If there is one time of year that a large number of people up and decide to get healthy, it’s now. And most of those people fall off the wagon fairly quickly. If you’ve been one of those people in the past, that’s okay! Maybe you failed the goal BUT you are not a failure! FAILURE IS OKAY.
via Bey Day (7/20/2013)
Yes, that’s me rocking a baldie! Not an inch of hair atop my head and I LOVED IT! Something about not having any hair on your head is very freeing. Even more so than my normal short styles. It says, “TAKE THAT TRADITIONAL BEAUTY STANDARDS!” I was fierce honey! I say, I WAS SLAYING WHILE BEING SLAYED BY THE QUEEN!!!!! It was clearly slay-inception!
A little back story. These photos are from July 20, 2013 aka MY BEY DAY! Since living in Michigan, I’ve been cutting my hair myself (mostly). I wanted to look fly for Queen Bey so I cut my hair …….5 hours before the concert (awful idea). To make a long story short, there was a reason my clipper set didn’t come with a NO. 1.5 guard. The guard fell off…..while I was cutting……
I cut a large bald strip through the back of my head. At which point I freaked out for a good hour because I had to find a barber. Remember how I said I cut my own hair? At 5pm, I was dressed and in a chair. I let go, let God, and let that man cut off all my hair. I looked in the mirror and thought, “Wow, this actually looks really good on me!”
I only had that (full) baldie for 3 days but let me tell you, I FELT LIKE THE BADDEST TO EVER DO IT AND I WANNA DO IT AGAIN! So please believe, I will next summer!
I shared that to say, I FAILED at cutting my hair. But it’s okay because I was fierce, honey! FIERCE!
And remember this from November?
I failed my OWN challenge. I only completed 13 of 28 days of a challenge I created. But it’s okay because I still lost 40 pounds. FORTY!
According to Webster n’em, to fail means:
Also according to Webster n’em, a failure is:
Neither of those definitions includes, “You might as well die because you suck at this task and life.” The first (and most important) definition of the word “fail” is to not succeed. So maybe you didn’t lose weight last time you tried. Does that mean you can’t or shouldn’t ever try again? Of course not! Just means that you need figure out why you didn’t succeed and try again!
Don’t believe me? Look what Motha Oprah has to say about the matter!
“There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” – Oprah at Harvard’s Commencement Ceremony (via Rolling Out)
Neither of those incidents made me a failure because I still accomplished something. I managed to find another haircut that looks great on me. I also managed to reach my lowest weight since beginning this process (151.2 pounds). FAILURE IS OKAY!!!
Rather than talk about how to set your goals (because many others have that covered), I wanted to share the 4 things that I believe helped me succeed!
I didn’t start in January (nor on a Monday). Starting with the New Year is kind of stressful for several reasons:
You’re still coming down off the holidays. You’re finally getting back into your routine. Why add stress if you don’t have to? I have new things I want to do this year but I haven’t started them yet. I’m glad I didn’t.
Everybody does it. Which means the gym is crowded, which means you’re going to get annoyed.
Where them dollas at?!?!? Every gym, weight loss club, food and clothing retailer wants to remind you that you probably ate too much over the holidays. They also want you to know they have a sale on everything health and fitness-related.
You’re not really ready. Are you doing it because you want to or because the new year means you should because that’s what folks do?
Because winter. I hate winter and everything it stands for. If you’re like me and live in a northern state, the thought of going out into the cold (day or night) to workout is soul crushing. WHY JESUS!
I started in March (on a Wednesday or Thursday). I spend February and March researching. The only thing I did in March was scale back my sugar. Each week, I used one less pack until I hit 0*. (Click here to read The Beginning Series.)
I started when I was ready. I’ve talked about how i saw a video (that has since been removed) on March 26th and got all hopped up on COACH PUT ME IN THE GAME! By the time I got my gym membership, there was still a deal going on BUT there weren’t that many people. There was also a deal on the new shoes I had to order! I missed the insanity but still got the perks 🙂
I didn’t spend a lot. I got a gym membership, new workout shoes, and a few pairs of cheap workout leggings. I felt committed but I was realistic. I didn’t want to buy a ton of new gear only to fall off the wagon and never use it. Over time I’ve accumulated more but I know that I’ll actually use it!
I took it slow. When I started out, I integrated every change slowly. Like I said, why add stress if you don’t have to? A lot of people will overhaul their diet, start a totally new workout plan, and God knows what else. If I completely disrupt my life like that, I’ll get all anxious and I won’t be able to stick with it. I think most people are that way. Taking it slow helped me make new habits rather than making new sources of stress.
I researched like I was in college. And I still do! I may have mentioned before that my mom likes to plant ideas in my head because she knows I research things to death. And as much as I love Twitter, it’s great for research. Every time my timeline is flooded with drama, I close TweetDeck and I go research something. That means that while I’m adjusting to a change, I can be prepping for the next one.
So here’s the single most important piece of advice I can share about (sanely) getting healthy. If you haven’t done so, spend January (and possibly February) researching: dietary styles and/or nutritionists/dietitians, gyms and/or personal trainers, classes and group activities, wellness coaches, and blogs (professional and regular folk). You’ll be prepared and you’ll feel more confident when you begin. You’ll also (more than likely) be more successful!
If you don’t succeed this time, it’s okay! You can do try again! Everyday! As many times as you need to!
How many times have you had to try again? And how are you going to make sure you succeed this time around?
*Now the only time I use sweetener is if I’m out of my favorite teas and have to drink plain green tea. In which case I use a teaspoon of honey.