The other thing I wrote about on Monday is that quarter year shock.
The horrible feeling that kicks in around mid March that “OMG THE YEAR IS ALMOST A QUARTER GONE!” and reminds you of all that positivity you had on New Years Day (or the day after once the hangover has subsided) that THIS was the year you were totally going to sort your life out and behave like a proper grown up.
I have a bit of a weird relationship with New Years resolutions. I think January is possibly the WORST possible month to attempt to make any meaningful changes, coming just after all the debauchery and relaxation of Christmas it’s bound to make you feel all depressed. Having said that, I also find myself with a bit of a post holiday urge to get things back in order, and it makes not one jot of difference whether I call them resolutions or not, they’re still “things I plan to do this year”
So, now we’re almost a quarter of the way through the year, and having mentioned it on Monday it’s made me a bit reflective about how the year is going so far.
There were 2 main goals I set myself this year. First up was more on the Lipstick, Lettuce & Lycra side of things, after a pretty sucky year healthwise I wanted to get back some of the fitness I had lost last year, regain some of my running speed, and work on getting stronger and eating better. The other I talked about in my reflections on the year, not to let anxiety ruin things that should be fun, to try and take the rough with the smooth and not be afraid to plan ahead.
I have to say, I’m not there on either of those goals yet, but I have improved. I’ve lost nearly a stone, improved my speed, at least over shorter distances, and this morning I did 12 full press ups, with straight legs and everything (though if someone was watching me they may have raised an eyebrow at my form for the last 2). I’ve definitely been less anxious this year as well, I actually have plans for months ahead, and sometimes I even let myself look forward to them. I do find myself anxious about not being anxious occasionally, and have to remind myself how stupid that is (this is an awesome app, if you struggle with anxiety at all, by the way)
Just because you haven’t reached your goals by March, or even started them, doesn’t mean you should write 2015 off as a failure. The quarter year can be an opportunity to look back at why you haven’t managed to make those changes, reassess whether they’re really that important to you anyway, and if they are, look at different ways of getting there that might work for you better.
So you wanted to give up smoking, and it worked, for a week, then you had a cigarette while you were out and fell off the wagon completely. Maybe you can start with not smoking before 2pm, or after 8pm?
I’m trying not to approach that quarter year with a feeling of failure. I’m a work in progress, as we all are, and the fact that I still ran my last long run a minute slower than this time last year, or that I’ve turned down some exciting opportunities because I was too anxious to deal with them doesn’t mean I’m a failure, it means I still have work to do.
Progression not Perfection
I’m pretty sure I got that cheesy quote from a yoga DVD somewhere, I’m really hoping it wasn’t “Geri Body Yoga”. I’m making it my mantra for the year. By which I mean I’ll write it here and then forget all about it, because what kind of idiot has a mantra, really? (apologies if you have a mantra, I didn’t mean you obviously)
Even if I did get it from Geri Body Yoga, the message is an important one. You will never be “perfect” there will always be someone better, stronger, faster, cleverer, richer and happier than you and all you can do is work towards the kind of you you’d like to be. It’s about being happy in your own skin, and your own life, not wishing for a different one. If something makes you unhappy, change it, but remember that patience is the key, and that the end goal will always be moving and all you can do is keep moving with it.