Have you ever decided you wanted to make a massive change in your life, thrown yourself into it, then given up after a month? Could be a diet, exercise plan, quitting smoking, learning a new skill, meditating, volunteering… Whatever.
Most people will do this at least sometime in their life. New Year’s Day is many people’s battleground. Feeling wretched after a month of gorging ourselves on turkey, Christmas Pudding and booze, we make resolutions to turn over a new leaf, visit the gym at least 3 times a week, live on grilled chicken and steamed veg… Blah blah blah. All that rubbish.
And then what happens? Our newly-painted virtue masks slip, we stumble into Chicken Cottage after 12 pints of lovely amber ale, stuff endless fried chicken in our faces, then wake up the next morning and decide that we can’t face the treadmill today. Or ever.
And then next year comes round and we do it all again.
I’m Hel. That’s me on the dinosaur. I like dinosaurs.
I’ve been stuck in this perpetual cycle of try-stumble-fail for years. And despite years of doing the same things and it not working I’ve never managed to take the leap of logic that says if you’ve done it 50 times and it hasn’t worked, it’s probably not going to work on time number 51 either.
So now I’ve decided to try something different. I’m still going to try and change the things I think need changing in my life. But rather than being the hare, I’m going the way of the tortoise. Even slower than the tortoise.
My rate of progress is going to be that of the saguaro cactus. Really, really, really slow.
I’m going to tackle my diet first, because I go through horrendous cycles all the time of binge-starve-binge-starve-binge while being deeply unhappy.
For the first week the only rule I have is that I have to eat healthy lunch, of around 500 calories per meal with tons of veg in it, every day.
That’s it. No rules about only having 1,500 calories a day, or cutting out chocolate or biscuits or booze. Nope. Just healthy lunch every day. Then next week I’ll add in a healthy breakfast. And the week after maybe one more.
And if I mess up? That’s ok. I’ll just forget about it and have healthy lunch the next day.
The idea isn’t to be eating virtuously tomorrow, or next week, or next month. The idea is to be eating reasonably healthily this time next year.
Slow change. Seems a bit too bloody sensible for me, to be honest.