We've all done it- once or twice.
Picked up a new routine, made a few resolutions or promises.
Sometimes those new choices hung around for good, becoming a part of who we are today- but most of the time- if we're going to be honest, those radical changes in our lifestyles barely lasted a month, if we were lucky.
Here in the first month of a new year, I see it all the more. The gym is packed even in off hours and the faces are new. Strained and sweaty, you can almost hear the mumbling, "I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.'
The worst thing is those newbies who think they have it all figured out, think their way is the best way, and that this will be their life forever- just like this. 7 days a week in the gym, alcohol free, carb free, salad gnoshing ... the new you.
Hello New You.
I have something to confess. I have been there, and it will not last.
It's not supposed to. Listen, you know what your hairstylist said about using the same shampoo? She probably told you that after a while, your hair doesn't respond the same way, you'll need to change it up. There's also changes in hormones, diet and environment to think of.
Yes, you're smart. You see where I'm going.
That silly new workout kick? The calorie counting, high protein phase? if you don't pull back, you may end up draggin that OCD crap over to other parts of your life. You won't be able to leave the house without washing your hands three times, or eat a meal in public without rearranging the place settings, just so.
Take the advice of someone who is well versed in kicks, phases, self-imposed "Things" designed to yield positive results... or at the very least, actions that could be called personal challenges.
I've done the body building thing, the lean machine thing, the yoga thing, the fasting and cleansing thing, the meditation thing, the self-hypnosis thing, the self-improvement thing- which ranged from learning new languages to golf lessons to biology, zoology, financial and investing classes to writing, marketing, publishing seminars and clubs, and then some.
I've been tan enough, thin enough and blond enough, even at times, felt rich enough. I've always felt blessed and healthy and wise- even if it wasn't necessarily true. I firmly believe in the power of positive thinking- which is prayer in the leanest form.
The biggest phase of my life has lasted over thirty years- and counting... and that is the ability to do everything in moderation.
Except fast food. I don't eat that. Ever.
I have written down wants, placed them in a silver jar and opened it a year later to find I'd done it all - without even remembering the silver jar.
Maybe that's the key. Write down what you want, and aim your sites in that direction, just watch for the overkill.
You want to be toned, slim and strong? Say that. Don't ask to be Cinzia Chiarenza. You don't have her parents. You don't have her genes.
You want to be a wonderful mother, raise a child who will be happy, healthy and successful? It's not about organic gardens or "green" housing, it's about love and caring and respect. Don't ask to be Ann Pleshette-Murphy. You don't have her children. You don't have her genes.
Think abou that, as you pursue your new year resolutions. Are they adaptable to the rest of your life? Can you moderate. Have you already failed. Harsh. Sorry, but isn't that what we set ourselves up for? You either did it 100%.
I'm going to scale Mt Everest.
Or you didn't.
Forget the excuses. It was bad weather=Blame others.
I was injured/ sick=Self sabotage.
How about this. Say, "I'm going to try."
I want to change XYZ. And I am going to try. I'm telling you, because I need someone to support my effort, challenge me along the way, and celebrate or console me at the end of it all.
Now get out there and do something good.
Oscar Wilde - "Everything in moderation, including moderation."