Here I am. Back again in Starbucks writing my first piece for 2014, this time having swapped the hot chocolate for a plain old cup of tea. Funnily enough this isn’t a resolution of giving up chocolate. My resolutions year in year out have been to either 1) Stop biting my nails (yuk) and 2) lose weight etc, etc. Simple, thoughtless and just boring. I would hazard a guess that you have at least one you try every year, fail and think sod it I’ll do it next year. Fail is maybe too much of a negative to employ in the above statement, a bit of a smack in the face really but to fail generally means you believe you can’t do it so are less likely to stick to your plan or give it another go. Just tell yourself you didn’t manage this time but if you really tell yourself you will, rather than just to try – you will. Fact. Try is a half-hearted word filled with intention but no firm instruction to yourself to firmly cement the action. If you ‘try’ to lose weight you never will. If you ‘try’ to give up smoking’ you never will. Try almost screams ‘I can’t do it’ louder than Miley Cyrus singing Wrecking Ball.
I heard this advice at a conference event I was working at last month. It’s not something I conjured up as exceptional advice from the filing cabinet at the back of my mind. The man himself who gave the talk was one of the most incredibly positive people I have ever met without being a completely patronising ball ache of a lecturer. In short he uses his own advice and his success mirrors this. This got me thinking about all the things I tried to do and very shortly after gave up on; New years resolutions for one. Success for a month maximum and then back to the dreary routine of nail biting and Chinese take aways. Well, I did try but I just can’t do it. It’s not for me I’m not cut out for eating vegetables and smelling a gym out with my BO. No. No. No. More than anything this says to me I’m not entirely serious about my resolutions. If I wanted them so badly I would be doing everything in my power to ensure it happens, as I’m sure you would, do you not agree?
Simply change it. It works. Only catch is you have to really want what you ask from yourself. Lying to others may mask and fool them into thinking you’re doing splendidly well at everything you plastered on Facebook but the only person you’re denying is yourself. Going back to what I was saying earlier on, saying you will try means you might get around to it at some point. Maybe. Tomorrow, you’ll do it tomorrow. Then tomorrow you’ll do it tomorrow and so on. Why not just tell yourself you will. You will do it. Taking the majority of peoples resolutions to losing weight as an example. The liposuction fairy is as real as Father Christmas. She’s not going to flutter in overnight, sprinkle fairy dust and perform a miracle because you ate carrots for dinner and jogged a mile. Just as no matter how naughty a child is they still get that visit from Santa. (Kids definitely have the better deal here.) You really want to lose weight then do it. You put the food in your mouth. You control your legs. Tell yourself firmly you will do it. Tell yourself you can. Never say you can’t. Trust me, I tried it, it’s good advice if you use it appropriately. By appropriately I mean keep it within context of a realistic goal. Jumping off a roof thinking you can be batman won’t have the same effect.
If I’m honest I scrapped the resolutions this year because it’s a forced pressure to achieve something I can do any day of the year. I don’t wait until January the first to start my action plans, that’s a waste of the many other perfectly adequate days I have to make changes. I have eaten like a pig since January the first to purposely steer clear of the Cliche trap of starting because the whole world says you have to. I’ll lose weight when I tell myself too. Forget starting tomorrow, I start the moment I tell myself. The answer is to do not think.
So, dear smokers, weight-loss addicts, wannabe celebrities or whoever you aspire to be to make a change, the good news is you can. You just have to do it. Put down that cigarette. Get your bum off the sofa, cook a good meal and sweat until you feel good. Go to those auditions you keep telling yourself you will go to but never get around to. Nike have a clever slogan with “Just do it.” Simple but it’s the butter on the bread.
Tentative language will set you up to be knocked down by, of all people, you. You can win or lose. Do it or don’t do it, just never say you’ll try.
N.B This is advice I took on board and tried at home. I promise you, it’s safe. Do try this at home (How Ironic – try.)
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