For a long time I despised motivational sayings. I rolled my eyes every time I heard “Hard work makes your dreams come true.” I wretched at “You can be whatever you want to be.” Really? I was at my bitter peak with the dramatic reactions to inspirational statements, but still! For many, like myself, life’s successes are not a linear climb. Instead, it’s a lot of dips, spiral free falls, ass kickings, and face plants. Eye of the Tiger, the underdog anthem, is not cheering you on to generate that victorious punch. No, when you fall you are greeted by desperate silence. You have to figure out a way to crawl back to the splintery top.
It’s hard to find solace in hard work makes your dreams come true after your dreams go down the proverbial toilet.
It was not until I allowed social media into my life that I discovered others felt the same way.
This saying really got my attention because I can identify with learning from shitty experiences rather than Disney endings. This saying inspired me to think of another eye rolling term: New Year’s Resolutions. Resolutions are absolutes and it’s hard to spontaneously change (or combust) because of a calendar date!
In preparation for the calendar change, people in New York City shredded painful reminders of 2015. The shredded reminders will be the confetti for the ball drop. That is an amazing, cathartic act. Wait! Before you jump on the metaphorical shredding bandwagon, take a good look at the past year before you attempt to expunge the negativity. Negativity teaches us lessons. It’s hard to face things that make us angry or sad because they suck. Unfortunately, you have to be ready to face things if you want to welcome change.
Think about all of the common things people want to change for the upcoming year: relationships, exercise, diet, bad habits, etc. Think of the things you want to change and stew in those thoughts. Let your mind simmer in anger, hopelessness, disappointment, etc. What got you to that point? Will an absolute statement like “I am going to exercise four days a week” or “I am not eating junk food” or “I will not hang out with negative people” give you the ammunition to change your ways?
Shift those resolutions to evolutions: evolve creates resolve.
Own your choices, patterns, and accept them. Educate yourself. The world is full of information at our fingertips. All the “expert advice” is overwhelming and sometimes hindering. Take your time in finding out what will really work for you. If it’s cooking healthier, stealing time to exercise, or looking for positive people, it will take a while. Yes, you may fall down again. You may decide you want something different. You may not find what you are looking for in 2016, it might be 2018, and it might be a lifetime of evolving. But, you are moving forward. That’s the point. Taking action to move forward is more productive than a static statement. Making active changes, adapting to situations, and growing stronger will help you get to the gym, eat healthier, or whatever you want. Reverse the pattern. Instead of saying what you are planning to do for 2016, explain how you are going to do it and take action. That’s why evolutions need to come before resolutions.
I still get slightly queasy when I hear certain motivational statements: “Everything happens for a reason!” Belch! But, I too have evolved from thinking pure happiness is a colossal joke. I learned from my shitty experiences. I am making one resolution this year: To Keep Evolving.
Keep going my Fabulous and Fit Mamas. Evolve into the person you want to be in the most fabulous way. You are already so badass!