I don’t trust myself. Yesterday, I was sick and fatigued from all the holiday goods. No more sugar. Done. This time I’m for real. The holiday weight is coming off and I’m done with sugar! Forever and ever, amen.
But see, I have a disturbing relationship with mint M&Ms. I can’t quit them. I try, God knows I try. I have to kick them out of the house. Send them packing. We simply can’t have a casual relationship. Luckily for me, after all the merry and jolly I consumed in high caloric form the past week, even my most irresistibly sexy and sultry of candy lovers now looked a bit greasy and smarmy like it smelled like dirt and onions – what I imagine dating Johnny Depp must feel like.
So I decided to pack up all the sweets. Candy could be saved in bags and stored. Some of the sad cookies could be tossed, and I’d freeze what was left over of the coconut cake. So, I grabbed a ziplock bag and poured out the bowl of mint M&Ms. One dropped on the counter. To not be disrespectful and give a proper goodbye to my beloved candy, I ate it in a ceremonial kind of way. Then I grabbed a handful and shoveled it in my mouth like a monster.
Now it was time to put the coconut cake away. I wrapped it gently in plastic wrap. A dollop of cream cheese frosting landed on my finger. I licked it off. Then took a huge bite out of the side, like I was some Viking pillaging a bakery.
Those are just a couple reasons why I don’t trust myself.
That’s why new year resolutions fail. It’s exciting at first – the prospect that maybe we can accomplish something great. But deep down, we know how many times we’ve tried before. At first – hustling, dedicated, disciplined. Then somehow, maybe after a week, a month – or even a year – we just peter out. Puttering, sputtering along. And then somehow we make it back to where we started. Taking huge bites out of the side of coconut cake.
They say we don’t actually change until it finally hurts more to stay the same. Most of us have super high thresholds of pain.
Sometimes, though – we can even surprise ourselves. I’m not a runner. My whole life up to this one miraculous moment, I ran like I was trying to keep two cantaloupes from falling out of my shirt while wearing concrete shoes. But one day, I crossed the finish line of a half-marathon on the Vegas strip. People dressed like Elvis wearing platform shoes passed me often and I thought I was running at a damn good clip. One guy whipped his cape back and it hit me in the eye. But I finished it. My time was actually good (I consider “average” good) and I was in the best shape of my life. Who had I become?!?
It was the first time in my life I did something I didn’t think I could do. For some reason, I trusted myself.
You don’t run a marathon the first day you try. You run for 5 minutes, then walk the next 20 winded and disappointed in your sports bra. Sometimes, starting badly is the best way to end greatly.
I created a plan (outlined by experts) and every day I showed up and simply followed it. I started off with small steps until the steps grew bigger and I barely noticed. Well there was this one training day where I had to do sprints and I was screaming like Braveheart, but it would have been an impossible feat before the plan. Trust me. Planning makes possible.
If I can do that, can’t I really do anything?
Failures cause self-doubt, but what if they were simply stepping stones leading us to this very moment? And what if 2017 is the year we finally arrive?
It’s food for thought anyway, and maybe even the kind of food we shovel into our mouths on accident.
See, I don’t trust myself. So I plan. If anything is possible, trusting ourselves to live up to our own expectations is also on the list.
Happy New Year, friends. Let’s raise our champagne (it’s 6 AM, so I’m raising my coffee) to 2017. And to the mint M&Ms that are my stepping stone to greatness – I love you. To the plan that makes the dream come true – thank you.
Anna Lind Thomas is a humor writer who founded the humor website for women, HaHas for HooHas. She’s also one half of the popular podcast The Anna and Susannah Show. Anna is happily married with two young daughters and a bulldog.