Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Wish and a Prayer

Well today is 1-1-2010. It's that time again. Time to make promises to myself that I fully INTEND to keep, but rapidly fall away from and then feel guilty about for a few weeks. After a month or so, those "resolutions" are but a cobweb of memory. In my family we have a little saying..."for YOU, it's going to be different!" You know, this year, I hope that it WILL be different in so many ways, but history is not on my side so much.

Once or twice a year I fervently scour the PEOPLE magazine issue devoted to folks who have managed to (A) keep their resolutions by (B) dieting down to half their original size. I look at how they did it. Pour over the befores and afters. Scan the comparison charts of diet plans and say to myself, "gee, why couldn't that be ME, too?" This has me wondering why in fact, it hasn't BEEN me that has had this kind of success. There are a wealth of self-help books out there that supposedly can show me the way. I've read many of them, actually. And diet books too. THey all look doable, but not so much fun, you know? All those charts and the counting and introspection. Yikes. I think perhaps this is why those books just don't help. It's too much. And doesn't get to what motivates a person to get off their butt and make a change in their life.

It occurs to me that to have success you have to have a bit of fun with the process. With respect to diet and exercise, I have yet to see a program out there that makes doing exercise or dieting either "fun" in any kind of way. Both are hard work, and finding the motivation to "Just Do It" as the Nike ad proclaims, is difficult, even with compelling reasons to try. (Like health issues, or upcoming family or social events with photos involved). So in order to get the results (for ME, it's going to be different...) I have to think up a way to make the whole thing rather fun and/or interesting. That means that success is a highly personal endeavor and really can't be just taught in a book or diet journal, no matter what the cover art proclaims.

And while I am talking about a major goal of weight loss (don't we all, after the indulgent, cookie-stuffed holidays?), really I think the fun factor applies to any resolution made. I've heard a saying somewhere, the gist of which is "a goal without a plan is just a wish". So my plan is to get to the goal by having fun with it. OK. So the next question is, how in the heck can exercise be fun? Good question. Still working on that one, actually. Dance? Music? Doing it with a friend/commiserator? Maybe all of the above. Who knows? That's the planning part of this. I'm good at planning/organizing. Why not this too?

I have other goals, besides the usual January resolve to FINALLY lose the weight and be in the best shape of my life. Most of these revolve around getting further organized, but I think I'm doing mostly ok on that score. Maybe uncluttered a bit. My bigger ambitions this year are more aligned with lifelong (well, perhaps the last 15 years) goals of writing a book. I have two stories I'm wanting to work on, so I do have a "plan" in some respects. Working on a blog has been a good start to get the fingers moving, and hence, part of that "planning" stage.

So my January is shaping up to be rather full of resolve, some solid planning and thinking up ways to make getting to the goals both interesting (i.e., less "work") and entertaining/fun. Because this year I really don't want my goals to become cobwebs, forgotten in some little-traveled corner. For me, it WILL be different. I may not make the cover of PEOPLE next year after shedding half of myself, but I think I can get closer. And that's all good with me. Happy New Year!

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