It’s that time of year again when, stuffed from the frolics and festivities of Christmas, some of us fiercely, with a gung-ho, all-or-nothing attitude, embark on making New Years resolutions in a bid to improve some area of our lives in the brand new year.
This is not a new phenomena though. The act of making resolutions goes back a long way. It is believed to stem from the Babylonians who made promises to their gods at the start of each year to repay debts and return borrowed objects. Romans also began each year by making promises to the god Janus – to which the month of January takes its name.
Back to the future…
The most common resolutions people make at this time of year come as no real surprise to me. According to current research, the top 5 new year resolutions people make are:
- Look after/maintain fitness and health
- Lose weight
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Spend less, save more
- Spend more time with family and friends.
Personally, I’ve never really gone in for making resolutions in January. If I’ve decided to improve on an area of my life I have always just done it, regardless of the time of year. Not waited for January’s permission. My niggle with resolutions is people generally go at them full throttle at the start of January, only to have run out of steam two weeks later because they’re not sustainable.
They can also be really vague: “I want to lose weight”…How much? In what timeframe? How are you going to do it? – You get the point. Like any goal, they need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely.
For example, what is it you want to achieve? How will you measure your success? How will you achieve it? Is it realistic for you to succeed in achieving it? What timeframe will you put on that goal?
Blue, blue electric blue…
Ironically, and unbeknownst to me at the time of writing, today is ‘Blue Monday’. The dreaded day of the new year where everyone is glum and blue because they realise a) they’re skint after Christmas and b) 2 weeks in – they’ve already ditched their resolutions and thus failed! Oh, the irony!
However, I will admit: I do get the concept of a ‘new year, fresh start’ mentality. It motivates many to make changes for the better and, hey, whatever works. This is where I am currently at. I have been on my ‘wellness journey’ for quite some time now, trying out all manner of exercise, fitness and wellbeing activities in a bid to self-improve. So my resolution, if that’s what you want to call it, is to continue on this journey of becoming her…the ‘Oh Fabulous Me’ whom I strive to be.
A good read.
He states that by creating a balance between the four pillars. Those being relaxation, food, sleep and movement, we can create and maintain good health, longevity and avoid illness. After reading it, it all makes a lot of sense. It’s not a new concept by any means, although having it all in one book does have its benefits. If we all employed just some of these simple strategies our NHS might not be in so much trouble… Just a thought.
Back to timing…
We’re often told we should be eating seasonally. It’s better for our bodies and the environment. But did it ever occur to you that nature may hold the key to our resolutions too?
Mother nature always has the answers.
Think about it: Autumn is the perfect time for reflection. To think about all areas of your life; what you’ve achieved thus far and what you would like to improve upon. I believe it’s to do with the natural cycle of shedding the dead leaves and winding down for the oncoming winter.
Winter is when, evolutionarily, we are predisposed to storing calories for survival – not taking up new diets and fitness challenges! Then there’s hibernation, of course. Those bitter cold blizzards and winds leave us harking for cosiness (like the Danish and their Hygge).
Enter Spring, and the milder, more clement climate it brings which inspires us to shake off our winter doldrums and grab life by the proverbials! This could be the perfect time for taking up new challenges and lifestyle changes – ready to embrace the glorious, brighter summer months ahead…
…and then it starts all over again. We only have to look to nature and her seasons to discover inspiration for change.
Make that change.
So when is the right time to make resolutions or implement that strategy for change? Whenever you feel the need to make a change, then I believe that is the right time to do it, for you. We’re all different so what suits one won’t suit another. But I’d urge you, once you decide to make a change, to act immediately before your brain talks you out of it.
Don’t be afraid of change
Feeling fear is only your body producing adrenaline to prepare you to do something incredible. Think about this: ultimately, your life comes down to your decisions. Decide to do something, then do it. Don’t procrastinate. From the moment we’re born we are dying, so live each moment. Act upon your decision there and then. Take control of your life. Whatever time of year it is. Be Fierce. Don’t waste your time. How often have you heard the phrase “You only get one life…’?
This brings me on to something I have been both inspired and blown away by in equal measures, since the first time I heard it.
Over the years I have listed to several of the TED Talks presentations. This is a platform where speakers deliver ideas and inspirational talks. They’re really worth checking out. I watched one particular talk and it left me firing on all 4 cylinders! It literally blew my mind! I was so motivated that, even while out running – when my brain was having its usual conversation with my legs: telling them they were tired and should quit, I remembered this fact and it spurred me on to run longer and faster than I ever had before!
So what made me move?
In this talk, an incredibly motivating lady (I think it was Mel Robbins but I could be wrong, it was a few years back) discussed a fact she had recently come across. Here I’ll share it with you:
Scientists have discovered the chance of you being born is 1:400,000,000,000. That is 1 in 400 trillion! Wow! Think about it. 1 in 400 trillion… say it out loud. That is truly staggering. Yet YOU made it – against those odds! YOU MADE IT!
1 in 400 trillion
That leads me to a question: Now that you know that particular fact – the almost impossible chance that you were born (remember 1 in 400 trillion!) – what will you do with YOUR chance? Don’t let it be wasted. With those odds, your life is far too precious. And you know you only get one. So set some goals then smash the living daylights out of them! Make a plan of action and act upon it within the first 5 seconds or you will never feel as motivated to do it again. Don’t hit the snooze button on your life – take control now! Be top dog!
If ever you need a reminder of just how fabulous and unique you really are, just remember this simple, but inspiring fact: 1 in 400 Trillion.
Now get out there and smash it!