I somehow feel that New Year's resolutions are just too much pressure. With media and social media bombarding us with pumped up quotes – that “Your resolution this year, 1....2....3...” or “What is your resolution this year going to be?” or “Resolve to ......” et al. I don’t think I can ever get myself to make resolutions, let alone follow them to their completion. Now, I know you are expecting that this write-up is supposed to pump you up all gung-ho to get going this New freaking year but all said and done – your resolution will suck. I am going to put things in perspective here. Let’s face it – whatever you resolve to do in the first 3 days of Jan 2020 (all pumped up after partying into the wee hours), will change shape and nature by the second week of Jan, and fizzle out by the third. We all love to show-off and say, “I am going to do this, this and this, this New Year.” To get a few wows and high-fives from our friends and family, but we all suck at keeping promises. So why burden ourselves by all this. Resolutions are nothing but a farce. You see it all the time, people harping about – resolve this year to do this and that, but they themselves can do shit about whatever it is they harp about. Ok, I am not being nihilistic here i.e. one who says, there is no point, so why stress on it and stay completely resigned and indifferent to the entire world. No.
I am only trying to drive home that it’s not the way our mind works. Our minds and we, respond to emotions and feelings. Getting motivated is ephemeral and momentary but being genuinely inspired backed by feelings and emotions – is long-lasting. And that’s what we all need. To be genuinely inspired to do something... for life, to genuinely give a shit about something in life. For that, you need not, on every 31st Dec, resolve to do anything ‘coz that won’t work, instead focus on what inspires you. And I refuse to believe – if you tell me nothing does, coz in that case – you are not hoping for something. Don’t tell me you don’t hope to do well in life? Don’t tell me you don’t hope to keep good health? Don’t tell me you don’t want to see yourselves fit? Don’t tell me you hope for all the success in the world? Hope is everything.
We are moved to action only by emotion. That’s because action is emotion. Emotion is the biological hydraulic system that pushes our bodies into movement.” – Mark Manson
Inspiration will only come if there is something you want to do on the basis of something you hope to get/achieve. And I emphasize the word ‘want’ and I want you to deliberate on the word ‘hope’. Want comes from feelings. Feelings come from hope. You hope for something – feel for it – want it and then only your mind directs you to take ‘necessary action’. You need to be moved by something in order to take any form of consistent and long-lasting action. And this is applicable to anything that you desire or want in life. No matter how much we try to believe or exhibit ourselves – to be logical – and make all sorts of awesome looking business plans, budgeting sheets, etc or personal financial plans extrapolating rates of return to get a future value – our ultimate decision is driven by what we feel, the emotion we attach to it and the gravity of that emotion. If we feel for something, no matter how lopsided your business plans are, you will be driven in that direction. Besides – there is no guarantee that the plan will succeed or when on the road of life you will be able to follow the plan to the T. (I don’t undermine the concept of planning here)
Laziness is an emotion and so is procrastination.
We don’t do something ‘coz we don’t feel like doing it.
Now coming back to resolutions, even if you still aren’t convinced by my argument, then mentally make-up your mind (I don’t wish to use the word resolve here) this year:
1. Do what you want to do - make this year about doing what you want to do, what inspires you and genuinely moves you. Be it that idea you want to work on or be it about that physique you desire.
2. Follow what you want - and follow it passionately (again attaching an emotion i.e. passion – an intensification of the desire of what you want) and I mean follow it. Literally and figuratively. If you are on social media, then follow those who follow your passion.
3. Hope for something, I am sure you hope to get something in all the domains of your life – personal, professional, social or spiritual.
4. You can do whatever it is you want to do OR You can get whatever it is you hope for – Here to get to the point I’ll paraphrase it in the form of an interesting poem, I recently read and it goes like this...
“If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It’s almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will –
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster woman or man,
But soon or late the one who wins,
Is the one who thinks he or she CAN.”
- Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich
MAKE THIS YEAR ABOUT YOUR HEALTH - only ‘make it about’ ... not asking you to ‘resolve’!
I personally want you to make your health a part of all this. Trust me, that’s all that matters and that’s all you need to give a shit about. But how do you? ‘coz you need to be moved or feel for it, right? Technically here, you need to feel for yourself. But how? by asking questions. So don’t resolve about your health or on anything, but ponder on the following questions i.e. just keep them lurking at the back of your mind:
1. Do you want to vegetate in your old age or at any age? Ever seen someone simply bed-ridden and wasting away to nothingness and thereby losing the will to live too. It’s a cascading effect. A downward spiral that one gets pushed into. I have seen people, read about many and heard about infinitely more. This is the perfect example of loss of hope. I firmly believe that these people can be treated not by medicine or doctors but by giving them hope. And hence, it’s vital for us to hope for something. If we don’t then, in a way, we are vegetating. Now imagine – if these people are given the hope to get in shape like literally they are moved by the very idea of it won’t it impact them positively? And we have heard of many such inspirational stories now, haven’t we?
2. Do you want to die early? Now I know this is a lame question to ask and I know everyone has to die someday or the other. But don’t we want to live our lives to the full? Off-course we do. And none of us, and I mean none of us wants to die early. Yet, we follow or inculcate habits that impact us adversely, do things that push back our mortality rates. Ponder on why do we do so?
3. Do you want to be debilitated by a lifestyle disease? An estimated one-third of the population above 30 yrs suffers from lifestyle disorders like diabetes, thyroid, etc. Right, one-third i.e. 30% of the people reading this, will be affected by some form of lifestyle disease i.e. one out of every three viewers will be suffering from one. That’s ok. Nothing to worry about as long as you don’t desire or accept to live that way. No one wants to be affected by it, but god forbid if you are, then you will have the toughness to endure it and even mitigate it to a large extent.
4. Do you want to be obese? Hell, no. Who wants to? I am sure even the people who are obese don’t want themselves to be that way. And don’t picture obese guys as the Yokozuna kinds but any person who is overweight as per his or her BMI is slowly and gradually heading towards this. An estimated 155 million Indians are obese and increasing at approx 50% every year. I am not judging people here but I am sure no one wants to be in that zone.
I am sure we DON’T want any of these questions turning to reality. Questions are a powerful tool that helps us shape our fitness blueprint. No professional success can be achieved without keeping good health. No adversity can be endured without keeping good health. So, hope for a better and healthier lifestyle this year by acting on something that is most important to you and something that we all inherently want – good health. Use some of the above questions – and picture photographs of people who are going through this and also fighting it – to get moved and inspired to take action. “I can do” should be your motto this year.