Happy New Year, readers! The year 2010 is going to be a fantastic year. By now we’ve all made (or at least considered) our resolutions. We are going to slim down and tone up, ride our horses a lot more, take up Yoga, make more money…
Of course we will. I admire your enthusiasm! But we have to have a plan — a plan for when the enthusiasm wanes. We have to have a long-term plan, and then devise short term plans that will move us toward accomplishing that major goal. We have to chop it all up into itty-bitty peices that are easy to swallow. This is the area where most people fail. I hate to use that word, because what we currently recognize as “failure” is really is just another opportunity to learn how to do it right. A friend once told me, watch a baby learning to walk. Do they stand right up and walk immediately? Of course not. They try and try and try again, falling on their padded bottoms quite frequently (usually in good humor). But each time, they do something a little differently, so that soon they have it figured out. After a lot of trial and error, in incremental steps, learning a little something new from each failed attempt, they then reach their goal of standing, and then walking without assistance.
When we train our horses, we give them many opportunities to make mistakes. We never expect them to get it perfect the first time. In fact, that’s what training is all about…little steps toward a larger goal. We take them one step at a time. For instance, we never face a horse (or riding student) who has never jumped with a 3 foot jump right off the bat. We begin with ground poles, move to cavalletti, help him learn to gauge distance and timing…you get the idea.
Aikido is similar. In the dojo, the Sensei will show a martial art move to the group of students a couple of times, and then it is up to the students to practice. It may at first seem like a futile exercise to new students, who really have no idea how to accomplish what the Sensei has shown, but eventually you begin to realize that with every bad start, you are learning to make the very small adjustments that will eventually take you on the long, interesting journey from newbie to black belt. We should approach all of our goals this way — the plan, and then the practice.
So back up, sit down and really think about what you want to accomplish this year, and how you will get there. What is one small baby step that you could take this week toward that goal, something at which you can’t fail? What do you need to happen? What do you need to change in order to get there? Who can support you through the changes? Remember that the journey of a lifetime begins with a single step.
Personally, my larger, long-term goal hasn’t changed. But this week I will continue drinking my 48 ounces of water, and begin walking 30 minutes each day. No, no, I must be more realistic. Perhaps I should begin by walking 20 minutes 3 times a week this week. I’m pretty sure that I can’t fail at that.
And that’s how it works! 🙂
For those of you hoping to join me on a weight-loss and fitness journey, so that we fit into our breeches and our horses aren’t rolling their eyes at each other when we try to mount, I offer this tip from RealAge:
Happy New You!