As the New Year approaches I begin to think about what I want to achieve in 2018 – whilst I’m musing my future goals for this year, I’m very conscious of the fact that I’m not following the same path that I may have traveled in the past.
Traditionally I, along with most of the population, used to think in terms of setting a ‘New Years Resolution’ at the start of every year. This was something that I thought I should do, normally lose weight’, rather than really want to do and would be a ‘forced’ goal, initiated by custom rather than a genuine desire to make it real.
Unsurprisingly my ‘resolutions’ would start and end like every New Year, with a bang and flashes of colour fizzling out to charred remains. I would normally start by finishing off all the chocolate, cakes and goodies that had accumulated over the festive period first of course, before beginning whatever fad or punishing regime I was ‘following’ that ‘year’ – this would normally end fairly soon after starting, as it wouldn’t have been realistic or something that I could or would want to sustain forever. I’m sure for some this sounds familiar.
This changed for me three years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday, as it was truly a ‘life changing’ period of time. This year I remember I didn’t make a ‘New Years Resolution’ as I was at such a low point in my life, feeling so lifeless and despondent and I knew that they never worked. Looking back now, this was a smart move!
Instead I did nothing, but get on with my day to day drudgery of what my life was then – days filled with overeating, self recrimination, sitting around doing very little else.
Looking back my life felt so black then, filled with fear and longing for something better.
I feared for my health and knew that I was heavier than I had ever been which scared the pants off me, but at the same time rendered me helpless.
I struggled to walk up my stairs and even driving had become a problem – I had to sit so far back from the wheel my legs and arms were almost straight and for one of our cars, I had to get a seat belt extension.
We had a new puppy ‘Evie’ at this time, which we thought would inspire me to do more exercise. I loved our new friend and she brought buckets full of joy and love to our family. However I found it so challenging doing even the smallest of walks and was grateful that she was so small she was only going on 10 minute meanders a few times a day – but I knew that this would change soon and I would need to rise to this challenge – so this was the start of my commitment.
I also knew that I would be living on borrowed time if I continued to live like this and I longed for something better. A better life, one which had ‘quality and purpose’, not just going through the motions and existing. I wanted a life! – but not just any life I wanted ‘My Life Back’!! The photograph above was another one of the main things that motivated me to make a change, see my previous posts Introduction: My Re-Design For Life – Losing the Weight and Gaining a Life and Taking That First Step Towards Changing Your Life to read more about this.
For those of you who know me or who have followed my previous posts, you’ll see that I did it, I actually succeeded and now have the life that I only dreamed of before.
Am I the weight I want to be? Well not quite, but I’m pretty close to it and its not my only focus or what I now use to measure success. My measurements no longer solely consist of scales and a tape measure, they now look at what I am doing and where I am going rather than how big or heavy I am.
I am riding again and planning to buy a horse in the future, I am dancing again and now regularly attend Salsa and Ballroom Dancing – I am walking for fun (who’d of thought of it) and planning a walking holiday for March this year, my second one ever! I cycle for fun and to work, something that I hadn’t done for a long long time. My social circle has widened, as I’m not only more confident and comfortable with who I am, but I’m getting out and meeting more people.
My life is a total contrast from what it was before and it didn’t start with a ‘New Years Resolution’ it started with a commitment to myself to change, at a time when I was most ready to honor that commitment.
New Years Resolutions are fine in theory but do they ever really work in the long term?
I don’t believe so, not for the bigger life changing commitments. In my experience and from what I have heard other people describe they don’t really work well for these – as they are forced by tradition and custom and generally come at a time when you may want to change something, but your not really ready to fully commit to making that change happen.
Do yourself a favour and make ‘not making unrealistic resolutions’ yours this year or perhaps make a resolution to be kinder to yourself or find happiness.
For those life changing things that you know you must or really do want to change – forever – focus on these at a time when you are most able to make them happen, that way you too will be more likely to see success this time.
See more about my journey with the links below and as always please feel free to share your experiences as I’d love to hear them.
All the best for 2018