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Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

I've never been a big fan of New Year's resolutions.  Probably not surprising, but I've never been good at them.  Like most people, I give up on resolutions after awhile because I get tired of working at them and not seeing results.  If you can't tell, most of my resolutions focused on my weight.

I would always start out with the best of intentions.  But, my idea of a good plan was to deprive myself.  Within a few weeks or a month at the most, I would find myself buying candy at the store and telling myself, it's just a little, no big deal.  I would eat a donut at work and tell myself, it's just one, no worries.  But, that stuff piles up.  And then I would wonder why I couldn't lose weight?  DUH!!!

One of the funny things about this journey I've been on over the last year?  It actually didn't start out as a resolution.  I've had several people ask me that question.  On January 1, 2013, I was so down on myself I didn't even want to think much about the future so why would I want to think about a resolution?

My goal is not to discourage resolutions.  In fact, I am trying to come up with a few of my own for 2014.  But, don't think that January 1st is the only time you can start to make a choice to do something better for yourself.  Whether that be exercising, eating better, volunteering, looking for a new job, going back to school, etc.  You can make that choice any day of the week at any time of the year.

Granted, my journey was pushed a little by my mom and the support of my family.  But, as I've heard more times than I can count during the last 11 months, no one could make the decision to actually start but me.  I was the only one who could keep going when I had difficult days, laugh at myself as I tried to find my way around the grocery store, tried to cook, etc.  I was the one who had to decide that I wouldn't lie about the food I was eating, that I wouldn't waste the time of this wonderful person who had taken time out of her busy schedule to help me find my health and (eventually) happiness.

Make a change because you want to.  Not because someone is telling you that you have to.  Or because you feel like you have to.  Make sure you surround yourself with people who will support you in every aspect of whatever you are trying to change.  I've had to cut a few people and things out of my life as I've made all of these changes.  But, I know they are healthy changes and are the best decisions I could have ever made for myself.

Make your goals attainable.  Trust me, my first goal was extremely small and I didn't have much expectation that I would reach it.  As I started to find confidence and see results, I realized I could achieve my goal.  As I started adding more goals throughout the months, I found that they helped me stay focused.  At first, I really thought my goals would be all about weight.  It was funny to me how, right away, Renee' had me focus on other things as well.  How to get myself out amongst the living was a huge focus.  I never would have realized how much I needed that on my own.  Renee' said this to me a couple of months into our friendship - Sometimes it takes someone from the outside to help you see what's there, what you need and what you can find in yourself and others - Long before that I knew how lucky I am to have Renee' as a friend.  But when I heard that from her, she put into words what I couldn't about why our friendship works, is fun and why I was finally finding the person that has been hiding inside me for so long.

Don't get mad at yourself if you don't succeed at first.  Change takes time.  I'm still changing.  In fact, I think we all are.  Life is about change.  You just have to decide if you are going to change for the better.  I'm so happy I did.  And that I am.  And that I will for a long time to come.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.