BONDI BEACH, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going… – Jim Rohn
As the talkative and incredibly fit Cassey Ho reassures her Pop Pilates family mid thigh-scissors in one of my all time favourite (and slightly torturous) workout videos, the new year – 1st January – is simply another day in our lives. Yet, of course, we cannot deny the immense significance and symbolic meaning behind the first day of every year. It is of course the biggest day of the year when everyone has a renewed motivation to look after their health (tone up/get fit), fall in love, stress less, achieve an improved work/life balance, travel et cetera. “New Year, New You” all the fitness and self-help magazines scream, gym membership prices are slashed, and hundreds of articles appear on the Internet teaching you the art of making (and keeping) the very welcomed (or dreaded) New Year’s Resolutions.
And whilst this surge of energy to check in with yourself, get back on track, and refocus on your goals and personal health – be it physical, mental or spiritual – is definitely well-intended, you can’t help but have these goals and hopes fall to the wayside once the holiday season comes to an unfortunate end, life starts getting busy, and you fall back into your old habits, rituals and routines. Many feel the need or pressure to make resolutions, only to have them abandoned even by the time it’s the middle of January, let alone July or 31st December. The research says that only 8% of people successfully achieve their resolutions – that’s a pretty dire statistic don’t you think?
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m definitely not one to preach or reprimand. Over time, especially in our fast-paced, “instant reward” zeitgeist, I’ve come to realise that it is increasingly hard to keep working towards those long term goals when school/uni/work/life throws a billion things your way, all demanding to be done dès que possible. Soon enough, you lose sight of the bigger picture, and you’re just too busy to do anything about it.
Although, as an interesting side note, this elusive work/life balance that majority of the population seeks (or study/life balance if you’re a student), which seemingly hinders the successful attainment of our New Year’s Resolutions isn’t as elusive as it may seem. Give this article written by the sage Laura Vanderkam a glance if you’re interested. Food for thought?
Which is why, as I’m sure you’ve heard a thousand times before, goals must be broken down into achievable steps and deliverables. These wise words became more relevant than ever last year, when I was studying the concept of SMART goals in a subject at uni (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound). And it’s true – how can you possibly expect to achieve something if you don’t plan for it? How can you possibly “get fit” if you don’t actually make a concrete fitness/clean eating plan and follow it? And even if you do get as far as making a plan, many a time, it falls to the wayside since it is simply not realistic.
Fail to plan, plan to fail as they say.
Something like this journal, dedicated to helping you achieve those big dreams is lovely, but to be honest, any notebook dedicated to writing down and keeping track of your goals will suffice. The key is to success is setting the small steps, constantly reminding yourself of the bigger picture, and to hold yourself accountable. I’m definitely no expert in the art of successful goal-setting, there’s a plethora of advice out there, but I hope this serves as a little (and timely) reminder!
Achieving and maintaining good health – a happy mind and body – is something that requires constant effort and improvement. It requires self-understanding, self-love and acceptance of who and where you are right at this point in time, and the setting of genuine intentions to better yourself – to be the best version of yourself you can possibly be.
I have never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions per se, but my goals have always been abstract ones, concerned with self-improvement, in order to live my happiest and best life. But I know it’s important to hold myself accountable, so dear readers, these are some of mine…
This year I pledge to:
Inhale positivity, gratitude and love.
Exhale negativity, hatred and comparisons.
Believe anything is possible.
This is a new year – embrace it, take it and make it your best one yet.
Now is the time to do and achieve all those things that you’ve always wanted.
Do it because you want to.
Reconnect with yourself, your values and purpose.
Wake up everyday with a big smile on your face because you can’t wait to do those little things that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.
Take this motivation burning inside of you right now, and harness it; use it to your advantage. But remember that it is habit – repeated actions, no matter how big or small – which will bring you closer to your achieving those goals.
Because you sure deserve it.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and 2016! :)
Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside of you that is greater than any obstacle – Christian D. Larson
PS- With this new year upon us, I would like to start introducing some posts on health & fitness. It’s something I’m incredibly passionate about, and it felt it was only right to incorporate these themes on styliminal. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!