Mid-year resolutions

How are those New Year Resolutions coming?

Did you cringe?

It’s okay if you did. I did. And we are not alone. Statistics say that 92% fail at meeting their resolutions.

In my experience, the true value comes in the creation of the resolution, and then the evaluation of the progress (or lack thereof), rather than the goal itself.

But that’s just me. I’m not highly competitive. I don’t need to win. What I need is to move forward, and to know that even when I miss the mark, at least I bothered to take the shot.

At the beginning of the year I chose “balance” as my word for 2014. No more all or nothing mentality for me, I promised myself.

Now that the year is half over…ok, it was technically over two weeks ago, but I’ve been swamped at work and I haven’t been able to blog lately (obviously I haven’t done so well with my resolution). Anyway…now that the year is a little more than half over, I’m checking in with myself to see how I’m doing on my goals.

What I am finding is that balance is a very, very bad word for me. Instead of bringing harmony into my life, it gives me reasons excuses to do the things I know I’m not supposed to do, or to avoid the things I know I should do. All in the name of “balance.”

“Stop by Taco Bell on the way home from work? Sure! I ate that one healthy meal last week. It’s all about the balance!”

“Skip this workout? Why not? Gotta keep it all in balance.”

Seeking balance set me up for failure, not only in the way it peppered my choices, but also in the abject sense of failure that follows when I look in the mirror with hatred toward myself for those choices.

It also gives me yet another standard of perfection to live up to. Because, let’s face it, if balancing all the messy pieces of our lives were easy, we all would do it.

And so, I’m changing my word. For the rest of the year my word will be “kind.” I’m going to focus on being kind to others and kind to myself. Putting Taco Bell in my mouth (or as my kids and I call it, “a plate full of chemicals”) is not kind to my body. Skipping a workout may be kind to my body, but only if I’ve already pushed myself too hard and I’m walking like an old lady. Otherwise, my reason for skipping is based purely on laziness. My hope is that focusing on this word will force me to ask the important questions to (hopefully) lead me to the right decision, or at least force me to be accountable to the decisions I make.

I put this word to the test for the first time this past Saturday. I had made plans with a friend four days earlier. He and I almost never get together anymore, and we agreed we needed to be intentional about it. So we made plans, and then I decided to go on a three day juice fast over the weekend. When he called me to see if we were still on, my first instinct was to back out (I don’t usually go out in public when I’m fasting), but I asked myself if I was being kind. I was not. Not to him, because we already had plans, and not to myself, because staying home and wallowing in my healing crisis and my hunger is just not a good thing. Don’t you hate it when truth stares you in the face? It makes ignoring the correct path, or rationalizing it away, much much harder. So I got out of bed, got dressed, and had an awesome night out. And, by the way, I was also kind to my body and stayed on my fast (hooray for pretentious cafés with fresh-pressed juices!).

Whether you made New Year’s Resolutions or not, I urge you to take a moment to evaluate your goals. Are you not where you want to be? What small change can you make today to swing things in the right direction?

 

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