Go Pedal to the Metal

Image: Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones in Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), Miramax.com

My January 2017 Resolution Stats

(See my original resolutions here)

  • 150+ minutes of exercise per week (v. good, above goal)
  • 3 new recipes tried this month (v. good, above goal)
  • Wrote 1,500+ words per week (v. good, at goal), 0 of those words were for my novel (not so good, actually v. bad, below goal)

Pedal to the Metal

There is a fabulous montage in Bridget Jones’s Diary where Bridget gets so frustrated by the men in her life that she runs off to the gym to cycle off some pounds. She pumps and goes pedal to the metal, sweating up a storm and giving it EVERYTHING she’s got. Of course, this has her falling over herself in exhaustion by the end of the workout. Literally, she lands flat on her face next to the bike.

Typical Bridget.

The lesson: You cannot expect to do it all at one time.

It is easy to bite off more than you can chew and that is what I may have done with my New Year resolutions. I took on three challenges at a time in my life where there are a lot of other things going on. For one, I started a new job this month. Adding three more goals onto a major life change like that can make it hard to keep up.

Honestly, it feels like my head is spinning from my own symbolic bike ride.

Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

That is not to say that I didn’t have a good month. It was a tough one but I have come a long way!

Too many people tend to judge themselves when they fall behind rather than giving themselves credit for all they accomplish. I know better than anyone because I am usually the leader of that brigade. To make positive changes, though, you have to think positive. It is time for me to step outside of my comfort zone and give myself a pat on the back.

It is counterintuitive to everything I know!

Like Bridget, I usually jump in with guns blazing and wind up pushing myself to exhaustion. I feel like a failure when I do not reach my goals as if I have let down not only myself but anyone who has ever supported me. That kind of negative self-talk has to end here and now. I need to learn to thrive on momentum and remember that while I may shoot for the stars, I can appreciate the beauty of the sky on the way up.

Revel in Everyday Success

What lit up my January sky?

For one, exercise is back in my life. I was in an automobile accident in November and my return to exercise has been slow these past months. Something about an airbag pounding bruises into your chest makes it hard to get a full breath of air into your lungs. This month, I started walking for exercise again, and it has been great! I graduated to an elliptical machine for a few days and even jogged a few minutes on the roads before snowy New England took over. I am feeling more like myself every day.

As for my cooking aspirations, I am not going to sign up for Master Chef anytime soon, but I did a bit of exploring this month. I cooked up a cauliflower pork “fried rice”, a tasty cabbage soup, and rolled up some cheesy cauliflower tots with the kids. None of these meals were pretty to look at (no pictures, folks!) but all recipes I would try again, maybe with some tweaks the next time around. The best part was that I encouraged healthy eating for my family.

Find Room for Improvement

Exercise, check.

Cooking, check.

That said, I did fall behind in my writing. The goal was to write 1,500 words per week so that I could maybe have a full book ready to publish by the end of the year. My attentions were just directed elsewhere during all the chaos of the new year and a new job.

I still wrote, don’t get me wrong. I wrote lots. I wrote Medicare articles for Verywell. I wrote medical content for Diagnosis Life. I continue to write personal blog posts here (one of my passions!). All of these writings hold a special place in my heart, but I still need to make room for my dream.

I am giving myself that pat on the back for all I have done so far, but I am making some adjustments for the next stage. I am giving myself a 5,000 word-count goal for February (slightly less than my original goal) and directing all those words towards a book project. And yes, those other resolutions will keep right on going.

It is time to get back on that bike and go pedal to the metal again.

I am not going to fall off this time.