Many of us make New Year’s Resolutions. People resolve to lose weight, save money, quit smoking, and many more. If I had to guess, I would estimate less than 10% achieve their goals. Much of that has to do with setbacks. The person trying to lose weight has a bad day eating, so they quit. The person trying to save money bought an expensive shirt, so what’s another shirt? One cigarette at a social outing? Well, that person might as well just keep smoking.
That’s not how it’s done. I’ve made my share of New Year’s Resolutions. And I have failed. I think that it has to do with commitment, obviously, but I also believe that people need to recognize it as a lifestyle change and not a resolution. Through years of failure, people have come to look at New Year’s Resolutions as laughable because no one keeps them. Everyone’s pants are on fire.
In 2013 I wanted to write consistently. It was hard work, but I write almost every day now. Almost every day for a year! I’ve written two books in the past year. Granted, neither of them are done yet, but I have kept up with writing daily. I knew the importance of committing to it. I had to make it part of my lifestyle. I have days that I skip. Some days, I’ll admit, I just don’t feel like it or I’m sick or too tired. But I don’t QUIT. That’s the difference. Many authors would say it shouldn’t matter and no matter how I feel, I should write every day. Everyone is different. This works for me.
In 2012 my husband and I went on Weight Watchers. After a successful P90X round in 2009, we started to lax again on our eating and working out habits. I started Weight Watchers in February 2012 and my husband joined me a month or so later. I lost about 22 pounds or so and worked out five days a week. He lost a little over 30 and did the same. In July 2013 he added running to his habits and was running 3 days a week. He has woken up at 5 AM every day since July to work out Monday – Friday. I believe he even does a small workout Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Me, on the other hand, well I’ve gained about 9 pounds back of what I lost. The problem was commitment. I focused so much on my writing, especially in November during NaNoWriMo, that I pushed my health to the back. Over the holidays, I stuffed my face. You might as well have called me the Cookie Monster.
I look at my husband every day. I love the way his body looks. He has come so far an he has SO MUCH to be proud of. It made me start thinking about 2012 when I was on Weight Watchers. I was eating healthier and I loved working out. The feeling I had after a workout was incredible. I felt great about myself and sexy. I could have spent every day in a tank top and yoga pants. I was no supermodel, but I FELT like it.
So in 2014, I am changing my lifestyle. I LOVE my writing. It is a passion I have had since I was young. I plan to keep writing. Daily if I can. I plan on putting out a book this year and finishing a first draft of another, and participate (and win!) NaNoWriMo in November. But first, my health. I need to be healthy. I need to feel good about myself. I’m not fat. But I’m not thin. And I’m NOT healthy.
As I started out this morning, my stomach was rumbling. I know from when I did Weight Watchers, that’s just my body adjusting to not grabbing a handful of pretzels every hour or a Tootsie Roll. I’ll get used to it. I also plan on (trying) to cut out my afternoon coffee. We’ll see how that goes.
All I can tell you is that if I view it as a lifestyle change and I commit to it – I CAN DO IT. I’ve done it before. And I have to stick with it. Chances are, by becoming more healthy, I’ll even write better!
In case you’re wondering, I already did my workout today 🙂 And it was AMAZING.