“New year, New me” yea right, you said that last year and the year before. I’m not pointing fingers because I’m guilty of it too. We get focused, super motivated to tackle something, particularly around the New Year, then months go by and these things fall to wayside. Then we beat ourselves up for not accomplishing them. Can I dare us to be different this year?
What needs to happen for you to live the life you’ve always wanted? What stands in the of accomplishing the things you’ve dreamed of? Quite simply, what is holding you back?
I would argue that much of it is fear. Fear of what it takes, fear of what others might think and fear of actually being successful. Remember it’s the light not the dark that most frightens us. Many times we become content with living our day to day life that doing something beyond our comprehension seems too crazy even for the imagination.
Yann Martel, author of the book, Life of Pi, wrote about fear.
“I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread…” He continues, I urge you to read the entire quote here Yann Martel – Fear
He says that fear is our only true opponent. Think of about it, if we were able to silence fear, imagine the things that we would actually do!
Let’s take a look at my 2015 goals. I think by analyzing their “failures” and “successes” we’ll be able to tease out a few more reasons.
As you can see happiness was on there twice. A year ago, I felt it necessary to make it my focus. Many people know that this year I decided to stop running the rat race. I choose to not participate in life the way society said I should. I choose to instead chase health and happiness. My focus became anything that aligned with the aforementioned. Obviously that comes with a sacrifice, namely finances, but it’s one that at this point in my life, I’m okay with making. I also asked myself, what would you do if you were not getting paid? The answer was write, mixed with a bit of sports and fitness. I vowed to do the things that I loved everyday. I had my bad days but I always wrote even when I didn’t blog, I wrote. It is my therapy and I believe out of it my passion will take shape. I can say today this woman is so much happier that the one who wrote the list above.
Let’s continue down the list, I was suppose to lose 36 pounds by July. In total, I’ve lost 20 pounds but I kept it off which is an accomplishment none the less. I think, I’m a real blogger. I didn’t blog as consistently as I should have though. I’m not a certified personal trainer and I did not start my organizations.
I stumbled a bit with my 2015 goals. But here’s why, I didn’t stay consistent, I procrastinated, I became discouraged and ultimately I lost focus. But guess what “It’s never too late to start over. If you weren’t happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don’t stay stuck. Do better.” That is all we can do, keep going. Remember if you want a different life, you have to live differently. Happy New Year!
A Woman in Process
Last Wednesday, I could not get out of bed. I was tired, lethargic, just out of it. I had the day off so I slept most of the day away. I couldn’t even make it to the gym, in fact, I hadn’t worked out since the Saturday prior. Might not seem like a big deal, but for me skipping 3 days means that my body is not where it needs to be. But we know this already. I’m going through it, as they say. I called my mommy as I always do when life seems unfair. She told me to just get up.
I did that, even though I had to literally hold on to walls as I showered. I got up. Slowly as the day progressed I felt better. Somewhere between not being able to get out of bed that day and writing you today, I have found myself across the Manhattan Bridge drenched in sweat. I remember hearing my best friend say repeatedly “just don’t stop.”
I had biked 6 miles to and from home, across that bridge. It was so hard, I don’t know where that strength came from. Since then we’ve biked a few more times, I’m totally hooked! It’s not something that comes easy for me, I’m often scared when cars get close or people for that matter. I have a long way to go but it is a fun new hobby.
What I learned that day is, when you feel like you can’t walk, you bike across the Manhattan Bridge. Biking (my new found love) like running (my old love) takes an incredible amount of endurance, just like life, you have to will yourself through those moments.
I’m the most confused I have ever been, completely vulnerable, I have made major decisions that will forever impact my journey. It took a remarkable amount of courage to leave that job and I won’t tell you that every day I feel confident about that decision but today I do.
A Woman in Process
Image Credit: http://imgarcade.com/1/happy-stick-person-clip-art/
I had my official weigh in a few days ago. I’ve only lost two pounds since my last weigh in but I hit a very important personal goal. Thus far I haven’t shared with you guys how heavy I got last December because I was ashamed and embarrassed. But I vowed to be honest and open in an effort to inspire.
This past December, I was 216 pounds. I was depressed, disappointed etc. I knew the main reason I gained so much weight was my change in medication but I also took personal responsibility. I did not do the things necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
I went home for the holidays and stressed to my mom that this was impossible. I could not loose weight without a thyroid. She looked at me the same way she had almost 3 years ago when I was first diagnosed with Graves Disease. She said to me, just try.
My mom is the epitome of strength. I often stay if I had an ounce of her resilience, I would be president. She is amazing, when she tells me to do something, I often listen because I value her input.
I committed to eating clean and exercising 5 days a week. On December 24, 2014, I was 216 pounds. As of April 12, 2015, I am 198 pounds. I have a long way to go. I have another 18 pounds to lose by July 11, 2015 and my long term goal is to get back to my pre-surgery weight of 150. But I’m happy because I’m below 200 pounds and a few months ago, I never thought I would be here.
The road is hard and filled with ups and downs. But I urge you to keep pushing. I will too. Progress is slow process.
A Woman in Process
I had a photo shoot over the weekend. Minutes before we left for the shoot, I told my roommate, I couldn’t do it. I understood how important it was to me and this “brand” that we are creating but I felt terribly insecure.
How do you allow yourself to be in front of a camera when you are not holistically comfortable with your body. I battled with it the entire day and finally decided to go through with it. I went because uncomfortable situations will never get comfortable unless you continue to put yourself in them.
I’m Chinatown with what feels like a million people around me. I’m in front of the camera and I freeze. In my defense, this is my first time. My poses are clumsy and awkward. I can’t figure out where to put my hands! I was not only uncomfortable, I was embarrassed.
The photographer said to me “there is no going back” it was the wake call I needed. This is the start to something. I’m feeling all motivated and ready to take on the world.
Life is about ups and downs so naturally moments later I heard a few things that attempted to knock me off my high horse.
I often say be careful who you discuss things with, good or bad, because misery loves company. As I approach this some what impossible dream, I’m very sensitive about my stuff. I don’t mind criticism, that’s obviously how I’ll learn and grow.
But many times the people closest to you don’t understand what you are trying to accomplish. It hurts the most coming from them but its not for them to understand. Greatness is often misunderstood. I encourage you to pursue whatever it is you would like to, wholeheartedly!
I might fall on my face but it’s my face! I have nothing to loose and everything to gain.
A Woman in Process
We are on the cusp of a new year and with that comes goals/resolutions. Everybody has one but few follow through. I think about how successful or happy or fulfilled we could be if we just did what we set out to do. Sometimes we get distracted but more often than not, we set ourselves up for failure. We do not set SMART goals. I learned about smart goals in a business class years back and it’s something that I apply professionally but most importantly in my personal life.
Goals have to specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. For example one of my goals as I’ve documented is to lose weight. It’s not enough to just that say that however. But rather I want to lose 36 pounds by July 11, 2015 with an average of 5 pounds a month. I will accomplish this by exercising 5-6 times a week coupled with a well-balanced diet void of processed foods.
Be calculated and specific with your resolutions. And force yourself to set benchmarks that evaluate progress. Then simply take action. Do something every day that works towards that goal.
Below is a link to an article that I read every so often. It helps to keep me motivated and focused. I hope it does the same for you.
Happy New Year!
-A Woman in Process
At what point do you stop looking for approval? My entire life I’ve been concerned with what others thought of me because I wasn’t secure enough in myself. Funny enough, it is when I decided to “deadlock” my hair that I finally began to accept me. It was the most permanent thing I had ever done. For those of you who are not familiar with dreadlocks, (I prefer to call my crown “locs” but that may be a discussion for another post.) The process works by twisting your hair and the hair eventually because tangled and essentially matted. The only way to go back, is to cut your hair at the root. Once I made the decision, there was this relief. In that moment, I decided to do something for me. I was no longer trying to impress. It’s kind of interesting to feel your most vulnerable and your most powerful at the same time. But I did. I was exposed, unsure of how this new style would look on me but yet empowered by the strength to make the decision.
Similarly here I am months later vulnerable again because I’m in the process of starting two businesses. Though I’m confident in myself and my ideas I look to family and friends for input. I’ve heard good feedback, warranted criticisms and great advice. But I’ve also received things that I would much rather not hear. I started to think about this Jay Z song I love to listen to.
“Even betters what my uncle did,
I pop my demo tape in start to beat my head,
Peaked out my eye, see if he was beating his,
He might as well say beat it kid, he’s on the list”
He speaks of having his uncle listen to one of his first songs. Picture a young Jay Z looking up at this man waiting to hear him say how great it sounded. But he never did. That’s how I felt when I told some very important people my business plans, a childlike disappointment. But that disappointment never turned to doubt instead it became fuel. I might never be anything beyond the words that are on this post but what I will do is continue to dream and strive for the things I want in life. I ask you to do the same, I ask you to dare to be exactly who you want to be.
-A Woman in Process