Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Celebrating a New Year with a 500th Post!

I signed into my dashboard this morning and realized that WOW- this is my 500th post!  It took me back for a minute because it felt a little momentous.  I decided to look back on some of my old posts and found some small surprises and some bigger things to reflect upon that have re-shaped my goals and "resolutions" for the coming year.

One of the biggest surprises that I found was that I have managed to meet as many goals as have gone unmet.  You may wonder why that is a surprise.  It's because we- okay I- tend to make our failings so much bigger in our lives than they need to be. Think about New Year's Resolutions for a moment.  How many times have you heard (or said) "I don't make resolutions, I never keep them anyway" ?  How many times have you fallen off your diet, been unable to quit smoking, stopped going to the gym and turned it into "I will never be able to lose the weight/quit smoking/get in shape/whatever!"  I am guilty of ALL of these- and then I beat myself up for a month or twelve and go on with my "bad" habits for another long stretch of time.  If the collective "we" can beat ourselves up over our failings for a good long time- why is it that when "we" meet a goal we don't celebrate for an equally long time?  Now- I don't mean that in order to celebrate our wins we have to shout it from the rooftops. We need to celebrate internally.  So here's my first "goal" for 2013.  My goal is to stop beating myself up and celebrate my successes big and small.  It means that when I look in the mirror, instead of thinking (EVERY. SINGLE. TIME)  "God, you REALLY need to lose weight!" I will change that to: " You ate really well today/drank all of your water/didn't lose it when you could have/etc.  WAY TO GO!"  Perhaps by re-framing the way I look at myself and my day I can, not only find even more to be grateful for, but also end my dread of the mirror.

Another thing that I found in looking back at the older posts was how the things I felt were "big" things at the time did not have as long lasting impact as the "little" things.  A good example of that is my Josh's visits.  I cannot tell you how excited I get when he is coming to visit! I miss my son so very much and when he is coming to spend time with us it just fills me with anticipation.  And then he arrives.  We have a wonderful time- and I cherish every minute of it- but in the back of my mind is always a countdown until he leaves again.  It tinges this terrific event with a little disappointment and regret.  It's always over too soon and as soon as he's gone home again, it's a huge let down.  On the other hand, we talk on the phone almost every day and while I do not by any stretch of the imagination take that for granted, it's not until I really think about it that I realize how very special that is.  In the big picture, it is so much more important that we talk regularly and that we make the point to connect and keep one another up on what is going on in our lives than that we have the...obligatory(?)...in person visit.  I came to this realization when I was thinking about my beloved Granny.  Some of my favorite vacations were to spend a week with her but there were a LOT of years that I was unable to go visit and I wished that I could have.  In retrospect though, we made it a point to talk almost every single week.  One of us called the other- barring travel- every Saturday morning and visited for at least a few minutes for many years.  While the week-long visits were lovely, it's those phone calls that were so much more important.  My second goal for 2013 is to maintain important connections. It's as easy as making a list of those that you want to reach out to and putting it on your calendar.  It doesn't cost anything to pick up the phone.  A card only takes a few minutes to mail- and how much fun is it to receive mail that isn't bills? It literally takes seconds to send a message via Facebook or Twitter and only a few minutes to drop an email.  The "payoff" is that I will have made time to reach out to and let the people in my life know that they are important to me.

Yet another realization in the look back is that it's okay- no- it's mandatory- to start over again and again until we get things right.  Looking back on those resolutions to lose weight, to quit smoking, to get in shape and how quickly they go out the window I think to something that I learned in Weight Watchers years ago.  We were talking about how we "blow it" by overindulging and then give up and she pointed out that just because we have a high fat-high calorie meal, just because we smoke one cigarette, just because we skip a session at the gym- it doesn't mean that we can or should give up!  A momentary failing is only that, one moment in time.  It doesn't have to derail all of our efforts.  It kind of goes back to the whole beating-ourselves-up thing in that we feel like we have failed- from one little mistake- and give up.  Not just on our goals- but on ourselves in the process.  My third goal for 2013 is to begin again as soon as I make a mis-step.  No more kicking myself and using a mistake as an excuse to quit.  Instead- if I have a "bad" meal- it will be a bad MEAL- not a bad DAY.  If I have - say, donuts for breakfast- I will start over again with eating on plan at lunch rather than telling myself "Well- today's blown, guess I will start again tomorrow".        Waiting for tomorrow is what got me to where I am.  It's time to live in today.

That's it for today.  I have more goals that I will be working toward this year- but it's time to do something for myself and take a nap!  I wish each of you a wonderful, healthy and happy 2013.  We have the power to make it great!

1 comment:

Jim Durham said...

Julie -- Great post! Thanks for sharing your 2013 goals with us. It's always a nice reminder to know that others are also working for goals. I recently wrote a blog post about Gratitude, and what that means for the Holiday season. If you're interested in reading my work: http://jimdurham.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/gratitude-is/