On Facebook today there are a lot of people posting - half tongue in cheek - about their failures at keeping their New Year’s Resolutions and that January was a “trial month” and that they MEAN it starting today, February 1st.
While many people snicker at this, there is a certain reality and benefit to this line of thought.
How many people who try to lose weight, stop smoking, get their finances in order, go to the gym, etc etc etc, make a commitment to that life change and then DO IT the first time they try and never have any setbacks?
I imagine there are people out there like this, but their numbers must be minuscule!!
No, for the VAST majority of people, we try and have some success, then we fail, we give up, we try again, we abandon our goals, we revise them, and the list goes on and on.
For most people our goals are ever changing. We learn what works for us and what doesn’t. What is realistic, what is not. Times and places where we succeed and times and places we fail.
So if you made certain resolutions or goals in January and they didn’t stick, instead of seeing that as a failure, how about analyzing what worked and what didn’t and making a new start. January 1 is not magic! A new start can come at any time.
Let’s say that you have never been a morning person. BUT you resolved to get up at 5:30 EVERY MORNING and do a workout video. Maybe that lasted 3 times. And you’ve berated yourself - about what a failure you are. Maybe morning workouts just aren’t going to work for you! You say that’s the only time you have? FIND ANOTHER TIME. It’s better than giving up altogether or trying to fight your very nature. Find what you can do when you can do it.
Maybe you heard that an excellent way to lose weight is to have smoothies for lunch. But you were hungry or didn’t have time to make the smoothie the night before so you gave that up and went back to eating fast food at lunch. Ok, so maybe smoothies aren’t working for you! What can you keep at work that will work for you? A healthy choice frozen lunch? No fridge? How about a healthy choice soup? Or go for fast food - it’s not the best choice, but get a SALAD instead of hamburger and fries.
Did you resolve to stop drinking all soda, but couldn’t resist and now you’re back to 2-3 per day? Maybe giving it up all at once doesn’t work for you. It took me 3 months to give up Mountain Dew. I went from 2-3 per day to 2-3 per WEEK and gradually eliminated it from my life.
If you are like me, you tend to think in ABSOLUTES - you either are PERFECTLY on plan, or you have FAILED. And believing you failed can lead to saying “Fuck it!” and just giving up completely.
But, as I try to remind myself DAILY, the world is actually a great array of GREYS. Working out 3 days a week is better than not working out at all. Smoking 5 cigarettes a day is better than a PACK a day. Eating right 4 days a week is better than 1.
So let’s not abandon our goals! In AA, they say some things are an AFGO (Another Fucking Growth Opportunity). Where did you grow, what did you learn? Put that all to work TODAY - February 1st. The worst thing you can do is not screw up - the worst thing you can do is GIVE UP...