Monday, 16 January 2017

Live in Balance: Are they the right goals for me?

With most of my colleagues back at work with me, we invariably chat about the holidays and that conversation then rolls around to New Years' resolutions. I usually listen with an attentive ear, not only because I can learn something but it is hard not to sympathize with some of their issues.
I might have mentioned it, about a million times or so, that I work in a very stressful environment. Most people have stress in their lives that follow a wave-like pattern - up and down, up and down. Meaning that the stress only occurs as peaks over a small time period: financial year end, completing a product for delivery, and so on.
Linzé Brandon, Live in Balance, Goals 2017, word count target

In my case, the level of stress never subsides. There are even higher peaks at certain times (almost every month), but the pressure never lets up. While it is a supercharged and exciting industry to work in, it takes a heavy toll on people, myself included.
To get back to my original point, New Years' resolutions in our lives can get drowned out in the noise of this kind of stress. A colleague mentioned that he decided to do something different this year since he barely made it through the last one. It is nothing odd or stupid, but he knew that the plan of last year was not good enough, so he had to change it.
And that is exactly the thing we often forget to do: sit back, reassess our goals of the past. Did they work? Did they achieve what we wanted them to do?
Most people are concerned about sticking to their goals for the year. I think there are many cases where people stick to their goals but feel just as frustrated or unhappy as those people who didn't stick to their goals. Could it be that the List, those New Years' resolutions, were the wrong goals to begin with?
Sure, there are lots of advice available on how to stay motivated. How to find out what motivates you to stick to those lovely goals you set for yourself. There is nothing wrong with that advice if you start off in the right place.
Linzé Brandon, Live in Balance, Goals 2017, weight-loss target

Why would putting losing weight as a goal (yeah, I have that on my Live In Balance list too!) be the wrong thing for you? Could it be that the thing you need to fix has nothing to do with your body weight, but more to do with the reasons you gained weight in the first place?
Boredom? Broken relationships? Depression? To name but a small number of reasons. Shouldn't you rather spend more time in figuring out on what the real reason is and then making that the issue you need to focus on?
It took me a long time to figure out that my problem is boredom. I don't need a lot of sleep and tend to snack after dinner to make my nights shorter. The problem is not the time of day that we have dinner, it's the snacking.
Doing mundane things bores me to tears - and I put household chores at the top of that list. I love cooking but detest washing up. And no, a dishwasher is not a solution to that problem, since it still requires work from a human - loading and unloading. I dumped the unloading part on my husband's shoulders. Needless to say, the list is long and dull. So if you expect a meticulous house when visiting me, you will be disappointed. Dust bunnies and the odd spider or gecko live very harmoniously with us until I do get around to cleaning and vacuuming. At least the geckos are smart enough to make a run for it before they get vacuumed!
Linzé Brandon, Live in Balance, Goals 2017, art projects

Before I wrote this post, I had another look at my Live in Balance list, and at first glance it is overwhelming. But knowing my personal issues with boredom, it is probably a good thing. If I can keep myself occupied with things I love - reading, writing, sketching, painting, Tai Chi practice - then my weight-loss efforts might be less of a struggle.
While I was writing this post, I realised that by writing about my issues also helps to keep me motivated. As someone who has been struggling with being overweight my whole life, I need as much motivation and conviction as I can muster at this point.

It is the start of week 3 and so far so good. Are you still on track to achieving your goals for 2017?

And the debate on diet vs exercise rages on. Click to read more...