The Resolution Revolution

Making New Year’s resolutions is easy.

Once a year we look at the things we aren’t happy with, or would like to change. Then we decide we’re going to change them, make a list of new rules to live by and Bob’s your uncle, resolutions done. Classics include giving up smoking, drinking less, exercising more…all things that make perfect sense.

The problem is, you then wake up on January 1st and all of a sudden these resolutions look much harder to keep. “There’s still 8 Marlboro Lights in the pack, so I’ll give up when they’re finished”. “No more wine through the week, but it’s Dave’s birthday on Saturday so I have to get smashed for that”. “I’m not fit enough to run so maybe I’ll try going for a walk, tomorrow”. Excuses are all too easy to find and resolutions too simply broken and all too soon forgotten.


So what’s the answer? Well for me it’s about more than making a set of rules and attempting self governance. I don’t smoke, nor do I drink as much as I used to. I definitely want to make changes around my health and fitness though, including my mental health, and have them impact positively on as many areas of my life as possible. So how does that translate in to resolutions? Well I started by writing down some of the things I wanted to change; weight, fitness, speed, and other things not exercise related including diet, motivation at work, how I spend my spare time (when I’m not training!) etc. Breaking them down in to the things I need to change resulted in a long, long list! I’d have to commit more to things, change routines, shop differently, avoid distractions that have become as much a part of life as breathing is…big scary changes. But you can’t start the year with thirty resolutions and hope to remember them all, let alone keep them! So I started to deconstruct what I’d written, see if it could be melted down in to just a few choice phrases to live by. As I worked it became increasingly obvious that what I needed was less of a resolution and more of a mantra. Something I could turn to every day, in every situation and be sure I was working towards my ideals for 2013.

And so, every morning of 2013 and any other time I feel the need to hear it, I will say out loud to myself…

“Today I will make positive choices for my physical and mental well being”

It really is that easy. Any time a decision is to be made I will think to myself “what is the positive choice?”.

Do I sit on the sofa watching reruns of Cheers or do I go for a run to cheer me up? What is the positive choice?

Do I order a take-away or do I go to the shop and buy something cheaper, fresh and healthy? What is the positive choice?

Do I spend the evening watching Facebook and Twitter on the laptop with junk telly on in the background, or do I put on some music and read? What is the positive choice?

There will be times when watching Cheers whilst eating a pizza and tweeting will be the positive choice, but they will be few and far between compared to the times I do something more beneficial for my physical and mental health.

The first choices have been made, I’m off for a run and then I need to sit down and make plans for training over the coming month. Looking forward to sharing the progress with you, and as always thank you for your support and feedback.


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5 Responses to The Resolution Revolution

  1. Lou says:

    Love this! I too chose not to make any resolutions, instead I set a goal to be fit, healthy and happy in 2013.

    Good luck, I look forward to reading about how it’s all going

    Lou x

  2. Good luck and a happy new year

  3. Laura Milsom says:

    Hi James,
    So often, as you say, people set ridiculously unrealistic targets for themselves just because it’s one date in the calender. And it doesn’t work. Why would it when you think you only have to do it because it’s January 1st? And life doesn’t work like that anyway.
    I prefer your approach as it doesn’t mean anything is off the table. Positivity and choosing your path means when the next December 31st rolls around, you can look back and it’s all on your back how far you’ve come and the achievements you’ve accomplished.
    And if you sit back once in a while, eat your pizza and tweet the night away, it’s all good.
    Have a great year.

    • James Clay says:

      Thanks Laura, 2013 is proving challenging so far but there’s a long way to go before we can look back on how successful my new mantra has been. Fingers crossed…

      Hope it is a great year for you, I’ll follow your progress with interest. šŸ™‚

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