This post is dedicated to those people who make resolutions and try their darndest to stick to them: Gott nytt år alla! (Happy New Year everyone) Lycka till! (Good luck!)
The 26th December 2013 marked a year since I stopped smoking. It came after a discussion Arvid and I had had about New Year’s resolutions. Before meeting him, I had always had a list of 20 or more things I wanted to achieve in the upcoming year. Arvid pointed out how difficult it is for one person to focus on 20 goals so he suggested I stick with one. And the most obvious one at that — “give up smoking.” So I did.
“Give up smoking.” So I did.
I love hearing people’s views on New Year’s resolutions. You get those people who nay-nay it from the start (“it’s over-rated”), those people who make an effort but are cynical (and bound to fail because of their cynicism) and then you find the very few who make resolutions and try their darndest to stick to them. I’d like to think I fit firmly and squarely into the last lot: those who make resolutions and try their darndest to stick to them. After all, it’s embarrassing to say you’re going to do something and then you don’t do it.
The only thing I would argue is that New Year’s resolutions don’t need to happen over New Years’. We feel too often that we need to start something new on, say, a Monday or the first of the month. When really, that’s just an excuse to keep our bad habits for that little bit longer. The truth is: we can start something new whenever we bloody well feel like it. It’s what Oprah would call the “Aa-ha! Moment” or what psychologists might call the “Light Bulb Moment”.
We can start something new whenever we bloody well feel like it.
My real light bulb moment with smoking actually came after I had given up: I went running on a beach in Colombia in March 2013 and could barely, barely breathe. I ran 100 metres and stopped. Ran 100 metres and stopped. For someone who has been fit their whole life, it was a worrying, worrying day.
Thereafter, the other moments were mere encouragement for me to keep it up — I cycled a personal best in Cape Argus without any training. And I was told by my doctor that despite a lung capacity which was 37% less than it should be, I would improve every day longer that I stopped. So that’s that.
Moving onto my — should we call it — Life Resolution for the upcoming year:
Over my time abroad and after quitting smoking, I picked up a few kilograms here and there. It’s a thumb suck but I would say I easily ate and drank 1.5 – 2 times the amount of calories in 2013 as I did in 2011. The graph below says it all: I have gained 5.2kgs in 838 days (that’s 2.29 years).
Now I’ve always said I won’t be one of those whiny girls (or girlfriends) who bores people with their self-deprecatory weight talk and calorie counting. I’m not fat; I’m happy and healthy. But I know that my body is not at its best (which it should be in your twenties sans kids). So it’s my challenge to myself to declare 2014 the year of my body and to lose those 5.2kgs. I don’t intend this to consume my blog entries and discussions. I’d rather it were a topic every now and again and for the rest — better still, something I update you on this time next year.
So it’s my challenge to myself to declare 2014 the year of my body and to lose those 5.2kgs.
In the meantime, chew on my full life bucket list here.