Cheesecake and why we don't stick to those New Years Resolutions – West Coast Krav Maga have a suggestion

Does any of this sound familiar?

“Next year I’m going to train more, exercise more and eat healthier foods. No More Cheesecake!!!”. These are “The great aspirations”, sounds like a Motown Band.  Well they have a Christmas Hit as we see most of them every New Year. If it’s such a familiar tune, why do most of us not meet these goals and get the same results year after year?

When I think about my personal challenge with goals, the lyrics from Aerosmith Dream On pop into my head, I love this song by the way:

“I know nobody knows, Where it comes and where it goes, I know it’s everybody sin,
you got to lose to know how to win”

Music is an amazing thing, the right song can give you a kick up the back side or provide that quick get you up when your teetering on whether to train, to exercise more… you get the drift. This is because you’re not alone with the challenges of achieving your resolutions.

inner demonsWith me, it’s my inner demons that make my life a little more fun but harder. I’ve a little voice in my head, let’s call him mini Douglas.  “It’s ok to eat some cake” he says, “…mmmhh wash it down with a beer, that’s nice!”  Mini Douglas is not always the voice of reason, it’s the more the childish voice that makes me tell great jokes in class. So it’s not a bad voice, it tells me I’m doing ok, but mini Douglas does not like change. I think he’s stuck in the eighties and when I make my New Year’s resolutions mini Douglas is at first afraid, sometimes petrified.

OK ok, so why else is making progress so hard? Well, firstly we are all in good company.  There’s been a lot of songs written about diversity and hanging on in there.  In almost every autobiography I’ve read, you would think that there’s no mountain high enough as these celebrities overcome so many hurdles.  My point is that they did not overcome every hurdle, but they were still successful.

Bill Gates was broke, Jim Carey was homeless, Kyle Maynard is a quadruple amputee who wanted to be an MMA fighter and Simone Biles (who’s story blew me away). You appreciate that there’s no magic pill for consistent progress. It’s ok not to achieve every goal and in doing so you’re in good company, after all we’re only human.  It’s how you prepare for diversity and learn from the side tracks that defines us.

We all have adversity of different set backs most days in life.  My personal challenge is that I’m very easily side tracked, I can make 5 cups of tea and eat half a pack of bikkies before I start studying. Sometimes it’s the big things that knock us off track,  perhaps a family member who has cancer and they need your help. Other times it can be little things like being too polite to say no to something or it’s a little motorbike trip when I, I mean we are supposed to be training. new years resolutions

I have a lust for life, this is ok but my goals are slowly slipping away then another years gone and mini Douglas is badgering on at me about “well big guy, you’re doing ok so why change, let’s hug and eat cheescake” and my focus drifts a little more. You get the drift, I don’t want praise or pity, I am what I am and it needs no excuses.

So what’s different about the people who make consistent progress and the people who do not?

One view is that they have a backup plan.  They think about the things that could throw them of course and have a little something tucked away to help.  Think of it like this, would the SAS go into a mission without thinking about what could ghave a backup plano wrong? Think about how big Batman’s utility belt is.

We’re good at saying what we want to achieve, and we’re pretty good at working out where we’re at.  So maybe try something a little different next year, think about what are the challenges that could come up. Then say to your own mini Douglas, “I can get over these things”

Here’s my suggestion, take 5 minutes to list or even draw what are the big challenges you could face when working on your goals next year and how you could solve each of them.   Remember, when some of them happen and they will, it’s a fist pump moment when you triumph as it’s like writing your own biography or motivational song.

I think this is the missing link that many of us overlook each year. I’ll write later about planning goals and mini milestones, but for now a final message to my mini Douglas:

Pay my respects to grace and virtue
Send my condolences to good
Hear my regards to soul and romance
They always did the best they could

And so long to devotion
You taught me everything I know
Wave goodbye, wish me well
You’ve gotta let me go

Authors note: we promise not play any of these songs in class at West Coast Krav Maga in Preston, Blackpool or Lancaster.  However, if you fancy creating a motivational play list from the songs within this blog, the following were beautifully quoted by moi to help make a few points:

  • Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (not the Diana Ross Version!!!)
  • Human – The Killers
  • I Will Survive & I am what I am – Gloria Gaynor
  • Dream on – Aerosmith
  • Good Company – Queen
  • Lust for life – Iggy Pop