As the year comes to an end, most people seem to be concerned with only one thing:
“Next year will be so much better than this one!”
“I can’t wait for this year to be over, it was such a drag!”
“No matter what happens, 2015 is definitely gonna be my year!”
I wouldn’t really be as drastic, but I have caught myself, every year, somehow believing that come January 1st, my entire life will turn around, or at least those parts that aren’t going the way that I imagine they should be, will magically be better. When put like that, I guess everyone will readily admit that New Year’s is really not such a big deal, it’s more of an excuse to postpone the start of all the changes you are going to make in your life to that certain date.
Though, admittedly, I have done that about a zillion times. Well, not exactly, but I do that every year. Therefore, I have challenged myself, and I encourage you to do the same, to start living my life the way I want it NOW. Not on January 1st – ’cause, if we’re being honest, you can’t really start turning your life around with a buzzing, hung-over head – but today, tonight, tomorrow morning.
Your life will NOT change because of a date, your life changes because you decide you’re worth having everything you want for yourself. What may sound like a cheesy bumper sticker phrase is the truth. I can’t really count the number of times I have thought to myself (and not just on New Year’s Eve):
“Tomorrow, I’m gonna start working out regularly!”
“Coming Monday, I’ll go to bed at 10 pm daily!”
“After my best friend’s birthday party, I’ll eat more healthily!”
Has it ever worked? To say it hasn’t wouldn’t be entirely true, but to say it has would also be false. Nobody can just change their habits over night, which is what we’ve been told about a million times, but I guess nobody really wants to believe that. It would just be too good to be true if we could all let our bad habits die when we decide to. If you have been able to, please tell me how you did it, but it’s never been true for me. And here’s the catch: it doesn’t need to be true!
All those habits we are repeatedly trying to kick, that we condemn ourselves for time and time again: those are the things we enjoy most! Sitting on the couch for weeks on end during grey winter months? You know what, that sounds awesome! Add some hot cocoa, and I’m on board. Eating that third piece of cake even though you can already feel your jeans biting into your tummy? That extra indulgence is what makes life liveable, enjoyable, awesome even. If we cut out all those things at once, your January 1st is gonna be dreadful!
I therefore propose not to make a cut. Don’t look back at 2014 and list all the things in your head that have gone wrong, that you’ve done wrong, be it to yourself, your body, your family, your friends. Don’t condemn yourself for gaining weight this year, or not being active enough. Instead, look ahead, remembering that those are things that make you who you are, and that you don’t need to change every little bit about yourself to be better.
Wanting to be better – to be fitter, healthier, cigarette-free, to drink less alcohol, to be kinder, etc. – is not a bad goal. In fact, it’s a pretty great goal! Just not if it means that you need to chop away every ounce of enjoyment in your life. Because that’s when you’ll suffer, and ultimately fail.
Coming back to the beginning of my post: Decide which changes are worth it, which changes will ultimately make you YOU, not the ones that you are making to create a better version of yourself. And don’t wait, start today, start now. Start working out right this second by turning up the music and dancing up a sweat. Start spending less time on your computer by switching it off (right after you finish reading this post, of course 🙂 ) and picking out a random book from your shelf. Start eating healthily by planning your meals for tomorrow.
…and you know what, if that’s troubling you, I can totally help. (Don’t you just love how I turned this post around to be about food after all?!) I have assembled your top 10 favorite posts from these past 3 months, and am excited to share them with you:
This one’s great, as it combines many different recipes, so take a look for extra-inspiration: I’ll talk about pear-cinnamon spiced oatmeal, garlicky butternut, and double-choc dessertballs!
Apparently you guys are loving my (non-existing) baking-expertise!
And, drumroll please, for your very favorite post:
I wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR, and I hope you’ll find some inspiration for those non-New-Year’s-resolutions concerning living a healthier life here, at hitbycoconuts!