Monday, 29 January 2018

The Key to Keeping Resolutions

To a lot of people the term “New Year’s Resolutions” sounds rather daunting and final.  “I will lose weight”, “I will quit smoking” sound pretty definite and when they don’t achieve it or fall off the wagon by the second week in January they get rather disheartened and quit.
To combat this, I stopped making “resolutions” about 8 years ago and switched them out for goals. I don’t even make these goals at the start of the year anymore unless I have been contemplating doing something for so long and have decided there and then to make a change. Instead of “I will…” I now say “I will try.” I will try means that you are giving yourself a chance to actually try to actively change something rather than “I must do x/I must do y” and then feeling bad when you don’t stick to it. It means you are allowing yourself the chance to continue should you, say, break from the new lifestyle change you are implementing (I loathe the term “diet” as it only sounds temporary). It also means you are aware that there will be days when things will be more difficult than others and are therefore allowing yourself to be OK with the fact that it’s not going to be plain sailing; that you will try again whether it’s in the next hour, day or when you have recovered.
I firmly believe that one of the only ways to achieve your goals is to change your mentality and not be so hard on yourself when, if your eyes, you’ve failed. Another is to keep trying. The more often you do something, the more likely you are to stick to it. You also have to want to do it. A sure-fire way of resenting what you do and not accomplishing it is doing it purely for other people. If you don’t want it then your heart will not be in it and you will never really be happy with anything you do.
Last year, instead of resolving to lose weight, I thought “it would be really nice if I lost one stone (14lbs) by the end of the year” and then put in effort to do so by changing what and when I ate, making sure I was within the recommended guidelines for calorie intake, sugar intake etc. If I had said “I will lose weight” it would’ve seemed an impossible task as I had vowed to do so before and it had never worked therefore I would quit by week two or by the end of the month. By trying and not being so hard on myself (allowing myself to be fine with knowing that it’s OK to “fail” or have days/periods of time where I was more lenient), not only did I lose one stone (14lbs), I – at the time of writing this – have lose a total of 4 stone 10lbs (66lbs) with only 4lbs to go until I have lost a total of 5 stone (70lbs) and I am now two dress sizes smaller in both my top and bottom halves.
I said I would try to maintain a blog (win) and to relaunch my other passion project (double win). I wanted to do a lot more writing last year  - 25 stories to be exact - and by setting aside some time each day/each week I accomplished that plus more.

This year my goals are to:

Continue to try to lose weight as well as tone up. I needed to do this for my own wellbeing/health but I also wanted to. I did it for me and not because other people told me to. I’ve always been big but I’ve also always been content with who I am as a person and have never seen why I should do what other people say just so that they’ll like me or so that I’ll be included in what they do. Why would I want to be friends with people who couldn’t see past my weight or who wouldn’t take me for who I am?

I want to be more open on my blog’s Twitter account with other projects that I do and what I lend my name to. I have a website that I think a lot of you will enjoy or will support me on and whilst I do promote it on Twitter, I don’t ever say “this is actually mine” as it has links to personal details of mine (my YouTube channel, my nickname etc) that I want to keep separate from the blog.

I want to read more books. I used to read 10+ books a week (not to brag but this was also when I had a social life and a full time job) and now I’m lucky if I read one a month. I’m aiming to finish my second of the year either this weekend (at the time of writing this it is Friday 26th January) or early next week (the week you’ll see this post) and to start a new one.

I want to write more. I have a goal of 25 stories to write by December. This is a goal I have been keeping annually over the last 4 or so years as part of my other project/website. It started out with just writing enough for ten days and I’ve now built it up to span over 25 days from December 1st up to and including Christmas Day.

I really want to keep questioning why I feel the way I do when I have a bad day and to not let others make me feel bad.

Finally, I want to keep saving up for when I eventually move out and keep buying in smaller items so that when I do, I just need to think about the bigger items like furniture and carpeting.

What are your goals for this year/in the long term?

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