As the end of the year fast approaches, it’s an appropriate time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished this year, and plot how you plan to attack the coming year.
So… how far did you make it in 2009? Get off to a good start? Zig-zag all around? Two steps forward, one step back? However far you traveled, celebrate the fact that you’re on the road to better health, even if the place or the pace isn’t exactly what you envisioned. Be proud of the fact that you’ve recognized that there’s work to be done and set about getting started. You’re moving in a positive direction, and that can’t help but be a good thing.
I realize that the holidays can be a hectic, stressful time for this weight-loss business. Parties all over the place, tantalizing holiday treats everywhere you look. The days are filled with celebrations among friends and family, where paying attention to your game plan doesn’t feel particularly festive.
Cut yourself some slack, that’s what I’d tell you. We’re not robots, immune to the fun and frivolity of the world around us. Tis’ the season for gatherings and get-togethers, mirth and merriment. Your schedule is bound to get off-track this time of year; there’s just so much to do, so little time. You may have to skip a workout to run down a Christmas gift. You may be forced to have a cup of eggnog and a slice of cake. Don’t beat yourself up…
But I will say this: cutting yourself some slack doesn’t have to mean shoveling crap in with both hands. It doesn’t necessarily give you license to pack on twenty pounds between now and New Year’s Day. Take a breather if you want, but reflect on why you’re here and remember that there’s still some heavy lifting left to do when the tinsel settles.
There’s no reason the year ahead can’t be the one where you break free from the chains that’re holding you down. That’s what I feel like right now, like a man released from shackles that were keeping him from the life he wanted, the life he deserved.
When you’re far from the summit, the mountain looks massive, forboding, unbreachable. It’s easy to see the scale of the trek ahead of you and write off your chances, say to the world and yourself that it’s just too damn difficult an undertaking. It’s just too hard…
What spurred me on, what gave me the strength to get moving myself was reading the stories of people who were conquering that mountain. Folks who were halfway up, three-quarters of the way, standing on the pinnacle and shouting to the heavens.
“This mountain can be scaled!”
That’s what the people who went before me were calling back.
“You can do it, too!”
I read their words, became inspired by their stories. Because really… they’re just plain old people like me and you (well, like you anyway…). They’re not “Biggest Loser” contestants or celebrities with access to live-in personal trainers.
Just folks committed to doing a little better, being a little bit better.
On Easter Sunday of this year, I put my head down and took that first tentative step toward my personal mountaintop. It was every bit as hard and heart-wrenching as I thought it would be, but I was continuously inspired by the people in front of me. And pretty soon, I noticed something kind of odd…
There were people behind me, too. As inconceivable as it seemed to me, there were people who had longer, harder roads than I did and who were inspired by the progress I had made. Keep on the path and I have no doubt the same thing will happen to you (if it hasn't already).
Enjoy this holiday season, and use the time to get a second wind. Once this new year hits… this new year with all its endless possibilities and potential… I’m going to be after you to get going for real.
Here’s to a wonderful holiday season.