It’s going to be different for each of us – the journey that is. Sometimes, people take a straight shot to success, with nary a misstep, full of hope and love and triumph. Sometimes it goes a little differently. The end of this year is upon us, with a little(precious little)bit of time left to do all those things we wanted to do, or bought the right paper to make, or practiced deep breathing to contend with. Success comes in varying shades of “achieved” I am beginning to learn. It’s not too unlike levels of “clean” of a shared microwave at work – a term that has wildly different meanings depending on who exactly is making the determination.
There are some ways to easily assess how close or how far we came to our goals – if we set out to lose 30 pounds this year and have 45 to go for example, it can easily be assumed that we did not in fact meet our goal. Others are harder to pinpoint. If you set out to be a better listener or more compassionate person – well, that depends. Maybe one friend would rush to vouch for your amazing skills while a relative may roll their eyes because you haven’t talked in months.
Maybe you set out to journal every day, or drink eight glasses of water or stretch more or floss more. It’s easy at this point to say “what the H, I am so far off the mark, I can’t possibly start”. You stare at that sparkly (in my version it’s sparkly, but maybe you are more legit and it’s a classic navy blue) journal that you only made it to February in. Or you are looking for an earring back and find your uncharged and neglected Fitbit. What are you supposed to do now?
No, seriously. YOU START. Yes, tonight, or today, or whenever you get that creepy feeling that you coulda/shoulda/woulda. You start no matter if the office Christmas party is coming up and you know you are going to kill the sushi display or the prime rib carving station or the dessert table (or all three, because that sounds delicious and that is coming from a person who has consumed an alarming amount of leftovers today). You start even if ten out of the last eleven months you didn’t. You start because the only thing worse than feeling so far off track is how you will feel if you run out the clock on this year without making any positive changes.
So yes, you buy that stainless steel water jug if it will convince you to stay hydrated, or the water pik flosser, or the sneakers that make you want to run. You turn off the tv at nine and make sure to spray your pillows with lavender or use a sleep mask or do what it takes to get some sleep. If your reply is that you have tried this already for heaven’s sake and it hasn’t worked yet and what’s the point and your dog ate your homework, please hear me when I say me too.
Because honestly, I have seen this episode. The one where I give up and I coast because I haven’t figured it all out just yet and everyone else is doing a waaaay better job than me and they are faster and fitter and they have longer hair (which everyone does because I just cut mine – even though I love the cut, I have weird hair envy of everyone including our German Shepard right now).
How do we do it if we can’t buy a new wardrobe/gym membership/hair extensions? We start right where we stand. By not having the third diet coke, or the third cookie or the first shot of tequila (which we all know puts you right on the path to the third one anyway). We go for the run, if someone invites us and if no one asks, we invite someone else. We have a little over a month and it’s up to us how spend it. Who’s with me?