It was about this time seven years ago that my weight loss efforts really began moving forward. I’d been slogging along for a few months, making a few changes here and there, but it wasn’t until the arrival of spring that I really began to feel the change. Fresh fruits and vegetables, warmer weather, more daylight hours for after-work exercise–all of these combined to give me just the push I needed to get into a higher gear.
Since then, I’ve viewed spring, and Easter in particular, as my more authentic new year beginning. It’s a great time to shake off the dreary winter, take stock of how things are going, clean up any areas that have gotten “messy”, and move forward with new schemes and dreams. Basically the same considerations I might go through in January, but I know now that it’s much easier for me to build momentum and/or make a fresh start when the weather matches my optimistic mood.
Several years ago I considered the idea of spring cleaning on the inside (clearing clutter and making a fresh start), and while I don’t read my own blog very often, this post is one I do revisit each year about this time as sort of a mental/emotional weigh-in. I can always count on finding one or two little (or not little) areas that need some attention. This year was no different.
Just in case you might want to do a check-in of your own and create a brand new new year, I’ll save you the trouble of clicking back to the old post and include the article in its entirety below. (I’m just helpful that way.) I hope you find something useful in it!
Spring Cleaning on the Inside
(originally posted on 3/16/09)
Think about your life (health, fitness, relationships, career, finance, etc.). Where are you now? Where do you want to be? Why aren’t you there? Don’t beat yourself up over it; just ponder the matter and see if any of these nasties have crept into your life:
Excuses: We’re probably all guilty of making excuses for ourselves when we’re trying to justify something we should or shouldn’t have done. Surely, it’s not just me. (Antidote: When you catch yourself making an excuse for something, ask, “Is this really true, or am I just making myself feel better?”)
Rationalizations: Did you know that another way to spell “rationalize” is “rational lies”? These are the thoughts and words we use to give ourselves permission to do something we know is wrong. (Antidote: Unrelenting honesty with yourself. YOU know the truth about your efforts.)
Unfair Limitations: Many, perhaps even most, of the limitations we face are self-imposed. Why we would do this to ourselves, I don’t know, but we do. (Antidote: Ask yourself, “If I didn’t have xxx in my way, what would be by next step? Then figure out how you can do it–or some form of it–anyway.)
Regrets and Resentments: Writer Malachy McCourt once said, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Holding on to past haunts and hurts prevents us from moving forward. (Antidote: Forgive yourself and any others involved, and focus on the future. At minimum, let it go.)
Procrastination: “Someday” thinking is fun for thinking about the lottery. For managing our lives, it doesn’t work so well. (Antidote: See Makeover Monday: Getting It Done.)
RightThisMinute Thinking: We all want to see results fast. Whether it’s successful weight loss, financial security, starting a family, or any host of other desires, many of us have a tendency to want to get it done rightthisveryminute. We should be applauded for our energy, but doing things too quickly can cause us to do them in a way that’s unhealthy, inefficient, or ineffective. (Antidote: Patience. Focus on progress, not the goal line. Unless, you’re looking at the goal line, of course, and then it’s eyes on the prize time!)
These evil little habits have a way of creeping into our lives and derailing our progress. Join me this spring in spending a little time with a mental broom and dustpan, eliminating this clutter from our lives. Note that I didn’t say we’d eliminate it for good. Old habits die hard, as the saying goes, and I’m sure we’ll all face these pesky demons again at some time in the future. We’re savvy enough to know that and strong enough to defeat them.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year II!