I am not personally a fan of New Year’s resolutions (probably why I’m posting this now) because I believe that in order to create long lasting change, especially physical change, the head needs to be in the right spot. Plucking an arbitrary date from the ether, which is what 1st January essentially is, will not make anything special happen at all; at least not if you haven’t already mentally prepared yourself for what you are actually going to do then.
Most resolutions don’t last beyond a few days simply because we too often arrive at said date with hope as our only companion. Now, hope is fine if you’re planning a picnic and you want the sun to shine, a mozzie-free zone and it to end in a second date but rocking up on January 1, likely hungover, dazed and confused and without a plan will make short work of any well intentioned lists you made back in early December.
Head and body must work together for things to pan out well; the two must be aligned, not in a duck’s-in-a-row-everything-must-be-perfect kind of way but more in the manner of I’m-mentally-prepared-to-not-only-start-this-but-see-this-through-despite-hiccoughs-bumps-and-bad-hair-days (flubber dub dub).
Hope, y’see, just doesn’t cut it alone. It needs intention, belief and good old consistency by its side. Then you’ve got a boy band with potential. Bung them all together with a modicum of creativity and a Top 40 hit is yours for the taking. Add a dollop of swagger and self-belief and Robbie’s your Auntie’s live-in lover.
“Does the mind rule the body, or does the body rule the mind, I don’t know….”
Progress is not a linear thing. It’s wonky, misshapen and most likely quite fugly until it takes shape and becomes, well, something tangible. A long, straight road may be handy if you’re in a snazzy car driving from Melbourne to Sydney and you’re locked in cruise mode but where’s the fun in that? Give me a manual car and a switchback alpine route any day. At least you’ve blown your hair back, given your armpits a workout and earned the view from the top.
It’s the same with losing weight, running faster or building strength. You’ll nudge ahead for a bit and then well, not. It’s what we do at this point that determines the makeup of the wo/man. You can spit the dummy deciding that you’re just not meant to win this battle, that you’ve got bad genes and you’ve never succeeded before so why now?
Or, you could suck it up, acknowledge that every choice you made, both good and bad, led you to this particular moment in time, take that as feedback, re-consider the all-important WHY you chose to do this in the first place, re-group and set off again. What was the point, your point, of embarking on this caper? Remembering this should be the requisite boot up the bum you require.
Then take an interest in the HOW of it all. The arrival at a target weight, speed or number can often be something of a letdown once you’ve popped the cork and downed the fizz. Depending on why you are doing it, you may find you’ve staked your entire future happiness on a number only to arrive at said number and then what? You realize the bit you’ve just completed, the really hard bit that took guts, grit and gusto is merely one piece of the pie and that to maintain the number (for now you’ve gotten there you feel pressure to hold onto it and not let it slip from your hard-earned grasp), requires a whole other realm of guts, grit and derring-do. You may feel satisfied, and rightly so, but have all your other problems disappeared into the ether…..? I’m waging not.
Now, I’m not suggesting you don’t aim for a specific target and aim high but be realistic about what it takes to get there and, even more importantly, what you expect it to look and feel like once you get there. That way you stand half a chance of choosing to keep plugging on when the cold reality feels like you’re climbing a mountain in roller skates with a pregnant possum on your back.
Have purpose in what you wish to achieve but allow that purpose to incorporate the wiggly, woggly mess of life along the way. I believe herein lies the interesting stuff.
Antici-pation is the best bit!
Photo credits: Alexas_Fotos, Couleur, Ryan McGuire, Unsplash, go-presse, Pezibear, tpsdave, Pete Linforth
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