I've stopped making New Year Resolutions. Over the years I've vowed to do better, do more of this, do less of that, or give up those vices that are holding me down but I've learned that whatever resolutions I put on the list on January 1st were just as important last June. Nothing has changed except the date, nothing magical happened when the clock struck midnight and the big shiny ball dropped in Times Square; I'm just a little bit older now. Life is right NOW. I'm younger today than I will be for the rest of my life. What am I waiting for?
Goals don't know what the date is so a random Tuesday is the right time to make the decision to have salad instead of pizza, to eat an orange instead of chocolate cake, take the stairs instead of the elevator, use that treadmill instead of hanging clothes on it, or workout while watching the Biggest Loser instead of sitting on my *ss wishing I could shrink as quickly as the contestants.
Successful dieters have learned that they're not perfect, there will be indulgences and lazy days but they don't use that as an excuse to throw their hands in the air and give up, falling face first into a bowl of ice cream. We have to take those small steps every single day to eat healthy foods the majority of the time, really enjoy those special indulgences, stop the emotional eating and binging, put down the fork when we're full, eat when we're hungry, stop the mindless emotional eating and stay active enough to keep the blood flowing, the heart strong and the body and mind healthy.
People love to start diets on Mondays, the first of the month or, the mother of all firsts, the first of the year. In my case this year, the first Monday of the first month of the first of the year. I was still on vacation on New Year so the parties continued, there was overeating, over drinking and lazy inactive holiday sugar haze days but I never forgot about my goals.
I understand the allure of making those New Year Resolutions. There's something about a brand new calendar that makes us hopeful and giddy imagining the possibilities. Imagining what we accomplish over these clean pages. It is a clean slate to start fresh. We tell ourselves this will be the year to do things better, give things up that are bad, get away from people that make us unhappy, get closer to the people we love, go to the gym or workout regularly, lift more, run faster, work harder, eat right and become this perfect version of ourselves.
There is so much hope and optimism when we longingly look at those empty spaces on the pages of the months ahead and know if we are determined we can change completely, make substantial progress or reach those elusive goals before buying the next calendar. We've seen it happen to others, we read about their success, we may have done it before, we know it is possible. I can be that success story (again), I can learn how to maintain a healthy weight. Unfortunately, by the third week of January most people have burnt out, realize they are not perfect and revert back to their old ways. They'll just do what they've always done, wait for next Monday, next month or next January to start over. Don't wait - start right now.
I've decided to work on my daily goals, take those baby steps, make each decision the best I can at the time and forgive myself when I don't make the best choices because that is really all I can ever do. I'll never be perfect. I know I'll give into the bread basket on occasion and I'll make mistakes but I have to accept that and move on.
I have goals to reach but I'm not counting the days, weeks, or months where I'll be if I lose "x" pounds a week, for "x" weeks, by this time next ______, I'll be able to fit into "x" size pants or see "x" number on the scale. My goal today is to do the best I can and remember I really want to lose weight so I need to do all those things TODAY that will make that happen, not wait until next Monday.
I'm going to make my resolutions every day. I'm not perfect, I will make mistakes but if I do the things I know will give me the results I want, I can make it happen.
I hope you are enjoying filling in the new calendar, keeping those resolutions and remembering your ultimate goal(s). Don't ever give up and you'll get there.