Equipped and forgotten

So you have decided to make some changes in your life? Congratulations! and welcome to the club! At some point, we all nitpick at something that we want to fix. Talking to different people has made me realize that it is a natural part of growing up and even the most perfect person continues to seek perfection through change.

Change is daunting...and requires significant and specific steps that often make us run in the opposite direction. While giving me her exercise clothes, my aunt tells me how she decided to exercise. To prepare herself, she found a nearby gym and paid for a full year's membership and proceeded to shop for an entire wardrobe to support her decision. At the time of the story, she barely remembered which gym she had donated her money to, and since the clothes I was getting were brand new, it was safe to assume she didn't go back after joining!

This story has replayed in various forms in all our lives. I have collections of yarn, books, cookbooks, dance shoes, special outfits, equipment...all in the name of something new. I often hear friends talk about doing something and spend a whole lot of energy and money "preparing" for the change.

I think investing in my plans make me feel that I will actually go through with it. We often believe that in order to be serious in our resolve to change, we must first make an investment. I have realized however that when I've been successful in changing something, my first step is actually just doing it.

Let's say you want to eat more vegetables. You invest in an expensive blender which you will use to make juices and smoothies daily. In addition to your new toy, you need lots of vegetables, so you buy and fill up your fridge. 

Or you want to learn how to play the guitar this year. So you buy a guitar, maybe an amplifier, a pick and sign up for lessons immediately.

Or you want to lose weight. So you throw out everything bad and invest in fitness videos, or gym equipment or jump rope or remember you were fit when you played football (soccer) back in the day so you invest in some cleats, footballs, and running clothes.

Or you want a new job. You buy expensive special paper for the resume, and fill your wardrobe with brand new clothes and shoes for all the interviews you're definitely going to get.

In all the examples, it seems perfectly sound to make those investments. But oftentimes what
happens is that we realize we actually don't have time to blend anything; plus the smoothies taste horrible! And well you're terrible at the guitar and the guy teaching you is too far from you plus you're so tired after work all you want to do is eat and sleep. And you got through the first level of the fitness DVD, but why is it sooo hard? And why do they only have perfect bodies on the video and the treadmill is too boring so now you've started hanging clothes on it. And you haven't actually had time to look for any jobs, plus there's really nothing out there that you like!

So this year, when you are ready to do something new, start where you are and see how your change can actually fit your life. Use what you currently have and as the change becomes a habit, reward yourself by making investments to get better at it.

If you want to learn photography, start by becoming the designated photographer using your phone's camera. As your interest grows, you can purchase that beautiful camera you've been eyeing. If you want to learn how to play basketball, go somewhere others are playing and play with them.

Don't immediately invest in equipment that will surely collect dust soon. As for me and my cake decorating materials, maybe this year I will actually bake a cake so that I can practice my decorating skills!

Half-stepping diva



All week, I've been saying, it's the first Monday of 2015, the first Tuesday of 2015 and the first! and the first! All true, but so what?

For many New Year's I have created a list of resolutions that were for sure going to change my life and shape the year. Like most of us, my resolution involved giving up something or doing something; both changes that I knew needed to be done. But it didn't take long for my resolve to unravel, usually, ok I don't even think I often made it through January!

I've realized that I wasn't able to hold onto these resolutions for several reasons. For one, I had too many things to change at one time. And well I didn't really understand what it took to get those things done. So I gave up on New Year's resolutions and started working on year long goals. Alas, it didn't take long to realize that if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, well you know the saying!

As we get older, the beginning of the year becomes synonymous with doing something...usually, something different from the previous year. And as a 30 something year old, it doesn't take much time to realize that life doesn't move unless you make it happen. But every day is a new opportunity to do something different. The 1st of January has become a standard beginning of the year, but the beginning of the year really could have been any other day, had someone else decided to create the calendar.

January 1st is nice and simple, but this year I'm reminded that whatever changes I need to make can be done...NOW. I don't have to wait for a magical day (Mondays) or a magical date (New Year's, my birthday etc) to do what I know needs to be done. This way when I'm not able to be consistent or when life gets in the way, I can just get back on it and not wait for another magical day.

So Happy New Year, everyone. I hope you take steps that will make this year a much better year than last year. I hope you smile more, laugh more, grump less and surround yourself with positive life-changing moments. We know that life will always have ups and down, but I hope you do your part to keep the downs less frequent and the ups way up. Here's to an amazing 2015!

All the best!
Half-stepping diva