How To Keep To Your Resolutions Part 2

As many of you know, or anyone who has read my most recent blog post can tell you, I was issued a challenge. The challenge was to turn off the TV, and no scrolling through my phone for a week. It was supposed to inspire boredom, and by god did it ever. There were some points that I was just pulling my hair out, waiting for it to end. My house got dark around me as I became too lazy to turn on the lights and I sat there in the pitch black trying to contemplate my existence.

Needless to say I was ready for the week to be over. But now that I’m here, I can’t help looking back at what I’ve accomplished. 

Shut up all you naysayers. I know it was just a week but what a week it was. 

I finally wrote another blog post which I hadn’t done since 2019. 

I made healthy foods and actually tasted them, delighted in them, if you will. When else do I get to just enjoy food? I’m usually so distracted by a million things online. 

The boredom really did spark creativity. It inspired me to take out my sketch pad, sharpen my pencils, and just draw. It hasn’t been forever since I’ve done it but it has been a while. 

And it got the old gears up and churning, thinking on more ideas I can do in the coming months that will enable me to make something of myself I’m proud of. 

But I know once I’m presented with the TV remote it will all be for nothing. I don’t want to go back to that, even though it kills me to say so. I want to keep being inspired, spurred on by a lack of outside forces entertaining me. I want to entertain myself. (And yet, as I sit here writing the TV calls out to me, begging me to watch just one more episode… just one more).

In fact, all you adults out there, you know what I started doing again that I haven’t done in as long as I can remember? Writing comic strips. Now, it was something silly I used to do as a little kid, something that I thought I was incredible at but the notebook went missing and I haven’t looked at those drawings in over a decade. But now I’m thinking that I like it. I sketched out a couple of characters and I’m feeling it again. That warmth of being a kid where everything in the world seems open and available, where the dreams have no limit and the creating never stops. 

I had rules as a kid. Rules I was given, granted, by my parents who dictated when were allowed to watch movies and didn’t sign up for cable. I’m sure as a child I resented it. But it led to so many amazing things! I used to design clothes, and then actually make clothes with whatever old shirts I could find and borrowed needle and thread. I would draw, as I previously mentioned, and I would write. Oh, how I would write stories that never ended, short ones, chapter books, my beloved Harry Potter Fan Fiction. It never stopped! 

This week tapped me into that again, that reality of having time for things I actually enjoyed. And of discovery of life, of myself, of the things I could do!

I think we should all discover that. Take a week off. See what we do with all the boredom, where our mind and body naturally steer us. What we love to do when the racket of the world quiets down and it’s just us, alone with our natural talents. No one screaming in our ears telling us who to be. Just you, alone. Revel in it. Because chances to go back in time happen rarely but I’ve been given a chance just now. 

This week tapped me into that again, that reality of having time for things I actually enjoyed. And of discovery of life, of myself, of the things I could do!

…. And three days into the next week I realize I’m not pushing myself enough. As my sister would say it’s easier to go cold turkey than to set boundaries for yourself and actually stick to them. This week started as a long relaxing exhale on the couch with HIMYM on autoplay. And it felt horrible. 

This week also marked my first month of actually running three days a week. I won’t say it was all bad. But I knew I needed to bring back a bit of that success I got from last week. 

So today I made it a little easier on myself. I made a to-do list. All the things that I want to accomplish. It doesn’t matter how much TV I watch as long as I can get everything checked off! So you see that? I hacked the system. 

And so can you. Don’t give up on your creativity just because you’re an adult and life is so freaking busy and all of a sudden you’re the one who has to put food on the table. But it’s easy to say the words, to write them down. It’s easy to know what’s right but less easy to do it which was the point of last week. But I’m trying. I’m trying not to feel like a failure, I’m trying to remind myself that it’s okay to watch a little as long as I’m still making time for the things that make me me.

What are some bad habits you have that you struggle to overcome?

How To Keep To Your Resolutions

Maybe what this is trying to say is working too hard can kill you. Who knows?

I haven’t done such a good job writing recently. Sometimes that happens in life where everything just gets so busy and you feel like you’re going to explode that even taking on one more extra thing just seems impossible.

So, last night I was lying in bed thinking of things to write about. It’s January 2020 after all – not just a new year but a new decade and I wanted to keep my resolution to write! And I thought of a great topic for this week’s help with adult life. In fact it was so good that I told myself I didn’t need to write it down because I wouldn’t forget it.

Guess what. I forgot it.

Now I always have things to say. I am writing about trying to survive life, afterall, and right now it feels like a struggle. BUT I gotta laugh at myself. On the one hand, how the heck did I forget? On the other hand, of course I did. Isn’t that how this beautiful life works?

So on to new things. I’ve taken on a new task. Recently my doctor has told me my cholesterol was getting high. Nothing I need medication for but she said to exercise more. Or specifically “do sports” which I translated to “move your body you lazy ass”

Now, I’m not lazy! I do yoga, I did pole ( but had to stop the past two months, unfortunately, since I moved too far from the studio) and I always take the stairs instead of the escalator. Really.

But then I thought, maybe I just think I’ve been working out. Have I really been as on top of my game as I’ve been telling myself? And I took on a resolution.

Running.

It’s the obvious choice since I can’t afford to join a gym now. And, besides, I’ve always admired runners. When I read about how they describe it, that rush of adrenaline, the “runner’s high” I get jealous. When they zoom past me on the streets pumping their legs and breaking a sweat my heart gives a pang. I want to run! I want to fly! I want my heart to be strong and my legs to support me forever!

Lucky for me running is something I’ve tried many times before. Except, unluckily, I always fail at it.

 Well I don’t know if you can fail at running but I never did it consistently or longer than a month at a time before taking a long break. It’s just so much harder than yoga, which all you need to do is unroll a mat out and put on a YouTube video.

It’s less motivating because you’re alone as opposed to my pole classes where the social environment is encouraging and awe inspiring.

So just getting out there – putting on the sports bra, the right pair of leggings, actually tying shoes is so exhausting that it barely ever happened.

Plus when I actually do start running I go for twenty seconds before panting like a dog in heat. I can’t do it. 

In fact one time many, many years ago I went on an early morning run with my sister. I don’t know how long I made it ( I’d like to think it was longer than five minutes but it very likely was not) before I had to sit on the curb. What felt like forever later I found myself looking into the worried face of my little sister who had no idea what do but was just pleased I had woken up since I had blacked out. I got my heart checked out but it was fine.

I just have sucky stamina. I know it takes a while to build up but it just sucks. Who likes feeling lightheaded and like they can’t breathe?

But this time I’m taking it more seriously. I don’t want any issues with this cholesterol thing. And besides, this is my year! So I’m signing up for a 10K. 

Another one of my dreams is to run a marathon.  Every year I wake up about two months before the next one realizing I have no time to train but promising myself I’ll do it next year. And then the same thing happens except last year I actually signed up. I basically walked the whole thing but now I know that I can at least do that. Now I want to run it.

So I’ve started training. I hope it works out.

I only need to go three times a week. I got this. I just have to keep reminding myself that runners high is real. Every time I get back, I feel like I’m on top of the world and I can accomplish anything. Now who wouldn’t want that feeling?

In fact, that’s my segway into the next challenge that was inadvertently handed to me without my realizing. 

It all started this past weekend. I had been running for three weeks and I was feeling great about myself. So great, in fact, that I turned to my wonderful husband and said,

“You know what’s interesting?”

“What?”

“How I’ve read so many times how good exercise is for you, how great you feel afterwards, that I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m feeling so much better lately. But the truth is I’m shocked at how quickly how I feel about myself can change. I work out and feel more confident. It’s a direct correlation. Why doesn’t everyone do it if they’re guaranteed results?”

“Well,” he started. “It’s hard. Even though you’re guaranteed something you still might not be able to put the effort into doing it.”

“But there are so many positive things that come out of it! It doesn’t make any sense!”

“Oh yeah?,” he countered. “What if I told you that you were guaranteed to be rich – guaranteed – in five years. All you had to do was give up on your social life, on TV, on ever scrolling through your phone. No more vacations, no more fun, but you’re guaranteed to become rich. Could you do it?”

“Pshh,” I waved a hand at him. “Of course. You’re guaranteeing me to be rich!”

At which point he threw a curve ball at me. “I bet you couldn’t even not watch TV or look at your phone for a week.”

“I bet you I can,” I replied huffily. 

Which is how I found myself with my next challenge. No TV or texting anyone, no reading books of fiction. No scrolling through the news. I can call people if I need to get in touch with them but that’s it. 

It’s been three days. I’ll just give you the truth. I’m dying. I wouldn’t have been able to admit how much TV I watched but now I can see it clearly. I eat my breakfast, I’m watching a short show, I’m taking a relaxing day off from doing anything, I’m binging a show, I come home from work exhausted and all I want to do is finish up my HIMYM marathon. 

It’s all I do. And it’s so freaking hard. He’s challenging me to be bored because he says that through boredom springs creativity and the sucky thing is that I know he’s right. But all I can tell myself is don’t worry, you can go back to watching TV next week. It’s only for another three and a half days. 

My phone I can live without. But there’s nothing like taking a vacation from life with a little bit of entertainment courtesy of the 55 inch flat screen staring at me in the living room. 

If I could at least read I would also be 100% fine. I haven’t read a good book in a while but it’s still my favorite way to unwind. But no, he wants me in a permanent state of either doing something or brainstorming doing something else. 

All of which I get! But it’s still hard. 

So I guess what I’m here to say and what I’ve realized these past couple of days is that things can have amazing results. You can know what you’re supposed to do in life, what the correct road to take is, what pursuit will land you the best outcome. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy and you’ll automatically do it because it is so much easier to sit on the couch with your feet up and relax. 

But I believe in you. Keep your eye on the prize and remember how hard it is for everyone. Oh, and being challenged can suck but it can also be easier, since you need to prove your awesomeness to someone else.

Good luck with all your resolutions this year and a Very Happy 2020!