2017. It’s arrived and already the days are ticking past. 2016 was a busy and an equally slow year for me, but 2017 is already shaping up to be a lot busier.
It is then that the word “Resolutions” has crept up on me too. That word that can spell for many certain failure and for others focus their minds and keep them on the right track.
If no goals are set in this life we wander. I know this because “I have wandered”. The experience of living where life will lead me has been amazing. It is at the same time unfocused and to have focus and clarity, one needs to goal set.
The thing that puzzles me so often is why we as humans feel the need to ‘wait’ for a certain time to start something. Wait until tomorrow, or wait to start on Monday or wait to begin in the New Year.
To me that seems so off kilter to an existential life. If I want to live my life for all its worth, knowing that there is only one chance at this experience, why do I want to put off starting something til tomorrow?
The logic, as you can see, is really pointless and highlights to a deeper issue… It’s known as procrastination.
Perhaps this is because we just don’t know how to start, or we have a fear of starting or it requires so much more effort to start that by convincing ourselves that we can ‘Start’ at a later date will in some way give us extra strength.
The Longer the Larger
The longer we put something off, the larger the task becomes. Lets take the most common of resolutions at New Year – Fitness!
If it is October and you decide that, “In the New Year, I will get Fit again,” you have given permission to yourself to eat whatever you like till January. The additional eating will make you gain weight, eat unhealthy food and drink too much sugar and possibly alcohol.
As each month passes, you feel more lethargic and also more concerned that you will begin to get fit, that by January, you are more overweight and in worse health than you were three months before.
In January when you try to start getting fit, it takes more effort to move your body, you tire quicker and by the end of week 3 you are back to normal, feeling like a failure and saying that it isn’t for you.
How about looking at this a different way for your health. If you are concerned about your fitness, start today, start now, by resolving to get fit. Not tomorrow, not next week, not at the start of the month!
The Time of NOW
Get and walk up and down some steps till you feel out of breath, go for a 20 minute walk around the park, walk to the shops to buy just one carton of milk!
There is nothing special to getting fit except that you now need to find ways to give your body as much chance at health as possible. Walk to the next bus stop along your route and catch it from there. Get off two stops earlier and walk the rest of the way.
When you make the start, it wont matter that you don’t have all the information for cardiorespiratory health and fitness exercises. You won’t need to know that to be fit you need to keep your heart rate above a certain limit for a set time to see the benefits. You are just doing it now! You started today!
When you are quietly sitting tonight watching the TV, do a little research on what foods you could swap out of your diet for more healthy alternatives. Learn about the effects of food and alcohol and begin to improve your diet.
Learn as you go!
Here is the lesson then. Resolutions are only there as a marketing gimmick. Most shops will support some kind of resolution that everyone is trying to do at the New Year. They will try to sell some useless product for you to spend your hard-earned money on. Which will then sit in the corner and never be used again.
A true resolution starts with you making the decision and starting as soon as you can! It is like the joke teaches us:
How do you eat an Elephant?
One spoon full at a time!
Any resolution, decision, goal that is to be set, always starts with one spoonful! If you can only walk from your chair to the front door and back, walk to the chair and the front door and back twice. You don’t need to go for a full on marathon run today!
The same was true for my experience of writing. When I started out writing on Latent Lifestyle, all I wanted to do was talk about how we can experience the real world and enjoy every moment we have alive.
I didn’t know much about posting on a blog, writing a book or how to even put a picture together. Today when I look back at some of those posts, those pictures look simplistic, but it helped me get to where I am right now.
In a year I have helped other people with their sites, started a podcast, spoken to people I never knew I would speak too, as well as travelled to amazing places.
I watched the stars come out in the middle of a forest with no one else around and stood on the white cliffs of the South Downs National Park, UK.
It has been amazing, and all because I decided to take a small step and type in ‘How to write online’.
This New Year will hold many experiences for you, but you need to be out there to experience them. Take the first step to doing something you have wanted to do right now.
Not, “I’ll start after I have this last bar of chocolate”.
Not, “I’ll start after I watch the next episode of …”.
Then do it regularly and build it into your day. Everyday if possible.
For me, I resolve to be a better writer this year. To meet more people and to see more places in this beautiful world. I’m off to do one of those things now – I am off to write another page of the book I started last year!
All the best for 2017.