It’s over. The holiday season is over. And by now you might have seen 4000 sayings on the new year – tons of little cartoon memes about how the new year is your year – your opportunity – your time. Resolutions are pounding away from all angles.
Some by now have been made and broken – afterall, it’s the 3rd already.
The candy and leftovers should be gone and replaced with workout materials and cookbooks. The house is getting cleaned and decluttered.
What IS it about New Year’s that does this to people? Why isn’t some day in the middle of August the day everyone cleans up their lives?
Because there is magic in the beginning. Magic in the beginning of any journey and although we all have our own journeys in life, we have this in common – the new year. So to bond together to talk about new beginnings, to talk about new goals, to workout together and diet together and clean together and declutter together is powerful. And I don’t want to diminish its power by words. If I had the power to make the other 364 days JUST as powerful, I would.
When I started my weight loss journey for the umpteenth time, I was ready and went to a meeting and found a friend there. We became accountability buddies and it was so great! We committed to encourage each other and not bring each other down. We shared each other’s emails and emailed each other during the week when we had a hard time encouraging each other. We had about the same amount of weight to lose and she was losing at a faster rate than I was (and who wasn’t?) and we looked forward to seeing each other at the meetings. Sometimes she wanted to go to breakfast after the meeting – especially if she had a good loss. My routine was to bring my blueberries and mini shredded wheat in separate baggies (didn’t like to mix them) and bring my coffee, and not have a bite or sip until I weighed in. Then during the meeting, I’d eat what I brought and drink my coffee. She might decide to go out and I (who lost perhaps a .2 or maybe a huge .4 that week) just finished my breakfast so would either go and not eat or say I couldn’t go.
Well, the emails would dwindle as she kept celebrating her weight loss with food and found herself gaining. She didn’t reply to mine when I was struggling. And when I was struggling it hurt even more that I thought I was losing a friend. But I wasn’t. It’s just that when we started together at that clean slate time – we had the same level of motivation. But since we’re both human, that motivation fluctuates. She felt she couldn’t continue the relationship because I wouldn’t “blow it” with her. “Come to the dark side – where there’s lots of pizza!” That’s not a friend – that’s just a diet buddy and since diets end, it doesn’t work.
Starting on New Year’s or any other clean slate time like Mondays works great for the start. But counting on those you join with to keep you motivated when you’re losing that drive can be dangerous to your plan. It’s perfectly acceptable to truly be a friend and say, “I know you’re motivation is down right now but I still need to do this for me.” And it’s also perfectly okay to hear it. If you have an accountability buddy – great, but your first accountability buddy needs to be the one in the mirror. Each day, look to THAT person and commit.
Every day – New Year’s Day and all that follow – is a clean slate. Don’t think of the slate as dirty if you “messed up” your plan. Find your balance. Find something doable. Livable. That doesn’t require you to stop when you travel or have company or celebrate. Everyday is your clean slate. Some days you might need one each hour. That’s okay, too. Just look in the mirror and commit to that person. “I am worthy of this.”
If you want company in your journey, that’s good and fun and helpful – sometimes. But know it’s YOURS. Your body – your journey. You are worthy of good health. You are worthy of feeling happy. And even though a pound of bacon makes me happy…..it doesn’t make me as happy as smaller jeans. So maybe I’ll just choose 3 slices.
My goals for 2015 is to make each day a clean slate. To treat each day as the gift that it is. To be grateful for something new each day. To find joy inside myself so that I can best bring it to others. I am worthy of that. You are too.
Happy New Year!