I don’t know what you guys did over the holidays. I ran a half marathon ( more on that in a minute) and jumped on a cruise ship for New Year’s.
I recommend that cruise ship thing. Watching the countdown with a couple thousand other partying people in the middle of the Caribbean, knowing that only one person has to drive. Defs a good thing. At least for me.
The race was the San Diego Holiday half marathon. It takes place in beautiful La Jolla, Ca., just north of San Diego. That’s about 50 miles south of my place in Orange county, and this was the weekend before Christmas, so traffic between L.A. & San Diego can be terrible.
The good news? I live 2 blocks from the train station. There is this train called Pacific Surfrider, which goes up and down the coast with a minimum of stops.
Business class was about $75, round trip. For that you get a guaranteed seat and a cute little snack box each way. But the big benefit is sitting there watching the Pacific ocean on one side and the traffic going oh-so-slowly on the other. Could not recommend it more. ..
…but I digress
About the race itself. It was billed as a “fast” course, with an overall decline of about 700ft through the 13 miles. “Run your new P.R.!” That’s personal record in runner speak, or P.B. (personal best) if you live in Europe ( shout out to my Star Running Club peeps in Derry, N. Ireland!).
700ft decline? yes.
Fast course? Not so much.
It started with a mile hill. A solid mile of incline is not the best way to start a fast race. You’re gassed by the time you get to the top. The brochure said that after the hill there were a “few gentle rollers”.
Not the way I would describe it.
More or less rolling hills for most of the rest of the way. Small hills, but hills.
It was a nice race, and they gave away the best race shirt ever, a long sleeved tech material hoodie (see pic). So it was great fun.
But not a P.R. race.
O.K., so much for the race review.
So it’s early January and we’ve been at this New Year’s resolution thing for about a week. The glow of “it’s a new year, it’s a new me!” is starting to fade into “ I miss cookies” and “this meal planning is a pain in the ass”. So this blog is aimed at a certain group of people. Those who are hanging on to their 2020 resolutions. Yeah, you. I’m talking to you.
Statistically speaking, you’re already a minority. When it comes to resolutions, 77% of people last a week. 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions will actually fulfill those goals in a timely fashion. Research from athletic social networking site Strava reveals that January 12th is the most common day for the formerly resolute to start waving that white flag. By the second week of February, some 80 percent of those resolution-ers are back home with a new kind of remorse staring back at them in the mirror – the remorse of disappointment.
But why? Why are you beating yourself up? “f you gained 12 pounds over the holiday season, why do you think you can lose it in a week if it took basically 12 weeks to gain? There are no quick fixes—there’s no such thing. Just hard work on the road to success.
The unfortunate truth is that change, all change, entails some degree of emotional friction, which in turn generates a state we call stress. Whether you’re feeling anxious, depressed, frustrated, fatigued, weak and out of control, or simply bored, emotional friction (stress) becomes the fuel of failure. That stress you feel is your choices, your lifestyle, changing. When it comes to handling the stress involved in change, many people share the fundamental problem of self-sabotage. As unwelcome and “not what you wanted to hear” as this answer may be, one way or another it all boils down to self-discipline.
Essentially, you build self-discipline by willfully enduring the transient discomfort of changing who and what you are. You’re not born with self-discipline; you acquire it. Like a muscle, you need to develop your self-discipline muscle, one challenge at a time. Starting today, instead of reflexively feeling a need to minimize or escape the friction involved in change, recognize instead the need to endure it.
OK Bob. How do we do that? The answer is, slowly and with some difficulty. But here’s some ideas;
– 1. Think small. Begin with small successes. Throughout the day, find simple challenges that you make happen.
– 2. Build self-trust. Once you get used to making small things happen, begin to recognize and embrace the truth: What I say to myself is what I do. And I CAN do it!
– 3. Look for short term goals. A vacation at the beach ( ie wearing a bathing suit in public) is great motivation for weight management. Need a new pair of pants/slacks? set a goal that you have to reach before you buy. Small success breeds self confidence.
– 4. Optimism. I have a hard time with this from time to time. I can find one negative aspect of an otherwise great life and fixate on that one thing. No one’s life is without negatives. The key is to train yourself to focus on the positives.
– 5. Be accountable to another person. Sometimes we care more about what others think of us. It’s not an entirely great point of view, but it can certainly help in the case of achieving short term goals, and personally I will do whatever it takes to get from here to there.
– Make exercise a priority. It has to be a non-negotiable. I look at my fitness like my meals. And I don’t skip meals. And BTW, if you skip meals, or “forgot to eat “, I really, really don’t understand you.
– 6. Exercise even when you’re “too tired.” Chances are, you’ll feel better after exercising. Or you won’t. There are days when I don’t want to exercise. I’m not happy when I’m going into the gym. And after my workout, you know what?
On those days I’m usually still not happy. But you know what else?
I did it.
I got the work done.
That’s all it is some days. Get it done.
So what I want you to do is, give it a chance. Take the time to let it become a habit. A part of your life.
Don’t stop now.
Happy 2020 folks,