Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Fresh Start

Here in Winnipeg, we woke up to a light blanket of fresh new snow on New Year's Day morning. A new start to a brand new year! What we do with that new start is up to us.

Many people make New Year's resolutions and by now many have already broken those resolutions, but that doesn't mean that the whole year is a failure or that we shouldn't try again. On the contrary, few people succeed on the first try at a resolution.

The most common New Year's resolutions are to quit smoking, loose weight and get fit. All these and countless other resolutions are achievable IF the person is mentally prepared to actually follow through when the day to day life stresses and triggers get in the way of success.

Resolutions can often be self defeating. It's the end of a long year and everyone wants to know what your New Year's resolutions are and how you plan to follow through. If you haven't made any, you sometimes feel compelled to say you have and then to actually try and do something about them even if you haven't really felt ready or willing to. It can be a lot of pressure. To really make changes in your life you have to be mentally and emotionally ready to except the challenges for even simple resolutions.

I quit making New Year's resolutions years ago. I found it just too stressful and overwhelming to follow through. You are just coming off a month of holiday parties and get together's, the bills are all coming in and it's way to cold (here in Winnipeg anyway) to get out and do things. January is a month to hibernate and be reflective. It is the month to figure out what you want and how to achieve it.

When I started loosing weight in 2000, it was mid March when I got my first piece of fitness equipment and slowly started a workout routine. I'd known for a long time that I needed to do something, but I wasn't ready. I needed time to figure out what would work the best for my needs. I spent a lot of time researching what types of fitness equipment would be effective, fit in my living room and be affordable. This was a major investment emotionally, physically and financially. I didn't want to mess it up.

Now, my philosophy of waiting isn't suitable for everyone, nor should it be considered as procrastination. You have to know yourself and what your strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to changes in your life and surroundings. Some people dive right in and figure it out as they go. Some of us prefer to do a little or a lot of preparation and then take action. The preparation can be a great learning tool in itself.

Regardless of what your resolutions are or when you make them, the key is that you actually try and follow through on that fresh start.

"What if I fail?", you ask.

Life happens and you shouldn't beat yourself up or give up. If you fail, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and remember that tomorrow is another day and that is another fresh start. It is another opportunity to get out and explore and experience life!


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