‘God grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; & wisdom to know the difference’
Pinterest. The world’s virtual pinboard, where you can save for later all the intellectual stuff you think you need to read, all the craft ideas you absolutely, definitely will try, all the imaginative children’s dinners you 100% will get round to making in place of the stray turkey dinosaurs and potato waffles and all the make-up tutorials which will magically transform your face into that of Kim Kardashy-thingy with a couple of sponges and a tube of concealer. Except you won’t. You’ll pin them, forget them and go back to doing what you always do. Because it’s easier. And not only is it easier, it’s cheaper, more achievable and less scary. But then that’s the thing about change isn’t it? What doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you.
At the end of last summer, I embarked upon a fitness programme which challenged the wotsit out of me. A 5-day-a-week-for-6-weeks programme, which meant I had to start exercising at 6am. SIX O’CLOCK IN THE BLOODY MORNING. Pre-kids that would have been the middle of the night for me and even post-kids the mere thought of getting up in the dark, donning a pair of trainers and skipping out the door to get sweaty with a bunch of other crazies before most people have even had their first cup of coffee would never have entered my head. But by the end of the 6 weeks, with 100% attendance rate under my belt (which was considerably looser by this point), I was fitter, happier, healthier, more confident and like a completely different person. I realised that the only thing which had stopped me getting up to exercise were excuses that really weren’t good enough. I’m a mother of two children, I work pretty much full time and I run a normal, messy house whilst trying to make time for myself and my hubby. I’m not a lady-who-lunches (unless it’s at Wagamamas), I don’t have a nanny and I don’t have contoured cheekbones! 4 months ago, I longed for the personal achievement I have now but failed to realise that the only person stopping me getting there, was me.
Sometimes it takes an epiphany or major life event, other times it just takes that little voice in your head saying, “you know what, I can do this!”. A good friend once posted a picture on social media that bore the words, “Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life”. That was my kick up the rump, the thing that resonated and made me realise that time is precious, for all of us, no matter how fortunate we are and you don’t have to climb a mountain, or run a marathon or jump out of a plane to really live.
Don’t give up your healthy eating plans on a Thursday because you had a bad day and the boss brought cream cakes in and you accidentally, totally unintentionally, ate two. Don’t start every diet or exercise plan or business idea on a Monday. Do it now. Today, whilst that fire is burning in your belly. Be kind to yourself and know that the biggest journeys always begin with a single step. Sometimes just putting your trainers on and stepping out the front door at 5:30am is enough of a challenge to change you. And honestly, step away from the contouring palette.
Guest Blog by Lisa Willoughby