The power of impulsivity on progression
So, we just got through Blue Monday, but January is a long month often sat waiting for the holy grail of payday. How are you feeling? Are you down and depressed or happy to be through the expense and excess of Christmas? I wonder if people fall into two camps. People who love Christmas and get depressed in January, and those who hate the festive season and embrace the new beginnings and clean living of January? I know that I am the latter. I hate Christmas. The added pressures, the waste, the pointless extravagance, the food, and the drink. I wonder if because I am controlled, and Christmas is all about being fun, letting go and going crazy, that is why for me, January is up there with my favourite months!
January sings the blues
January means that everyone is skint. No one is going out! There is no pressure to eat cake and stay out past 9pm. For a month or two I am in the majority as the masses descend back to the gym, for this to be the year they finally lose the weight and get happy. Yes, in January most people are living their lives the way I live mine most of the time and that means I am finally normal!
Is there an argument to say that many who look forward to Christmas enjoy the escapism that can be found in that write off month of the year? It is funny and seems to have become more and more so over the years, that December has become the invisible month. The month where you can eat as much, drink and even spend as much, and sleep as little as you want, and it really does not matter in the moment because it’s Christmas! Of course, the issue with this is if the same happens every year. Each December if you get fatter, more ill, and poorer, then no wonder January continually sings the blues and some.
So, this January are you excited to be back to normal and gaining back the control of your health and finances or are you down and miserable because you have a huge credit card bill to pay and and an even bigger belly. Are you living in the only pair of jeans that still fit having just joined weight watchers or pure gym to “sort yourself out?
January though, in my mind, is not to be feared. January can be a great time for measurement and seeing how far you have come. Each year it can be a positive exercise to look at what you have achieved in the last 12 months and quite often you will be astounded. We can all be hard on ourselves and self-critical finding all the reasons why we are failures. However, by just having a quick glance back at where you were this time last year it can be quite powerful to see that you have progressed far more than you thought.
So, from the first part of this blog, I have probably come across as quite boring, and in the everyday I pretty much am. I eat the same food nearly every day. I only drink the same drink when I go out….and if I do go out, I like to be home by 8pm. Bedtime is a beyond boring 9pm and my boyfriend and I even sleep separately in the week to make sure our sleep quality is tip top.
F*&K it – Let’s do this
However, what I lack in everyday excitement, I make up for in abundance with my impulsivity over my biggest life decisions. I have left a marriage, had a third baby after a 10-year gap, and quit three jobs all with a determined “f*&k it, let’s do this,” mentality. Certainly, when I have followed my sixth sense and trusted my gut life has not been dull. In fact, so far life has been a flaming blast. Full of twists and turns and nothing, “so far so good” that I regret.
When I look back over where I have come in the last year and indeed the last 5 years since my 20-year marriage, ended there have been many highs and crashing lows, but wow I have grown is so many ways. Highs include visiting Thailand (a childfree holiday for the first time in 18 years), buying my first house and making it a home, and competing in a national sporting competition in London. Lows are becoming less since I have a committed boyfriend, but certainly the loneliness and anxiety that comes from being single and over 40, have provided some difficult days and nights.
Out of the darkness comes self belief
Looking back though from where I was, I am so happy for the dark times because they challenged me, made me grow and have helped to build my self-esteem. I am still a work in progress but reflecting like this each January really helps me to keep being brave, pushing and challenging myself to do things that scare me and that I don’t enjoy, because I know if I stay inside of my comfort zone that looking back next January will be boring and disappointing.
In life, business, relationships and especially weight loss, progress can often be a slog. When we have bad habits, self-limiting beliefs, or a critical parents voice firmly implanted in our brains, making long lasting changes can often be an uphill struggle with numerous peaks and troughs. If long term life changes will involve breaking down all the negativity, sometimes self-loathing, and irrational voices planting hurdles in your mind, then it is important to allow yourself the time to make the full journey.
Leaving a relationship because you want more, leaving a job to start a business you are passionate about, tackling health issues when you know there is a huge struggle ahead, all take huge courage and can be life changing decisions that are easy to keep putting off year after year.
Create your own third force
In these instances, a f*&k it impulsiveness act now and worry about the consequences later can be a blessing. It can add that third force that facilitates action.
Force number 1: I want to leave my job, or I want to lose weight or I want to do the same thing as my friends.
Force number 2: I can’t leave my job because I must pay bills, or I can’t lose weight because hate exercise because I am so unfit. I can’t join in with my friends because they are all so much better than me.
The Third Impulsive Force:
I handed my notice in now I must raise my game and figure something out.
I paid upfront for a long-term gym membership – I have attended now, or I will be annoyed I wasted my money.
I entered an indoor rowing competition with my really fit friends – I have to flaming do this now!
Committing to something on an impulse can really force you to get out of your comfort zone and rise to the challenge. When there is only force 1 and force 2 involved, it is easy to stay in limbo year after year knowing you want to make changes but talking yourself out of them because you are scared.
F*&K It and allow yourself to grow
If you look back this January and think life has not changed since last winter. If you look back this January and think that you are as miserable this year as you were 5 years ago, then it’s time to do the uncomfortable work and make some radical changes and find your inner “f*&k it.”
The journey that might mean you getting exactly where you want to may be a long one, but there will be aspects of that journey that you will enjoy when you take the pressure off and commit to the challenge in the long term.
Don’t fear the pain of change. Make an impulsive gut driven decision to do something that is important to you, and you will make it work. The sooner you start that journey, the sooner you’ll get the successes that you long for. You have no idea how high you are going to soar once you start putting yourself in new uncomfortable places with challenges to terrify and excite you.
Your potential is infinite if you just have the confidence to say, “f*&k it” and let yourself grow.