“The struggle of maturity is to recover the seriousness of a child at play.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche ~
The New Year’s resolution has been around forever and I have always felt that it was a recipe for disaster and disappointment. It creates a situation which allows us to slack off and binge while justifying our actions because the first of the year coming things will be different! “I am going to start … and stop …”but what really happens? You buy gym memberships that you will use less than 33 percent of, and gimmicky equipment that will clutter your home and later bring you a few dollars in a yard sale. This sets us up to fail in the long run, so should we just throw in the towel before we start any of this nonsense? Of course the answer to this tempting question is a resounding NO!
If you ask any child why they quit an activity or sport, the answer you will get a majority of the time is that it stopped being fun. That is about as plain and straightforward as it gets; if it is not fun and not something we are required to do, we won’t do it? As adults we have things we must do, but many times our priorities are totally out of whack. I hear people all the time talking about their jobs believing that what they are doing is critical. I will give you this if you are with the fire or police departments or work in the emergency medical fields and a few others, your careers deal with life and death situations. Please don’t be offended but if your company produces widgets to sell to people so that they have to work at their jobs making doodads to pay for those widgets, then you both need to step back and realize that in the big picture what you are doing is working to buy stuff. We all have to work to pay bills but we must not become what we do and forget that having fun is the best reason to continue doing something. I am not telling you to quit your job or feel bad about what you are doing; I am simply saying to keep your perspective and priorities in line with what is best for you.
Hold on a second while I jump down off my soapbox…
The real message here is to find your passion and what makes you feel alive and like a kid on a playground. If you like walking then walk, if it is rock climbing then do it, ride a bike or go for a run or hike in the woods, or go to the gym; remember, do it to enjoy it and not because you have to. If you begin to do activities that you enjoy, you will begin to make more quality choices which in turn make you feel better and encourage more activity and even better choices. As you progress, your likes and goals may change which is normal but if they do not that is fine as well. Once you are on the healthy lifestyle track you will be more energetic and feel better in both mind and body, and that is really what we need.
Personally, when I get into a funk whether it is the usual winter blahs or just letting my mind get the best of me I really struggle with making good decisions. Once I start that slide it gets easier and easier to make excuses and justify those poor choices and the natural instinct is to “get things out of my system” before I clean up my act again. I am convinced that this is very similar to what an alcoholic or drug addict goes through, on different severity levels but the behavior tendencies are the same. We all know what it is we need to be doing, how we feel when we do things right and how we feel when we do not. Let go of the past and all those easy to fall back into patterns that drag us down. Forget the entire fad, quick fix and the easy way out. No more “dieting”, as a matter of fact while we are on the subject let’s strike that word from our vocabulary right now. Let’s think in the terms of “nutritional habits” and portion sizes which is why Weight Watcher’s is one of the long standing systems that continues to work. Even though it is thought of as dieting it is introducing habits and portions and that creates success and that is what sticks with people.
Here is the challenge: Experts say that it takes 21 days to develop a habit, so from Monday January 6th to Sunday January 26th I am going to run and/or workout every day and remove refined/processed sugar, processed food. I will engage in two positive activities which I enjoy and attach no time or mileage requirements to them, only to do them every day while eliminating contraindicating behaviors that hinder progress. I would love to have you join me at any level you are comfortable with and share your story, thoughts and ideas with us. This is an opportunity to make positive changes in your life so pick your positive activity that fits into your lifestyle and schedule and pick a behavior or two that hinder your progress. It is as uncomplicated as that, so think about what makes you happy and let’s make this fun and build some better habits.
I am grateful that so many have taken the time to be part of this and to those who believe in me and are there with support and understanding no matter which direction I go. There is a new moon on New Year’s Day this year which has not happened for nineteen years, so it’s the perfect time for a fresh start! HAPPY NEW YEAR!