Alright folks, get your hearts and minds ready. Dr. Hathaway is back with more snarky mom jokes, science truth bombs, and terrible grammar, just in time to ring in the New Year! Who’s ready for 2020?!?!?
Its December 31st and I’m sure you’ve already started planning your New Year’s Resolutions. What’s it going to be this year? Hitting the gym 5 days a week, cutting out all traces of sugar, eating 3 salads a day, spending every Wednesday with your mom, no more yelling at the kids? Whatever it is, I’m sure you are going to crush that shizznit for about 6 days, and then the wheels are going to fall off, the Oreos are coming out and the shame train will run its way through your life, again, CHOO CHOOOOOO…. sound familiar?
Why do we do this to ourselves?? Why do we wait until January 1st to decide we want to be a better version of ourselves, make these ridiculously lofty goals with no plan as to how we can achieve them, just to beat ourselves up for the rest of the year because we didn’t make it?
Lets make one, and only one New Years Resolution this year?? You ready for it? We are doing this together…. drum roll please……
Progress, Not Perfection!
I know, I know, its not very glamorous, or sexy, and its not gonna sound all that great in the office break room when Larry is spouting off his fancy resolutions. But hear me out on this one. (Larry is a jerk anyway and you know he’ll never manage to go more than 2 days without Diet Coke)
Why do we fail at keeping our New Years Resolutions? Well, I think comes down to one of three reasons.
- #1 – We bite off way more than we can chew. (Lose 100 pounds by Spring break, write a 500 page book when we’ve never written an essay) we pick something that sounds amazing, but is way outside what is realistic or achievable.
- #2 – We choose something we aren’t actually invested in, but sounds fancy to impress our friends. (no more single use plastics, go Vegan, bench press 250lbs) unless you are truly committed, you’ll never stick with it.
- #3 – We take and All-or-Nothing approach. (Eat zero added sugar, No swear words, Never leave dishes in the sink) and then, when we mess up once, we say F*** it and throw in the towel for the rest of the year.
So instead, I propose you choose some small area of your life that could use some improvements and vow to embrace the process, start loving the journey rather than dreaming about the glitzy finish line. Don’t get me wrong, I love lofty, over the top, audacious goals. I love dreamers and the Big Dreams they come up with. I have big dreams for my life too! But I want you to start appreciating the little wins, the little moves you make in the right direction, so that you are less likely to crash and burn and give up when times get tough.
When I decided to run a half marathon in 2019 I had never run more than 3 miles before, ever, but it sounded fancy and hard and like something I could brag about later, (and there was wine involved which is how most of my best/bad decisions are made). But here’s the secret, I hated running! Every training run was a chore, I dreaded the weekend when my long runs were scheduled. It wasn’t until the week before the race, when I literally told my husband I was giving up because everything hurt and I hated it so much, that I finally had a breakthrough. My good friend is a triathlete so I called her in a panic, “how am I going to finish? I can’t do this, its too far…” She told me some of the best advice I’ve ever heard. “Stop focusing on the finish line, stop picturing that 13.1 miles, and start appreciating the journey, one mile at a time”.
“Stop focusing on the finish line and start appreciating the journey.”
She recommended I run/walk, who says you have to run the whole time? Who says you have to be 100% on plan, on your A game the whole time? Just you! You make up the rules. No one who has every achieved anything great, has Been Great every single day of the process. There will be good days and bad, so just give yourself grace and push through the bad days, even if that means you have to walk for a while. And even when you drink too much Gatorade at mile 12.5 and you throw up in front of 200 people, wipe your dang mouth and Just Keep Moving!!
She told me to take pictures, selfies, and celebrate every mile on the race route and cheer on the other competitors like they are your best friends. You got up this morning and made a plan to make your life better, so every time you make a move in the right direction, celebrate it! Commemorate the 2 pounds lost with a selfie instead of waiting until you’ve lost 100. Give yourself a high five when you’ve gone 3 days without cursing, you are crushing this! Just reorganized your closet that you’ve needed to do for 2 years, throw a parade you are a Queen!! Everyone loves a good pat on the back, so the more you cheer on your friends and family the more they will help you Celebrate the Little Wins!!
And finally she reminded me to Thank every volunteer, every water cup hander-outer, every supporter along the way and to be grateful for the process and the progress you have made. Meeting your goals will require the help and support of those around you, a lot of luck, and if you are inclined to believe, the grace of God. So start saying thank you like its your job! Especially to the guy coming out of the porta-potty for putting the seat down, tip of the hat to you sir! Never miss an opportunity to write down the little things you are thankful for and Practice Gratitude Every Day!
So there it is. Your formula for a great 2020! Seems simple enough right? You can do this, you are a rock star!!! And Larry is cool too, good luck to him on cutting out Diet Coke, that stuff is terrible for you. 😉
Progress Not Perfection
- Just keep moving in the right direction and if you slip and fall, get the heck back up and start again.
- Celebrate the little wins along the way with gusto and sincerity, both for yourself and the people around you.
- Write down what you are grateful for every day, and thank the people who are helping you reach your goals.