The Motivational Power of a Shiny New Year

It is very easy to fall into ruts.  I know this is true because I am in about seven of them as we speak, and I am far too lazy and unsure of my abilities to tackle seven of anything that isn't very, very easy.

There I'll be, going along happily and thinking that I have everything under control:  I'm going to the gym, I'm eating lots of vegetables, and I'm being all sorts of productive.  But one night I don't feel like making anything for dinner, so I just eat the leftover rice that's in the fridge; you heard me, big bowl of plain white rice with butter and salt and pepper on it.  Shut up.  A couple of days later I decide to skip the gym and take the bus to work instead of walking.  I don't feel like doing the dishes before bed, so I leave them for the night . . . which turns into a week.

life ruined

Suddenly, three months have gone by.  Gone is the exercise getting, salad eating, doer of things that was me; in her place is a sedentary bundle of stiff muscles with no lung capacity, eating out of the last clean dish in the house -- a measuring cup -- and single-handedly keeping the makers of gluten-free cereal in business for another day.

The fact that I'm a perfectionist definitely does not help.  I'll be doing really well with writing in my journal every day, but then I miss a couple of days because I'm tired, or because I simply forget; suddenly my journal is "ruined" because I was supposed to write in it every day, and I didn't, and now its very existence is nothing but a reminder of my failure.  Over the top and ridiculous?  Of course it is.  Welcome to the inside of My Brain.

I try very hard to be organized, and I try very hard to be productive.  But I fail a lot.  And while continuing to do something that I'm already doing is fairly easy due to momentum and the fact that My Brain seems to think that the directives it gives My Body should be governed by the laws of physics, the flip side is that my mind and body, once at rest, tend to stay at rest.  Continuing things is easy, but starting them is hard.  Starting takes motivation.

But even the dark clouds emanating from My Brain have silver linings.  Because my inner perfectionist has this preoccupation with things being "ruined" forever, she is very motivated by things that have not been ruined yet.

I love a new notebook or sketchbook with its pristine pages; I love a completely spotless kitchen to start cooking in; I love beginning a new knitting project; I love it when there's nothing but potential.

Today is the first day of January 2016 -- A Shiny New Year With No Mistakes In It Yet.

No skipped workouts; no days when I ate like crap; no old blog that I haven't posted in for two years; and no unproductive days when I made a nice comprehensive list of all my good intentions and then didn't do a single thing that was on it -- a whole year that I haven't messed up yet, and the opportunity to keep it that way (even briefly).