On January 1, 2009 I set a resolution to get healthier. To make better food choices, establish a regular exercise routine, and begin making strides to embrace the lifestyle I've wanted for years. I wanted to be fit, lean, active, strong, healthy, centered and happy. I wanted to be in right relationship with the food I eat (part of why I made the transition to veganism) as well as my body (the main motivation behind the workout routines I established for myself this past year). I'm happy to report, it was a huge success. Over this past year, I've lost 50 pounds.
Let me say that again - I've lost 50 fucking pounds!
For most of the year, I worked out regularly on my Wii Fit and also did other things to get my body moving. I even participated in the Camp Pendleton Mud Run - a balls out, challenging 10K run with giant hills, tire obstacles, river crossings, two 5-foot walls with mud on both sides, a tunnel crawl, a super-slippery hill climb, and a final 30-foot mud pit all set to screaming marines there to "motivate" you. Yeah. I did that! I felt like such a rock star and I've already made plans to do it again in 2010. My goal: improve on my time. This is a picture of me and my friends towards the end of the run, by the way. I'm the girl in the back row wearing a black shirt.
I certainly wasn't perfect all year. I made some poor food choices and backslid on the scale as a result. I went lax with my workout routine a few times and in turn, got a bit lazy. But overall, I done good. Each time I found myself off track, I was able to recognize it and return to center, resolution in mind, without egregious amounts of self-flagellation. Each "mistake" was an important lesson. Every time I rededicated myself to my goals, it was an exercise in will and realistic expectations. Hell, I even started drinking water, which was huge for me. Huge!
When I hear people bag on resolutions, I'm fine with it. We are all entitled to our own opinions. But when I hear people make blanket statements like, "Resolutions don't work," I find it irritating. First, I'm living proof that they do. Ehem ... 50 pounds down, bitches! But more importantly, I'm saddened that people don't recognize resolutions for the opportunities that they are.
Resolutions are not magic spells or wishes made to come true by Old Man Time. You can't just blurt them out on January 1 and toss your feet up, waiting for them to come to fruition. You have to work on them. You need to apply your will and actions to manifest them. And you need to stick with them, allow yourself to stumble along the way, and reevaluate them as you go, making adjustments accordingly. They need to be realistic and attainable. Follow those guidelines and resolutions can be the perfect way to manifest positive change in your life.
Anyhow, I've been considering my resolutions for 2010 over these last couple months and I'm really looking forward to getting them in writing tomorrow (blogging them). Putting resolutions out there for the world, or maybe just your friends and family, to see offers up its own endowment of accountability. If people know what you're working towards, they're more likely to be invested in the outcome. And really, so are you.
So, set some attainable goals and share them! Then, do what you need to do to make them happen.
In that same vein, author, designer and scrapbooker extraordinaire, Ali Edwards, has a clever idea that could work great in tandem with or in place of New Year's resolutions. She calls it "One Little Word," and you can read more about it in her blog post of the same name. Basically, it "can be a catalyst for enriching your life." One word that you can "focus on, mediate on, and reflect upon," as you traverse the days of the upcoming year. A theme word, if you will, that will help focus your intention and actions as you move towards positive change. I really like the idea and I'm going to see if I can come up with a word that feels right, for me, for 2010.
Anyhow, that's all I've got for now. I'll be back tomorrow with my resolutions and hopefully "One Little Word," for 2010. In the interim, think about what sort of positive change you may want to bring into your life this next year and try to pick a friend or family member with which to share your resolution(s). Someone who will be supportive and call you on your shit when you stray from your goals, invent lame justifications for non-action, get too busy, or whatever the excuse du jour is. It helps if the person is someone you trust and love - someone you won't punch in the nose when they suggest that you have gotten off track.
Have a fabulous and safe New Year's Eve. Happy New Year, my pretties!