“The most dangerous way we sabotage ourselves is by waiting for the perfect moment to begin. Nothing works perfectly the first time, or the first fifty times. Everything has a learning curve. The beginning is just that – a beginning. Surrender your desire to do it flawlessly on the first try. It’s not possible. Learn to learn. Learn to fail. Learn to learn from failing. And begin today. Begin now. Stop waiting.” – Vironika Tugaleva
It’s January, which for many means a time of renewal, restarting, and/or recommitment to areas of their lives. I’ve seen public proclamations from people that they wish to read two books a month, run a certain number of miles, focus on particular relationships, learn about new topics, start an entrepreneurial venture, travel more…and if you’re even the teensiest bit active on any sort of social media, you’ve seen similar posts.
Well, good on YOU, people! I hope you are successful in whatever resolutions or goals you have set for yourself. Just don’t be obnoxious about it, m’kay? By that I mean, please don’t overpost about your new “diet”. If you want some accountability, by all means, tell the world. But what I really want to see is you in three months. Make your commitment, stick to it, and then stick it to all the haters, by posting your #transformationtuesday pics. Be inspiring…not annoying.
Personally, I don’t make resolutions, renewals, goals, etc. in the beginning of the year. Mostly because I’m prone to self-sabotage and rationalization, and honestly, I just can’t “do” conscious deprivation. For example, on any given week, I could eat pizza, or not, and it wouldn’t affect my life in the slightest. However, should I decide to proclaim, “I am giving up pizza for the entire month of January!”, I’d be pretty good Sunday… Monday… Tuesday…a little grumpy on Wednesday…irate on Thursday…downright hostile to any being with the misfortune to cross my path on Friday…and then on Saturday I’d order takeout and eat myself sick on pizza.
Why do I do that? I have no idea, but I know that I do that, which is really the important part. If I’m going to make a change in my life, I can’t count days or set mini-goals or rewards, because I don’t work that way. I can’t sustain that much focus on one area of my life, because all of the rest of the parts of my life will go to shit. And then I get all mopey and annoyed with myself and completely revert back to the behavior I was trying to change. Like eating all of my feelings.
So how do I affect change in my life? I can’t say how with 100% certainty, as I think I will always consider myself a work in progress. But mostly, I just do it. I don’t have a countdown to a start date or anything like that. And I don’t make drastic changes all at once. I’ll research a topic, like the benefits of drinking more water. I’ll figure out how much water I should be drinking every day. I’ll research whether coffee can be counted toward water consumption. And then I’ll go with the opinion that says yes. And then I just start making that small thing a habit. Once that becomes a habit, I’ll move onto something else. But instead of making it about deprivation, I make it about addition. For instance, if I wanted to reduce the amount of refined carbohydrates that I eat, I wouldn’t make it about eliminating pasta and white bread, I would make it about adding more vegetables to what I consume, swapping the vegetables out for bread, until that became a habit. And so on.
And what about you? Did you make any resolutions for this year? How is that going for you so far? Are you an “all in” kind of person, or are you like me, taking baby steps toward gradual improvement? Or something else? I’d love to hear!
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