Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions yet? Any super-exciting visions of 2014 dancing in your head this New Year’s Eve?
Are your resolutions biblically grand?
Will this be the year you make your fortune? Cure cancer? Prove to Ryan Gosling that the two of you really are long-lost soul mates?
Or maybe your resolutions are slightly more modest? ‘Dammit, I will have an organized pantry!’
At the moment, my own resolutions are a bit amorphous – something to do with prioritizing my kids’ daily physical activity. But, since I know that most of our resolutions involve health, weight, and fitness, I figured it might be a good idea for The Girl Who Lost 100 Lbs to chime in.
I have this theory that the majority of resolutions fail because we set our bars ridiculously, impossibly high. “I’m going to quit smoking and drinking while losing 50 lbs and training for my first marathon!”
Then reality sets in and you realize that you cannot possibly simultaneously sacrifice nicotine, alcohol, and calories without committing homicide, and training for a marathon is just way harder than you imagined.
Maybe reality is also your significant other sitting on the couch, smoking, sipping your favorite cocktail, eating ice cream and saying ‘come back to me, darling. It’s so nice and smooshy over here.’ So, you snuggle in and remember why you fell in love with all of those vices in the first place.
After all… slippers are a LOT more comfy than running shoes…
DANGER! Your resolution is in mortal peril!
The day your inner monologue begins to say “Eff this mess, it’s just not in me” is the day your resolution begins to erode. So, I humbly submit that you should consider setting a bar so low that you can stride right over it (thus giving your ego a little victory dance) every day.
New Years Day of 2012 found me at my peak weight. New Years Day of 2013 I was a whole new woman. But if you think that I started 2012 thinking “I’m going to lose 100 lbs this year” then you may have begun your New Years Eve partying a bit early.
When I started on my road to wellness, I only knew I had to get healthier. I knew the way I was living was going to kill me some day, and I was frightened. So, I started going on walks. I slowly backed away from carbs. I slowly eliminated processed foods. Little, manageable bit by little, manageable bit, I got stronger and healthier every day.
I’m pretty sure that if my resolution had been to transition from morbid obesity to fitness blogging in a year, I might not have made it.
Big goals are hard and most can’t be tackled all at once. But they CAN be tackled one bite and one step at a time.
So, my advice is to you as you contemplate the year to come is this: Dedicate 2014 to doing one small thing every day that makes you healthier. It can be anything. Have a salad instead of a burger and call your day a success. If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, smoke 19 tomorrow. Take the stairs.
Just a bunch of one-at-a-time decisions, all strung together.
A fit lifestyle requires daily tending, so condition your brain first. Get used to thinking about your health every day, and do one little thing to help it along. And, when you have accomplished your one healthy choice, put a check mark on your calendar. Yes – I mean a physical check mark. Trust me – it’ll give you a rush to check off days of making yourself proud.
You might be surprised by what you’re capable of when you string 365 healthy little choices together.
Happy New Year, friends! May the year to come bring you every success.
Resolve to choose salad!