How to Be the 20 Instead of the 80 This New Year

 

New Years is just around the corner in case you’ve missed it on all the commercials and advertisements everywhere. 

Retail stores are stocking up on athletic gear. Grocery stores are stocking up on the latest health trends. Instagram advertisers are throwing the newest diets, teas, pills, and instant hot body hacks at their followers.

The funny thing is, we all fall for it. Myself included. We’re sucked into this time of year where trying new things and sticking to them feels like a great idea. We’re motivated. We find new inspiration in all of these things we see on our screens.

I even find myself thinking I’ll really start to eat healthy once the new year begins. , I’ll work out more, I’ll be more adventurous, I’ll keep my room clean, I’ll write more, I’ll read more, I’ll binge watch less, I’ll travel more. The list goes on and on.

Now, not all this motivation is bad but it definitely runs out.

It’s interesting how we wait until the first of the year to begin all these things. I’m curious if that is the reason 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February. We overload ourselves all at once with all these improvements.

What if instead, we started now? Here is how you can create goals any day of the year that are reachable:

Start small: Begin with something you can easily achieve so you can show yourself it’s doable. Examples: work out at least 2 times a week, put clothes away after taking them off, write for five minutes before bed.

Reality Check: Don’t make it something you could only do if you had been consistent with it up until now. Unrealistic example: Squat 250  pounds by next week like that girl on Instagram does. Example: increase weight by 5 pounds every time you go back to the gym. meme

Visualize the improvement:  Make sure whatever you’re trying to succeed at can be measured and you can SEE the achievement. Once you have done your reality check it’s easier to see your success over time. Example: Create a chart, written schedule or take pictures to visually see the change.

Don’t wait to be inspired: If you wait to be inspired it most likely will never come. Think about your goal and picture what it will feel like if you reach it and then get to move on and create another one. ( Ha. This one is funny because my body just cringed at this idea).

This is much easier to write than actually do. I’m one to wait for inspiration and I’m also one to desire instant improvement. This is going to be just as much of a challenge for me. But, I want to be that 20 percent that makes it past February. I want to be that 10 percent that makes it past six months and the 2 percent that makes it all year.

Think of it this way, if you start today, you’ll be days ahead of everyone else…

With all that said, have a happy New Year and good luck!

 

 

 

 

The Comparison Game

I’m here, climbing these steps in the gym. Kind of wishing I hadn’t set myself up at such a high speed. I’m already tired. I’m trying to act like I’m not actually dying, huffing and puffing up these steps. 

I come here to feel good. To release stress. But I find myself even more stressed. I look to the person to my right. She’s going faster, she’s been here for 20 minutes, I’ve been here for four and I’m exhausted.

She’s got a bigger butt, leaner legs, probably a thigh gap too. Probably because she’s more determined. She’s better at this kind of thing. I’m not as good.

I go straight to the leg machines. If I have a nicer butt, toner legs people will notice. And sometimes they do. But then I wonder if that’s the attention I should be looking for.

Then it switches:

That girl, she’s wearing those leggings… but should she? Should I? That girl should probably do more squats. Oh, she gained some weight, or she lost a lot of weight. She used to work out all the time. Well, at least I’m ahead of her. But she, she works out every day. I need to stop being lazy.

When did other women become my enemy? Something to degrade to make me feel upgraded? An enemy I have created myself, in my mind. 

When did I become my worst enemy?

When did something in my mind go off and say that I can belittle myself? Or others for that matter.

How did I get to a place where I lose confidence because I lack self-love. 

I tell myself I do it to feel good. Exercise, eat healthily.  But as I roam around the gym I realize my mind may not be in the same place as my heart.

These two thoughts come to mind:

  • Real, authentic self-love is hard. Be humble they say. Don’t be prideful. She’s too confident. Don’t overdo it. Don’t be too much. Oh, and don’t be too little either. 
  • Yet, be confident, be proud of your accomplishments, show people what you’re made of.

How is anyone supposed to live with these expectations? Is there even middle ground here? How can I balance these feelings?

These are all words I typed on my phone as I moved around the gym to different machines and places that would make me feel different feelings and emotions. I had to ask myself why I think such detrimental thoughts and why I hadn’t noticed it before.

I feel ashamed for the way I look and feel about myself, but more so about how I look and feel about others. It’s all a subconscious thing until now. This conversation had gone on in my head for so long, I didn’t realize its effect.

So, what now? I don’t know. It’s a constant struggle to show myself and others respect inside of my mind. Because those thoughts count too. Thinking of them in the first place is what leads to saying them out loud.

So I have done the only thing I know how to do right now. I know I want to take steps to eliminate these negative, demeaning thoughts.

1.) Pray for positive thoughts

2.) Find an accountability partner

3.) Stop the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones ASAP.

4.) Remind myself we are ALL human. We’re all made in the image of God and judging ourselves and each other isn’t even our job.

5.) We should be loving on ourselves and each other, not degrading. Whether it’s only in the space of our minds or not.

6.) Get over yourself. (What I have to say to myself because I’m not the only person in the room.)

Writing this, let alone publishing it, has been hard. I was so hesitant to hit the publish button because it could mean shattering some views other people have of me. But, if it means being honest and real so that more people- women specifically- can talk about this comfortably, then it’s worth it.

As you can see I’m not perfect. I don’t have this all figured out. But, I do want to make a change. I want girls and women to feel confident going into the gym or anywhere. I want them to feel good about themselves and others. So, I hope this is a step toward that.

And know that no matter the size on your tag, the size of your butt, whether you wear leggings or not, how much time you spend in the gym, or how many green things you eat, God loves you all the same. And He is the only one who can authentically, unconditionally, portray that kind of love. But, we can learn from Him and hope to love each other and ourselves like that.

Have you ever felt these feelings? Let me know your thoughts!

Until next time,

Aubree

(God, I pray for whoever reads this that You use these words for their good and for their needs specifically. And that anything I might have said that does not align with Your Words and beliefs that You change it so that it does.)