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Resolutions 2.0: Less Is More

07/01/2016 4:15 PM IST | Updated 29/08/2016 9:41 PM IST
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We're fast approaching that time where gyms start to empty out again after the initial rush of "I will get my neighbours body". And this is the real time to reflect, after our resolve to do it all has died off, and we have had to note that nothing much has changed since last year, the sky didn't fall and the sun comes up and goes down just like it did in 2015. So most of us revert to how we were last year, too.

Let me at this point congratulate the exceptions to this rule -- I'm not saying that if you're the kind of person to resolve something every year and can keep it up, you shouldn't continue on that path. But, let's face it, if that's who you were, you wouldn't need to resolve things in the first place, because you would already be Arnold Schwarzenegger. So for all those of us who are not Arnold Schwarzenegger, let's resolve to resolve less this year.

The odds are, quite simply, terrible: one way to succeed, a thousand ways to fail. Turns out, even five consecutive cardio sessions a neighbour's body don't make.

The main reason for this being because we are creatures of reason, and the odds are, quite simply, terrible: one way to succeed, a thousand ways to fail. Turns out, even five consecutive cardio sessions a neighbour's body don't make.

This year, resolve only to be kinder to yourself, for from kindness comes nurturing, and from nurturing comes growth. I don't mean "be kind to yourself and empty the contents of your fridge into your belly every day", and if that is what you've been doing then it may really be necessary to go old school and resolve to try and stop that. By being kinder to yourself I mean you should be more accommodating with your choices.

Don't resolve to go to the gym every day, and please do not attempt to guilt yourself into really, really sticking with it this year by buying up the entire workout section of the sports store just to see it go dusty in the back of your closet. Take that motivation, get your old trainers out and go for a run right now, just for the hell of it. If only you do it once. Buy yourself those kicks only once you've run so far your old ones are falling apart. And no, the ones you have now are not "falling apart"-- I know they are in mint condition from your shopping raid last year, just like I know you didn't go for a run like I said you should.

If you can't take the 15 minutes now, today, how do you expect it to turn your life around and incorporate itself into your routine? I know what you're thinking -- you're thinking "no, but" -- stop that. Take it day by day, and don't start tomorrow, because tomorrow hasn't been made yet and who knows if it will, but start today.

Don't resolve to get fit and lose weight fast, but to spend more just breathing, five deep inhales, exhales, in with the new, out with the old.

[B]y God avoid numbers and milestones... don't lose 10 pounds, not in 30 days, not ever.

Make small changes for a lifetime, not momentous nonsense for a week. And reward yourself, please, urgently reward yourself. And by God avoid numbers and milestones... don't lose 10 pounds, not in 30 days, not ever. Don't resolve to get all your gift shopping done in time this year, but resolve to not roll your window up as often when you encounter a hungry child at a red light. And if you didn't today, do it tomorrow, they will be grateful just the same.

Don't resolve to finally go on that expensive trip, but try to get to know your city better, I promise there's more to it than you could ever learn in a lifetime. Don't resolve to read big fancy books to appear smart, read Bridget Jones because it's fun, or to hell with it, watch the film. Don't drink less, in fact drink more, just make the "more" be water. You don't have to be "more hydrated by Thursday", just drink a glass right now. Don't resolve to call your mom three times a week, but to tell her you love her more. Don't resolve to take your kid to the park three times a week but to not look at your watch when you're there. Don't resolve to get your wife a third necklace for your anniversary, but to (trust me on this) remind her why you fell in love with her, and to look at her rather than your screen over dinner. Don't resolve to cut out the chocolate, but to sit down and enjoy it, and to eat more strawberries, both are good for you. Resolve to not guilt yourself into as many things (but not to feel guilty if you do)... sometimes, most times, your best is absolutely good enough.

Don't say you will, don't say you won't, just do. Do a little less of this, do a bit more of that.

Don't say you will, don't say you won't, just do. Do a little less of this, do a bit more of that.

Disclaimer: This approach alone won't change your life for the better, probably. But neither did last year's lofty resolutions. The only thing that happened was that you made yourself feel terrible with guilt. Guilt is the enemy of a positive attitude. And the secret to success is in the attitude. That's where it all starts, where it all fails. Once you've got the attitude bit down, everything else will fall into place. Now go get yourself some chocolate. Good job.

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