This last week of every year starts my mind thinking through what I want in the coming year. Being someone who admittedly is “Always Starting…” I don’t need a New Year to start again. In my dieting days it was a Monday that would be the “start” and of course the ultimate for all large weight-loss goals was always New Years Day. The issue was admittedly that it meant that the days leading up to the Monday or New Years Day would be an all-out binge! It is with this this theme that I offer a “Life as I see it” moment or two for you to think on in the next week.
First in determining what those goals should be is defining your priorities. I have numerous priorities in my life but interesting as it might be to admit it those will get pushed to the side when they are too hard, I am too tired, someone needs me to be/do something else…or…SQUIRREL! How can something be a priority and not take center-stage every minute of every day?
In my life there are a number of things that I regard as priority; health, family, career and then everything else that does not fit into one of those buckets comes in behind…or does it. When it’s hard, not fun or simply not offering immediate pleasure, priorities become last on the list. I struggle with this first point because I do it all too often. Let me share…
- Running is a priority because it keeps me healthy both physically and mentally. I don’t love getting up in the morning to run yet because my evening schedule can be admittedly unpredictable evening runs are not realistic. What I can control to make sure this priority has its place in my life is to get up early enough to make it happen insuring that nothing gets in the way, but..it is not ideal. I just admitted that I don’t “love” it…
Priorities are important regardless of time and like. I don’t like apples more than cookies but if I want to be healthy I have to choose the apple. Make sure your priorities “serve you” in the right ways, of course as you define.
Second is establishing a routine. In order to make anything a “priority” you have to establish a routine which creates the habit and makes it a reality. Many of our routines are automatic, like getting ready in the morning. I promise that if you put my routine on tape you would see me trace the exact same steps every single morning. This routine was created without thought and is simply the path I follow without thinking to get ready for the day. It might be the reason that when trying to fit something new into that routine, especially the mindless routines, the “add-on” can feel arduous.
Third is a mix of tolerance and leniency, after all we do what we do, set the goals that we set because they “serve us” however when they do not, we must “meet ourselves where we are” in that moment and for that moment. Our priorities and routines require both tolerance and leniency as life is going to get in the way and when it does we must relent for that moment without throwing the entire plan down the drain. The best example of this is in dieting. I cannot count on five million hands how many times I was headstrong into a diet and then found myself throwing the entire effort to the side because I “messed up”. One cookie does not have to create a binge…but it did. It’s that mentality of perfection that “if I don’t do it perfect every minute of the day then…” the whole thing goes down the drain. In what world does this make sense? Moderation, should likely be added to this list as “everything in moderation” is also key to living our best lives.
I am going to write my New Years Resolutions over the next week. I am also going to practice doing exactly what I say I am going to do and determining new routines to make sure those things I define as priorities find their place in my life. I will remind myself that when life gets in the way, it is a temporary fork in the road and not a permanent detour.
I think the best way to conclude is to remind that you can have the life you want if you are willing to do the work. What is in that life? What are the priorities? What does a day in that life look like? What ultimately do you have to sacrifice to have that life? Sleep, cookies, TV…?
Define it, Own it and then be rewarded by the fruits of your labor by living your BEST life. Life as I attempt it – L.