consumption, the consumption of everything in December.

But what I used to do and this is what I want to chat to you about on the podcast episode I kind of want to share with you what I used to do, how I used to get into 20 into the New Year and really encourage you to not do that.

And I want to share with you five things that I'm doing to, to ease myself into 2024 and how to make the most of 2024.

And the first thing is that I am really focusing on being truly grateful for the memories that I have created with my family over Christmas.

And this is a new thing for me because I used to spend January in a state of self loathing and self hatred.

I used to spend January like looking at myself in the mirror naked and picking out all the bits that I thought were horrible about my body.

I used to purposefully search for my face in the reflection of windows and in mirrors and anywhere I went for the month of January especially, I would look out for my reflection to then tell myself how ugly and fat and disgusting I was and how could I have overindulged?

And I would have like torn down any nice time that I had spent eating and drinking.

I would have just gone.

I can't believe you did that.

The state of you.

I can't believe you ate all that.

I can't believe you did that.

You're back at square one.

You're so gross.

You're so disgusting.

Look at you here, you go again.

Wow.

Wow.

And wow, what a weird weird cycle to be in that I spend the month of December eating and drinking not being forced to, but feeling like I was forcing myself to then completing it and then spending the month of January going, I can't believe, I can't believe, I can't believe.

And around and around the cycle goes and because of that horrible hatred cycle that I got into in January, then I would just be in this super restriction mindset that like I will really diet, I will give up all treats.

I will restrict massively my food.

I'm going to hardly eat to make up for everything that I've done.

I'm gonna not just go for a walk, I'm going to go for a walk and hate on myself in that walk and I'm going to go as fast as I can because for some reason in my head that makes the walk more beneficial.

And when I'm in my workouts, I'm going to take it really seriously and I'm going to work really hard and I'm not going to enjoy it because for some reason if I'm not enjoying it and I'm being really hard on myself, it must mean that I'm getting more results and I'm going to not enjoy January and I'm going to be just hating on myself because for some reason, that's what I think I have to do to motivate myself.

I'm not doing that this year.

Firstly, I don't need to because I was healthy, over Christmas time.

Um mostly healthy over Christmas time.

I mean, I did indulge but also because I've changed, I love myself now.

I really, really love myself now.

And so now I focus on filling my mind with the gratitude and the memories that I got to spend time with my grandad who's 92 and my grandmother who's in her eighties.

And I got to spend time with my mum and dad and my siblings and my kids and my husband and friends.

I met up with some friends and I just got to spend time with them.

And any time I start to get into that, have I backtracked a little bit um, mindset that scarcity mindset I think to myself, I'm so grateful, I'm so lucky and I'm never going to do something again intentionally and then berate and hate on myself on it.

If I choose to indulge and I indulge in food, I'm going to, what I do now is go wow, that was great.

That was great and move on.

It's just a habit that we have.

It's a habit created by society and all around us.

It's the norm now to hate on ourselves after indulging.

I mean, my social media is full of people telling me how to be fitter, slimmer, trimmer in 2024 how to diet, how to restrict.

I was in Dun Laoghaire for a few days there No, I was in Dublin for a few days and we went to Dun Laoghaire for the day.

It was pouring with rain.

But we brought the kids on the dart because it's a fun thing to do when we were in Dublin.

And there was, um, I saw like at least three signs for Jim's telling me to be fit or trimmer.

And I was just thinking to myself, here we go again.

People get so fed into that cycle that they're not enough that their bodies aren't enough that their minds aren't enough that we're not enough that we don't have enough.

And we spend January just in this scarcity mindset, almost afraid to have fun and have the crack and enjoy ourselves and be healthy and enjoy being healthy.

Um So that's the first thing.

Number one, how I'm easing myself into 2024.

I'm focusing on the gratitude.

I I'm focusing on the memories that I created in December.

And I'm not thinking about any indulgence that I had.

The second thing that I'm doing to ease myself into 2024 is that I'm setting goals and I'm giving myself the year to achieve them.

Whereas in the past every single year I would set goals and write them down really negatively and use those goals to show myself what I haven't done yet and what I haven't achieved and what a bad person I am and all the shortcomings that I have and the lack and the scarcity and I would be up in a ball.

I would be so stressed out to the point where I was borderline panic attack.

I was anxious.

I had that pit in the bottom of my stomach.

Like I had murdered somebody.

Like I had done something really bad.

I would spend the month of January walking around feeling really bad in myself.

My heart low on the bottom of my stomach.

That's what it felt like, sweaty, overwhelmed, stressed out.

Why?

Why?

Because it's the beginning of a new year.

Yes.

Ok.

January can feel like one big massive Monday.

However, Mondays can be really cool, that simple little mindset shift that we just need to practice, can really make the world of difference and I encourage you to notice your thoughts and notice if they're just out of habit rather than the truth.

Are you walking around for the month of January hating on yourself out of habit?

Are you setting goals for the month of January?

Thinking just out of habit that you have to be really negative when you set these goals?

Ok, you want to get fit in 2024 why not give yourself the year?

And that's, that's not saying at some time in 2024 I'll start exercising.

I encourage you to start now, but give yourself the year of consistency to say, yeah, now I'm fit, just take the pressure off.

Why not take the pressure off.

I wish I had known this years ago that this pressure that we feel in January doesn't need to be there.

So let it go decide that you're going to enter into this year and, and, and, and achieve all that you want to achieve in 2024 with an ease and a flow.

It doesn't have to be stressy, it doesn't have to be negative.

Nothing bad is going to happen if you set your goals now and give yourself the year to achieve them.

So that's the second way I'm easing myself into 2024.

I, I've set my goals, however, I'm giving myself the year to achieve them.

And one more thing that I want to say about goal setting is that I am setting goal.

I've set goals for all parts of me before it was work and then maybe a couple of things based around holidays.

Now I set goals based around connection, meeting people.

I set goals based around my hobbies.

I can't believe I have hobbies.

That's what I didn't have this time last year.

And that was a big goal of mine for 2023 and I achieved it and I now have hobbies and I now have connections and I now have friendships.

I didn't have that last year.

I got them because I set goals and I gave myself the year to achieve them.

So at the beginning of last year, I decided to my goals were to have hobbies and to make friends and it wasn't until I worked at it, but it wasn't until I'd say around July and August of 2023 that it really started to come into fruition.

So give yourself the year start now, but give yourself the year and a gentle reminder that if you, if you're very tunnel vision, like if you just want to get fit and be great at work, remember that there's also different aspects to you as a human aspects to you, your identity don't let that side of you um die that I like.

I did all the lovely other sides of you.

Like your friendship side, your connection side, your hobbies, your likes, your dislikes, maybe you want to travel, maybe you want to get into meditation or more spiritual stuff.

Maybe you want to work on your financial stuff, your self care, there's so many different elements to you.

Um I really encourage you to make sure that your goals reflect all parts of you and not just one or two key areas.

The third way I am easing myself into 2024 is that I have picked a word of the year.

Oh, this has worked so well for me.

I did this last year.

My word of the year, last year was authenticity and it changed my life.

It transformed how I spent the year truly.

So I picked the the word at the beginning of the year authenticity because I had spent so many years of my adult life not being true to myself.

And the way that I suppose the symptoms, the, the way that showed itself in my life was that I was a big people pleaser.

I had no boundaries.

I didn't know what I liked and disliked.

I didn't have any hobbies.

I was scared to say how I felt.

I was afraid to truly be myself.

I would kind of censor and silence myself.

I was afraid of confrontation.

So I gave myself the year with the word authenticity and now I don't people please, I have boundaries.

I show up as myself.

I don't avoid confrontation if I'm in an argument with somebody.

And I really feel very strongly about how I feel.

I won't avoid it.

I'll keep on going.

Um There's so many ways that authenticity has saved me.

It's helped me step into a room full of people and be myself and not second guess myself.

It's helped me not censor or silence myself.

It's helped me talk authentically to people.

It's helped me in my business, show up on social media and, and just say how I feel and to be straight with my journey.

Um It's helped me having the word authenticity has helped me embrace all the parts of me and not feel like I'm afraid to expose certain parts of me.

If that makes sense.

I just now I work at showing up as all of me and letting things be and letting things happen and not trying to control things that I can't control anyway and not trying to like improve atmospheres or just letting all of that go.

So that was a great word for 2023 that's done now, I'm not going to repeat the word.

So for this year, I went with the word freedom.

I feel that has to follow along, follow after authenticity, freedom, freedom to do what I want freedom to show up as myself now because I know what that is.

Freedom to design the life.

I want freedom to create my own life and to go against conforming.

Like for example, the way the marketing and advertising campaigns and all of society tells us that we have to overindulge at Christmas time and then we have to really restrict and hate in ourselves in January.

That's just a small example.

But me going against the grain, I want to do what the minority of people are doing.

I don't want to be in this follow pack, this big pack where the big institutions and agencies and advertising campaigns are telling us what we want and what we desire and that what we have isn't enough.

I want to have the freedom to design my own life and to make sure that I'm not conforming and that I go after what it is that I want the freedom to say how I feel the freedom to show up exactly as myself.

So 2024 the freedom to help people in the way I help people, how I help people.

And to have the freedom to create a space for other people to show up as themselves.

And to create this, continue to have this wonderful community, this wonderful tribe we have in Thrive Academy where we are showing up as ourselves and celebrating each other.

The fourth way in the way I'm going into 2024 is that I'm creating a life that I want.

And I, and I touched on that there, that not what society pushes on me, that I want to create a life.

Maybe the things that I find important, like time and freedom is really, really important to me.

And it's really cool.

I love to grow the business and to focus on growth of the company and growth of the business.

However, I always have to remind myself about what's important to me.

What's important to me is time and freedom.

So I want to really remind myself of that all the time, that success for each of us can look so different and be careful that you're going after what success looks like for you, not just what the advertising in the world and society is telling you or just, it's a habit that you think that this is what success looks like.

However, maybe if you sat down with a pen and paper, you'd realize that success actually looks really different for you than what you thought for me.

I came to realize that a lot of my success in life is about having as much time as possible to do the things that I want to do and part of that is growing my business.

However, then there's other parts of that, that I want to spend a lot of time with my family and I want to spend time on my hobbies and doing things that I love.

And that's a huge part of success for me.

That's what success looks like for me, it's not about the brands or the, the big fancy holidays or anything like that.

However, I don't think I would have known that if I didn't ask myself last year.

So now II I continue to create the life that I want.

Not just what I think success looks like for me and that's really powerful because that then when you start to focus on what success looks like for you, you'll start to change your action steps.

Like for example, for me in 2023 I had to spend a lot of time subtracting things that I was doing in my business and in my personal life to free up more time.

Now, that's only improved everything in my life.

It's improved my program, it's improved my clients experience, it's improved my home life.

However, that took time, a lot of time to subtract all the stuff and to figure out what could actually be subtracted and what was important to keep in.

So I encourage you to sit down at some point and actually think what does success look like for me, maybe it's not buying more stuff for my house or upgrading my car or going on a fancy holiday.

Maybe I actually want to go on a camping holiday or a backpacker holiday or maybe I want to go to America or maybe I want to just have as much time as possible to relax in my own home.

This year.

Maybe the year of 2024 for you is about declutter and giving yourself mental space.

It's a really exciting exercise to figure out what success looks like for you and how you want it to, to pan out for you in 2024.

And the last thing that I am doing to ease myself into 2024.

Um, of course, I can't not share health.

This is a fitness and health podcast for women over 40.

Um, it's to make sure that I continue to focus on all aspects of my health and I have spent years focusing on fitness and nutrition.

Am I working out enough?

Am I eating less that that was it?

Am I working out enough and am I eating little enough?

Boom.

If the answer is yes, that means I'm losing weight and I'm healthy.

No bullshit.

No, no, no.

My health now, I follow my five step framework that we follow in thrive academy PMS.

Do I have action steps around my physical fitness, accountability and support?

Am I getting support?

Am I, am I in a tribe of women that gets it that we all support and lead each other hydration?

So important mental health action steps, so important for a happy life, for a fulfilling life.

Self-care action steps in self care is nutrition And by even the way of having nutritional action steps in self-care is showing yourself that you're not all food, food, food, diet, diet, diet recipes, meal plans.

No, it's a part of self-care.

A really important part.

However, I really encourage you to get rid of thinking that food is health.

It's a part of your health and it's a part of self-care, nourishing yourself.

There's so many other aspects to self-care too.

There's so many, there's so many aspects to your health.

When you work on all of them, you feel so good, you feel so fit and healthy and strong.

So that's what I'm going to be focusing on in 2024.

That's what I'm going to be continuing to focus on in 2024.

Well, I hope you got a lot of value out of this short little podcast.

I really encourage you to ease yourself into the year, to give yourself the year to achieve everything that it is that you want.

Once you have your action steps written down to focus on consistency when you run into setbacks and challenges, which you will don't change direction, change the goal, change your action steps, just get back on track.

Continue to do the same things that you said you were going to do and be very aware of shiny object syndrome or what they call squirrel, where you're focused on your goals and your action steps and something new and exciting comes your way and you just go oh, squirrel, like there's a squirrel and you just get so distracted and then three months down the line, you're like, where are my goals and action steps?

So, just be careful of that.

Ok.

Oh, and have a wonderful, wonderful week.

Thank you for listening to my podcast.

Thank you for all the messages that you guys send me via email and Instagram.

Keep them coming.

If you want to send me in an email and ask and, and you want me to read out any problem or challenge that you have on this podcast, please do so you can contact me at Jessica at Jessica Cook dot IE.

If you got value from this podcast, I really ask you so much to share it with a friend or a loved one who you think might enjoy it.

Thank you so, so much for listening and have a wonderful day, speak soon.

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