2016 went by so quickly that it’s hard for me to actually believe it’s over. I guess I say that every year, and the older I get the more true it is. If I had to change anything about this year, I would have been more focused on my weight loss during the second half. Or really the last quarter. I was focused on personal growth, but not really my physical health. I didn’t lose any weight, and between Thanksgiving and Christmas I gained a few pounds, which was something I definitely didn’t want to do.
It may have been stress related, due to changing jobs and having more responsibilities, but I really think it all came down to focus. As much as I want to, I can’t split my focus into twenty different directions. I need to streamline and prioritize. This is something I will be working on in 2017 for sure.
This time last year, I didn’t have a blog, didn’t really know what blogging was, even. Last Spring, I decided I wanted to focus on my writing. I wrote myself a note that said, “If you are a writer, then you should be writing.” A few weeks later, I came across a Pinterest article about how to start a blog, and I knew that was what I needed to do to get my story out there. The message that weight loss and healthy eating is a lifestyle. That dieting is a repetitive cycle, and weight loss plans that offer quick solutions are just trying to make money off of the obesity epidemic.
Some of the best parts of 2016 for me, were realizing that I don’t have to be held back by my fears of not being able to do something. I can take the first step without seeing the whole path. I can do anything I put my mind to, so there is no reason for me to limit myself based on my old thoughts and beliefs about my abilities or my habits. I can change, I can grow, I can become a totally different person who doesn’t have any of that negative self talk or self doubt that I used to have. It’s not an easy task and I’m still working on it, but at one point in my life, I ever would have imagined I could have done it.
This time last year, I had lost a great deal of weight but I still felt horribly unhealthy. I had a sinus infection that lasted six weeks. I had gone through three or four courses of antibiotics. I had a bout of diverticulitis that was making me miserable, and was making it really difficult to eat the healthy foods I was accustomed to eating. I had had my most recent knee surgery in November, so I wasn’t really exercising yet.
I was taking lots of vitamins. I think I thought the vitamins would make me feel better.
What actually made me feel better was when I was able to start exercising, and when I started writing. The purging of my story and the knowledge that I was helping other people achieve their own, similar goals is what really gave me the added energy and boost I needed.
That, and the daily affirmations, telling myself that I am capable, confident, and strong. It comes down to a belief that I will achieve my goals that keeps me pursuing them daily.
Right now, I’m working on my resolutions for next year and I recommend you do the same. I’ll post mine on Friday, but in the meantime, here are my tips for writing yours and for getting yourself resolution ready for 2017.
Don’t write the resolutions that you think you’re supposed to write.
Write the ones you feel led to write. Basically, if you think you are supposed to write it, but it doesn’t mean anything to you than it’s just a throwaway and it will cheapen the rest of your resolutions. So if you write that you’ll pay of all of your debt, but your debt really isn’t a big deal to you and you have no intention of paying it off then don’t make it a resolution.
Don’t write too many resolutions.
Of course I’ll have 5 resolutions, because I always have 5 things on Fridays in case you hadn’t noticed. I just like the number 5. It’s a nice round number, not too many, not too few, and I can count them on one hand.
If you write too many, you may overwhelm yourself. Of course, maybe you just want one. That’s fine. Make it a good one, like giving up caffeine or fast food, or hitting your goal weight.
Make a plan to reach your resolutions and make it simple, doable, and tangible.
Don’t just say you are going to do something, say how you are going to do it. You don’t always have to know how you’ll achieve your goals. Sometimes we set goals and the plans fall into place later, but we at least need to have our first steps laid out for us. Resolutions are not long term goals like wanting to be the CEO of your company. They are more like wanting to lose 30 pounds, or wanting to go to the gym every day, or wanting to keep your house cleaner. Oh those are good, I should use those.
How are you going to save that money for that trip to Europe? You are going to put $100 month in a savings a account. You are going to save this money by cutting one restaurant trip per week and cutting the rest from the entertainment budget. Perfect. That’s a plan. It’s measurable, it’s tangible.
Quitting smoking? You’ll buy the patch and start wearing it on January 1st. You’ll attend a smoking cessation support group. You’ll drink one gallon of water per day for the first week. You’ll deposit all of the money you would have spent on cigarettes into a savings account and after six months buy yourself something really nice.
Write your plans down along with your resolutions. Take them one step at a time.
Keep your resolutions in front of you.
Write them on post-it notes and stick them to the mirror. Set reminders on your phone to chime at different times of the day. The worst thing you can do is let your good intentions fizzle after a few weeks. Keep them going strong.
Share your resolutions.
You don’t have to share them with the whole world, but making your goals public can definitely help you stick with them. Especially when it comes to weight loss. I know it’s helpful for me at work when everyone knows I’m eating healthfully. You’ll have support, and also others to check in on you and hold you accountable.
Thanks so much for reading my posts this year! I hope you’ve learned something from my story and that you’ll continue to follow me throughout the coming year. I hope you’ll also share this with anyone else who you think would benefit!