Commit to Fit | Week 39

Author | Commit to Fit 2012 Winner, Karl Mason

Happy New Year! After Christmas, this time of year is always one of my favorites. While I am a little sad that I turned a year older during December and the Christmas Tree and decorations are being taken down to be stored for another year and there is no more of the much needed and appreciated holiday vacation days from work, life offers a clean slate, a new beginning of the next chapter of life with the New Year. Expectations for the New Year and what is to come over the next twelve months are many and hopeful.

Like most people, part of that new beginning for me is the creation of my new “2013 To Do” list. The first step in this process for me is to review my list from the previous January. For some past years, this has been the most troubling part of the creation of my new list for the upcoming year because it never seemed as if I accomplished or completed very much on my list for that given previous year. Yes, I had high expectations at the beginning when making said list but then something always seems to prevent me from reaching my goals. The end of the year always finds me feeling a bit depressed and upset by this. I always found some excuse(s) as to why things I wanted to happen did not. I always blamed work, simply did not put the required energy into a task to make it happen, didn’t think I could make it happen and was afraid to try therefore did not and/or additional tasks were added to my list which shifted my priorities and focus so not everything could be completed from my list. I played the blame game. To cut through all the emotional and psychological bull*&%$ and get straight to the point – I was preventing myself from completing my list. It is difficult to admit that but admitting it allows me to address it. The blame game has stopped and there are no valid excuses when taking a cold honest look at my life and list. 2013 List #1: My main– and most important – goal of 2013 is to be completely real, transparent and HONEST with myself. Now this process has already begun in 2012 but I have to continue to recognize when I make an excuse instead of facing an issue/concern/problem face to face and work to resolve it; but additionally, I need to root out why I am even making an excuse in the first place. Being real and transparent means 2013 will be a year of action and problem solving instead of words and excuses. Clichés are so true. Actions WILL speak louder.

One of my favorite movie quotes which I have used over the past several years to inspire more actions from myself is: "Una vida con miedo es como la vida medias." / "A life lived in fear is a life half-lived." -- Fran, Strictly Ballroom (1992)--This movie is about a dance studio whose main dancer, a male, needs a partner for regional championships. He and his former partner have split, leaving an opening that is a challenge to fill. The position is filled at the last possible moment. As a human being, I try to live each day to the max (life is short) and not live in fear of defeat--a negative force that will result in a stagnant and unsatisfying existence. With a positive attitude to start with, one has the ability to live a life with a health-driven focus, good times, friends, family, and all the rest that constitutes a fulfilling life. Piggybacking on #1, 2013 List #2: Stop living in any fear.

2013 List, #3: Continue on my journey of healthy living – includes both exercise and food. Looking back at January 2012, I had little hope (but still had a micro-hope as I always do…) that I would ever be below 300lbs and in a gym.  It has happened though. I never believed I would be eating salads and fruits on a daily basis instead of McDonalds and Jack-in-the Box but I am now. Both of these major changes will continue into 2013 and for a lifetime. I probably will not even consider these as part of my 2014 To Do list as these will be engrained in me as second nature by December 2013.  I am amazed at the shift my life has taken by simply being a part of the CTF program. As far as  exercising and gym workouts, while I may not be able to accomplish it all, lift 500lbs by the year’s end or be in the World’s Strongest Man competition, the fact that I am making the effort and going to the gym is most important. Healthy eating means be responsible in monitoring my food and intake and making the right choices for my life. My trainer and nutritionist are incredible motivators, teachers and cops but cannot continue to police me. For the first time, I am looking over my own shoulder and monitoring myself. From this though originates 2013 List #4: No beating up self in 2013! Accept any small failures and mis-steps in 2013. Learn from them and MOVE on. No dwelling on the negative allowed.

I believe the 2013 List of 4 above are the most important and the foundation for all other goals in 2013 for me. These 4 are goals I have NEVER before actively set for myself with a sincere desire to succeed at all of them! My work on transforming my life does not stop or slow down because it is a new year, it only intensifies in 2013! Smaller goals I am setting for myself include more specific challenges: 2013 List #5: Weigh 200 lbs by 06.01.13. #6: Be able to complete 50 continuous pushups by 04.01.13. #7: Actively make time for my hobbies in 2013, including taking a glass blowing course and to paint more. #8: Begin yoga or a stretching class in 2013. #9: Speak and be with/visit my family more in 2013. #10: Advance my career.  Overall, I am very happy with 2012 and I am excited about 2013. 2013 can be everything I want it to be - and WILL BE! Happy New Year!