It’s pretty common knowledge that most people don’t stick to their New Year’s resolutions. Usually, I’m right there with those that have the best intentions, but fall off the wagon just a few weeks in. This time around though, I am happy to say that three months into the new year, my resolutions are still ringing true for me. In fact, the two mantras I had pinpointed as my “themes” for the year (Good enough is good enough, and Be gentle with yourself) are ideas I still think about almost daily.
Lately, though, this idea of being gentle with myself has taken a slight twist. While I still definitely need to remember to be gentle with myself and that good enough is good enough, I’ve started to realize that, in life, there is also a place for pushing oneself. For striving. For achieving. And for setting tough goals. I started to consider this contradiction. I want to be more gentle with myself, but in light of some new goals I’ve set, I also need to be a little tough on myself (more about that in a minute). Then as I was reading one of my favourite books The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, I found a quote that summed this up perfectly. Rubin states. “There is a constant tug between striving and accepting… there is a time for both pursuing and accepting.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Recently, I’ve jumped back on the “getting healthy” bandwagon. I’ve started working out (3-4 times per week), re-joined Weight Watchers, and started the same Learn to Run program I had so much success with in the past. This, of course, can’t happen without a little self discipline and hard work. In other words, I have to be a little tough on myself. I have to tell myself no when the cookies and cakes are calling my name and I have to push myself to lace up my sneakers and get my workout in, when I’d rather be lounging on the couch. I have to skip the junk food aisle in the grocery store, and stock up on fruits and veggies instead. I have to go to the gym when I’d rather be sipping hot cocoa and blogging. It’s definitely not easy and if I’m too gentle on myself, I’ll be diving into the closest chip bag and subsisting on pizza before we know it.
That being said, in retrospect I truly believe that one of the reasons I gained all of my weight back (after losing 65 lbs.) is that I wasn’t gentle on myself last time. Every time I slipped up, fell of program, or indulged just a little too much, I’d become so upset with myself that I’d quit altogether. I was resentful because I felt like I had to be “good” all the time to lose weight. (And there certainly wasn’t room for pizza when I’m being “good”.) So this time around, while I have to push myself, I know I also have to be gentle on myself. Some days I’ll eat healthy, workout, and feel amazing and strong. Other days, I’ll stay in my pyjamas, eat junk food, and feel……. Guilt-free.
All this, of course, is called balance which ironically is another one of my “themes” for 2016. When I chose “balance”, I was focussed more on letting go of my over-achieving, perfectionist ways and making more room for rest and relaxation. But now I’m starting to truly understand what balance means. It means that there’s still a place for pushing myself. There’s still a place for striving, achieving, working hard, saying no when you want to say yes, and being just a little bit of a perfectionist. But there’s also a time for being gentle. For accepting that I will make mistakes, that not all days will be perfect, and that at the end of the day, life all is about balance and I’m finally starting to figure that out.
How are you doing with your 2016 resolutions?