My husband laughs at me when I make New Year’s Resolutions. Alright, he actually sneers. It’s got to the point where it’s easier to just keep them to myself. To be fair, I can understand it. I don’t have a great track record when it comes to following through with grand plans. Like most people creatives, I’m a bit of day dreamer and I’m easily seduced by the latest health, fitness and diet crazes. I’m 100% on board at the beginning and then life work kids my lack of willpower tends to get in the way and I revert to daydreaming, which is why my expensive specially-fitted running shoes are still unmarked. We’re talking boxfresh, people.
So here I am again. Here we are again. 2014 is officially the year that I lose that pesky stone and take exercise seriously. You might think I’m going to tell you that this year I really mean it, that I’m not going to fail again. But actually, I didn’t totally suck at 2013.
Here’s how my last year’s resolutions panned out:
ACHIEVE A BETTER WORK/LIFE BALANCE
A bit too vague, no? Being self-employed and delivering the same income month-in and month-out to the family pot is quite the challenge. As my business has grown, I’ve found it almost impossible at times, not to give into that feeling of nagging anxiety…which leads to sleepless nights…which leads to working more hours…which leads to exhaustion…which leads to poor creative performance…which leads to nagging anxiety. You can see the pattern there, right?
This year, I resolved to do just one thing. Which was to work no more than 2 nights per week, and only after the kids had gone to bed. By and large I achieved it. But doing that one thing has led to lots of other things.
I’ve had lots of lovely chatty meals with my husband (hello stranger!), lots of after-school fun with the kids where I’m entirely present and not even thinking about work, and purposefully disconnecting from social media at weekends. Essentially, not working when I shouldn’t be has become a habit. Two whole weeks resting and relaxing at Christmas was wonderfully relaxing this year, when last year it felt like going cold turkey.
TRANSFORM MYSELF INTO A HEALTHY-EATING TONED GODDESS
Aaargh! Yes, of course that was a completely unrealistic resolution and very non-specific. When I pulled on my pristine running shoes this week, for a moment I thought ‘failed again you loser’. But the thing is, I didn’t entirely fail in this area last year. I made one small change, a baby step in fact, but over the course of last year, I made some significant progress.
I bought a juicer. Doesn’t that smack of jumping on a bandwagon? Following a trend? Being doomed to fail? I bet you’re wondering if my juicer is sitting at the back of a cupboard, gathering dust. Well, my friends, it is not. My juicer is my best friend. I have an intimate relationship with the Juicemaster, Jason Vale (in that I bought his apps).
I have lost a stone, leaving me with one more to go. Boom! One small change (a juice every morning) kickstarted some healthier eating all round. Once you’ve had a glowing green mean juice for breakfast, eating rubbish later on feels plain wrong.
And the exercise? It was sporadic. A bit of swimming, both in the pool and in the sea. A spate of running around the springtime (Couch to 5K app anyone?) and then a steady decline until Christmas. Quite poor.
Some success, some failure. My biggest lesson is that doing just one small things can have big consequences. So what’s my one thing this year? I’m going to learn to run, properly. And I’m going to run with friends. Exercising doesn’t have to end in embarrassment and failure. I’ve started, I’m so stiff I can barely walk, but I’m just doing one thing.