I used to make New Year’s resolutions. Mostly, they didn’t work. I’d set myself something vague or ambitious. Get better. Do more. Weigh less. Be fitter.
Not specific. Hard to measure. Impossible to know when you had been successful.
But one year, at midnight (as 2012 became 2013 to be precise) I made a promise to myself. That this time it would be different.
And it was. Today I am six stone lighter than I was on that particular 31st December. I have not found it easy. I have managed to get to some degree of fitness but it remains a struggle and I guess it always will.
For anyone thinking tonight, that tomorrow they will start something new, I offer my thoughts on what worked for me, with hope that they might be helpful to someone else.
The first thing that I know is this: it wasn’t the 1st of January that made the difference. It wasn’t a diet or a programme. It was no big bang quick fix.
Instead, it was simply lots of very small changes, one by one.
Many diets fail. They do so because they are just too big. If I’d started my journey with a plan to lose six stone and run a half marathon, I doubt I’d have got there. Too much to tackle. Too much change all at once. Too much to get my head around.
Instead, one habit, one change at a time.
Strange as it may sound, I started with orange juice. The sugar monster that I pretended to myself was a healthy option. But not at a litre a day. So, I cut it down by half. Then I stopped buying it all together. It only took a few weeks before I stopped missing it. Now it is something that I drink very rarely.
And then I tackled another one on the bad eating habits list.
One leads to another. Easier every time.
It is a slow but surely approach. It won’t give you the fast results that a 500 calorie a day plan will. But cognitively, it is doable. And from a lifestyle perspective, sustainable.
So, if you sitting there tonight having eaten all of the cheese and all of the chocolate and all of the mince pies this festive season, and are thinking about making a change tomorrow, then ditch the diet. Don’t fall for the false promises or the celebrity endorsements. You don’t need no resolutions.
Ask yourself this instead.
What is the one thing that you can do differently, today? What will make the biggest difference?
And then do it.
Erm, also, you could buy my book. #sorrynotsorry #shamelessplug