This post links in rather nicely with my first post about resolutions but instead of looking forward, in this blog, I’ll be looking back.
Do you have any traditions at Christmas or New Year? Are there things you have to eat or do in order to feel “Christmassey”? How do you feel if those things don’t happen – whether by choice or because of an outside force?
There is a tradition from my childhood I’ll mention to illustrate what I’m talking about:
Simply put, we had turkey every year. I have a vague recollection of my Mum stressing out about what time to get up and put it in the oven, as well as the best way to ensure a moist bird – I’m sure this is a struggle a lot of people can relate to! Other than that, the thing I remember most about turkey is that I really don’t like it!
Fast forward to a Christmas Day in my early teens when my Mum announced we weren’t having turkey. Now, I’ll let you guess what my reaction to this news was before you read further.
Joy? Rapture? Unparalleled gratitude?
I was actually really upset. No turkey? At Christmas?! What was my Mum thinking! Had she lost the plot altogether?!?!
However, when I think about it, there was a lot of stress and hassle involved in cooking a bird which no one really liked. Now don’t get me wrong, her Christmas dinners were always delicious but they were much, much better once she decided to stop doing something solely because “it’s tradition”. I also see it took a lot of courage to change the family’s idea of what Christmas dinner should be – more on that later…
How many things in your life do you do because of tradition or habit and, more importantly, do they make you happy?
If they don’t, then begin to think about why you’re still doing them.
This is fundamental to how myself and my clients feel about weight loss. We all want it, for sure, but we have habits around food which we have to do; especially over the festive period. If not for yourself, then for the person who has gone to the trouble of cooking for you or because you always have a pie eating competition with Uncle Jim and don’t want to disappoint him…
Consider this: 2020 has gone by in the blink of an eye and you have worked really hard towards your goal and succeeded. You feel fantastic and hopeful about the future. What do you do when Uncle Jim asks you to beat last years score on the pies?
Much like my Mum and turkey-gate, I think sometimes you have to be the visionary who sees some traditions are not what make Christmas or New Year, it’s everything around it. Uncle Jim probably likes the pie eating contest because he gets to spend some fun time with you.
When you look beyond the tradition itself, it’s often the memories you build which are the reason doing it again and again is so rewarding. So check behind the curtain every once in a while to see what’s really there because then, the positive changes you make this year will be the ones which stick.
Happy New Year!