It’s that time of year again. That time when we take a look at our lives and decide to make changes in the coming year. It is a pointless exercise for most of us because we very quickly lose momentum, get distracted, or just forget what we resolved to accomplish altogether.
So why do we resolve to make changes when we have failed again and again to the point that we just shrug our shoulder, laugh and say “Well, there’s always next year”?
Here is a bit of wisdom that I have garnered regarding Resolutions:
- Change cannot be contradictory. If you are determined to lose weight, go to the gym, stress less, and spend more time with family, then, while all these SOUND wonderful in and of themselves, they are really quite self-defeating. Losing weight requires dietary changes and exercise changes. Change CREATES stress! And stress tends to cause us to isolate ourselves from our families. Not to mention you will have the fitness gurus screaming at you that “It’s EASY IF YOU JUST TRY!” or the ever famous “If I can do it, YOU can do it!”. Ever notice that most of the fitness gurus who do most of the screaming and wielding of the guilt stick are the ones who are thin and have the energy of the Eveready Bunny? Very seldom do you have people who are just as out of shape as you are asking to become part of a team so you can lose weight together. Hmmmmm….
- Change must be achievable. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that one of my resolutions is to eat healthier. Sounds good, but what does “healthier” really look like? Does that mean I go from eating cheeseburgers every day to nibbling on celery instead? Yeah, THAT resolution will last. Set goals that are achievable. Healthier eating might mean you have salad instead of fries and drink two bottles of water for every soda you consume.
- Change must be enjoyable. I have people in my life who are dead set on setting my changes for me. Not only that, but they never miss an opportunity to remind me of the changes THEY have “encouraged” me to make. Here’s the way change works for me, if I don’t like it, I won’t do it. This applies to eating habits, exercise habits, work habits, any change I need to make. If it feels like slavery, that change will not last long and I will become resentful of those pushing me.
- Change works best as a team. This is true in pretty much any format. Get a bunch of people who are pretty much in the same situation and you have a team. If the team sets a goal, then the team can make the goal a reality. Encouraging each other, being accountable to each other, working together, pretty much any goal can be realized.
- Change will only happen when I make a plan I can stick to. I am NOT a morning person by ANY stretch of the imagination. I have absolutely NO inclination to drag myself out of bed before daylight so I can go to the gym and torture myself while my brain is trying to make my body die so rest can be had. So if my resolution is to get to the gym, then I must make a plan to do it. Therefore, I can go to the gym instead of stuffing pizza in my face at lunch, or I can go when I hit that mid afternoon slump and just need a think. If I make a plan that my mind can work with, the resolution can become a reality.
- Change can only work if you are willing to forgive yourself. When we start making changes, we’re going to slip up! We’re going to miss a day at the gym. We’re going to indulge our craving for meat once in a while. But if we beat ourselves up over these slip-ups, or worse let others beat us up over them, the guilt will destroy any hope of lasting change. If we mess up, okay, we messed up….get back on track and try to make the time a little longer before we mess up again.
- Change can only happen if it is realistic. We’ve all heard the fantastic claims by the “Healthy Eating/Exercise” companies who peddle their powders and machines and supplements and “systems.” They all claim that you can have the body you always wanted in just a few months if you will only go broke, sign over your life, and surrender everything to them (and if you help generate more followers of their cult, you can “get rich” too). Listen, the body I have always wanted is currently being occupied by someone else who doesn’t know I exist, so let’s just put that puppy to rest. The body I currently have could use a bit of renovation, but nothing drastic. After all, Rome wasn’t rebuilt in a day or a month or even a year.
Hopefully you will join me in welcoming the new year with realistic, achievable resolutions!
Categories: Hmmmmm........, Perspectives
Tags: change, changes, diet, enjoy, exercise, Food, fun, life, live, living, miscellaneous, new year, nutrition, People, resolutions, wisdom
Just so you know, I have nothing against people enjoying exercise. No….seriously…..I’m not kidding…..I have nothing against people who enjoy exercise. I DO have a problem with the subset of those people who: 1) talk about nothing but the gym. 2) Bash those of us who chose to not spend every waking moment at the gym, thinking about the gym, or have habits and hobbies NOT gym related. 3) Sell those supplements, food replacement shakes and products. They hit you with the sales pitch like a shark goes after a seal!
Now you must understand, coffee and I have QUITE the love affair which has endured for all of my adult life. However, one of those rabid salespeople pitching Advocare gets bent out of shape each time I mention coffee or have coffee. She starts barking like a chihuahua: “You need SPARK! Try SPARK! Drink SPARK! SPARK! SPARK! SPARK!” And to listen to this person, Advocare apparently has the cure for every single ailment and condition. Overweight? Buy and use nothing but Advocare products and you will have the body you always wanted in no time! How do they know what body I’ve always wanted?
Okay, my doctor did mention that I could stand to lose some weight and getting some exercise would be a good thing. I get it. But I have no inclination to become a gym-rat, not do I have any desire to have a body that will take a lot of maintenance and upkeep. I am built for comfort and I like that. I will exercise to lose some weight and to help with cholesterol (which Advocare seems to have the perfect product for which will only cost you four month’s salary), but I refuse to become so fanatic about working out and weight loss.
The salesperson for Advocare I was describing earlier gave me a price list with her “discount” already applied and my response was, “Are you SERIOUS? Are the delivery boxes big enough for my family and I to live in? Because if I get this “plan” you’re pushing, I won’t be able to live anywhere BUT in a box!” And she had the gall to tell me that she was offended. Needless to say, I am not one of her customers and we are still friends, and she keeps plugging for me to get with the program. Ahh…one has got to admire the Multi-Level Marketing people who can get others to go after customers like a rabid honey badger in a bad mood.
Let me be clear….aggressive sales tactics are the absolute WRONG approach if you want me to consider your products.
Categories: Hmmmmm........, Perspectives
Tags: exercise, gym, habits, hobbies, Homer Simpson, life, live, living, rant, rants, running
It’s raining out. At least where I am it is. I sit in front of the computer, gazing out of the window as the raindrops tink against the pane, whilst enjoying a nice hot beverage, and my mind begins to wander. It does tend to toddle off when left to its own devices and when unsupervised for any length of time, and, given the opportunity to wander about, is always discovering something to occupy itself.
Today is no different. My mind has sallied forth once more into the breach and found some things to draw its focus. One of which is the notion that many of the so-called philosophical questions are pure rubbish, if one were to truly consider them:
- “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” – Are you DAFT? If a tree falls, of course it makes a sound. When you fall down, and no one is around to witness it, do you not make a sound? Albeit some very creative dialogue most probably ensues. Let me ask you this, if someone trips on that “invisible speed bump” in the pavement, and they don’t know you saw them stumble, does that make you giggle any less?
- “Why is there air?” – What would you rather breathe? Methane, perhaps? Liquid Nitrogen? Honestly, I don’t care WHY there is air, as long as it is available for breathing.
- “I think therefore, I am.” – I must pose the hypothesis that “I AM” well before this nugget of information crossed my mind. Or if this statement were to stand on its own merit, what was I before I thought I was? Merely because I am capable of thought is no guarantee that I will exercise that capability, nor is there any guarantee that my exercise will be fruitful by any stretch of the imagination.
- “Everyone is a genius.”– Ride with me during rush hour traffic and see if this is true. Just pointing out, again, that the capacity to think and ponder is no guarantee that the exercise will be engaged or fruitful.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am not against thinking; I have nothing against philosophy; I bear no ill will towards being contemplative. In fact, I embrace them all. Yet if one is to fully exercise one’s mental capabilities, one must be able (and willing) to also consider the idiocies as well.
Okay, time for more coffee, so I’ll bid each of you adieu, and saunter off for now.
Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind
Tags: art, blog, exercise, help, ideas, idiocy, life, live, living, logical, mental, mind, miscellaneous, People, think, thoughts, travel