Believing In Yourself

I have a friend from college who lives 5 1/2 hours away. Sadly, we don't see one another often enough (she's not even on Facebook) but we have a deep friendship. We nurture our long distance friendship by speaking for hours on the phone quite regularly. During the holidays my friend mentioned that her New Year's resolution is to lose weight so while I personally am not one to make resolutions, I fully support anyone who does. How can you not support wanting someone you care about to make positive changes in their lives? Since January 1st, she was exercising regularly and eating healthy, planned meals. She and I were so proud of her progress, then the blizzard happened. The combination of being stuck inside and the need to comfort herself from the boredom with food led her to go off of her new found routine. Like so many of us, she cried and I teared up right along with her wishing that my arms could embrace her over the phone.

Through her sobs I could tell that she was so disappointed with herself for not sticking to her resolution. Everything was perfect until that storm came around and screwed it all up. She wanted to give up, but I wouldn't let her. I have found that the things we want most are never easy. Whether it's losing weight, improving our communication with our children or partner, whether it's going back to school to get another degree or finish off one we started, whatever it is, it takes work and time. Don't let a storm, a bad parenting moment, a bad grade stop you from continuing on your path to change. I personally don't make resolutions at the start of the year because for me I believe that one can prompt change on a daily basis. Everyday we make choices that will either move us forward towards our goals or keep us stationary. Everyday we choose to react or remain unwavered by obstacles/people. Don't throw away gains because of one onstacle. Imagine if we used the standards to which we measure ourselves on our children. Think about telling your child who brought home a failing test, "That's it. You'll never amount to anything because you failed this one test." No parent in their right mind would do that. Instead we would start by encouraging them. We would sit down next to them on a daily basis and break down concepts into bite size pieces until they understood the material. We would send them back to school feeling that they are competent and capable and that they can succeed even if it takes a little more time. Don't look around at others who may have what you desire. They have their own paths and problems to navigate. As I told my friend, whatever changes you desire can be yours. It will take time and effort, but don't give up, especially not now. Nothing will ever change if you give up. Celebrate and recognize those victories no matter how small. Those victories mean you've taken steps forward on your way to success. If you happen to screw up, acknowledge the mistake, but more importantly, be kind and forgive yourself. That's often the hardest thing to do, isn't it? Life will always give us twists, turns, highs, and lows to keep things interesting. 2017 will be here before you know it. Don't allow the new year to be another boring rerun. To my readers who are on a journey of change, I wish you well. I know you can do it. You just have to believe in you. ~HZM

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