I’m going to break with tradition (or maybe start a new one?) and not make any resolutions for 2016. Instead, I’m reflecting on some of the things I learnt (or re-learnt) in 2015. So that maybe I won’t have to learn them all over again in 2016.
I don’t pretend for one moment that any of this is new or revolutionary or clever. You probably already know all or most of it. I know I did. And yet somehow I did still need to learn it afresh. I’ll find the reminder useful, and maybe you will too.
- Most of the things I put off and put off doing because in my head they’ve become massive and daunting, well, it turns out they really aren’t that difficult after all. Sometimes all that’s needed is to break down the big mountain into a series of small hillocks.
- Some of the things I put off and put off doing, well, it turns out that’s because, for whatever reason, I’m just not ready to do them now (yet?). Last year that was running, and improving my Italian and German. I’m sure there will be other things (or maybe the same things?) this year.
- The Marie Antoinette Diet* really does work, fantastically well. But only if you actually want to put on weight. It turns out that it just doesn’t work as a method of losing weight. Who knew? (though it is fun – see below).
- Doing vigorous exercise really does make me feel good, and it helps me sleep better. Which is really hard when, after a long bout of insomnia, the last thing I feel like doing is vigorous exercise. But do it I must, and then most of all.
- Taking on, training for, and completing, a tough physical challenge is a very effective road to recovering from difficult times emotionally. I first learnt this in my 50th year when I took on a sponsored cycle ride from Bath to Dublin in 4 days, and then subsequently when I trained for and completed two half marathon runs. I learnt it again in 2015 (my 60th year) when I walked from Bath to Greenwich. As well as being tough and exhilarating, it’s also fun (see below), even though it doesn’t always feel it at the time.
- Life is far too short not to take all opportunities offered for having fun. Having fun is important (and it’s fun – see above re Marie Antoinette diet).
- 30 day challenges are fun, challenging, and can even be life-changing.
Of course, at my now advanced age (ha ha!) I have acquired far more wisdom than just these few points. But these will do for now, especially if I can actually remember them as I go through whatever 2016 has to offer.
*you know, the one where you eat cake (diet name courtesy of Malcolm)