Happy New Year! May 2018 be a year of health, happiness, and prosperity for you.
Just saying those words and wishing it so, will not make it happen. Then, what will? Concentrated effort. Daily disciplines. Letting go of some things to make room for what we say we desire more. Easy to talk about, yet hard to do. Every year at this time the gyms are full, for about two weeks. Then the attendance at them drops off dramatically. At the beginning of January each year weight loss plans have many new converts, for about the same length of time. As I think about this, it occurs to me that we fail in these efforts not because we aren’t serious about what we want to change. I believe there is another equally, and maybe even more, important variable. Unless we commit to what we will give up and what we will let go of, our change efforts will not be successful. A recent change in our lives is an example of this.
A few months ago, it became obvious that we needed to make significant improvements to our clubhouse at the Oak Island Golf Club, improvements that would be costly. As part of the ownership and President of the Board, Mike has been directly involved in planning our best option. We had two viable options. The first option and the one that initially seemed to make the most sense (mainly due to the anticipated cost involved in the other option) was to renovate the clubhouse. The other option was to tear down the existing facility and build a new clubhouse. The Board and General Manager considered both options and after a careful analysis decided that tearing down the existing facility and building a new clubhouse was the best option. One of the main reasons for this decision was the fact that the difference between the cost of the two options wasn’t significant enough to risk renovating, not really knowing what would be found once the building was opened up. It is even possible that it could be costlier to renovate than to build a new building. The corollaries between this situation and other changes, even New Year’s resolutions, is instructive.
The decision makers for the clubhouse change decided to destroy the old and build a new one. This is similar to us deciding to let go of our old self and build a new self. In both situations, it is necessary to let go of some things that we enjoy. In our clubhouse example, one of those is our beloved Duffers, our pub and restaurant. We have had to let go of the familiar, the known, and the loved. Since occupying a temporary structure, many club members have expressed how much they miss the clubhouse and Duffers. When I decided to lose the twenty-five pounds that had found me again, I knew that doing so would involve letting go of some food and beverages I enjoy. I will miss them as much as our members miss Duffers and our clubhouse!
Letting go and building new, whether it is a new clubhouse or a new self, requires that we be willing to build something different, not just
replicate what we had that was familiar. For the clubhouse, this means a new design, one that will not include lockers, and that will likely be an overall smaller building. For my new self, it means a body that will not look the same as one I had even a few years ago, even if I am the same weight. Aging results in changes, such as wrinkles. We may decide that keeping a few more pounds than our “ideal” weight is best if doing so keeps some of those wrinkles at bay!
Real change always takes time and requires patience and flexibility. Our new clubhouse will probably require a year of planning and construction, and while we have a temporary structure, it is without some of the benefits our members enjoy. We do not have a kitchen that prepares fresh food, and for the first few weeks, we have not had any food available in our temporary structure. Our members have been very supportive, believing that while we have these limitations now, our new clubhouse will be worth the wait. They have been willing to give up the familiar and desirable to eventually have something better. We must do the same when making personal change.
I have thoroughly enjoyed bread, butter, fried foods, and dessert, and my body is reflective of such. I will miss those familiar and desirable food items, but I believe that the body I can have will be worth the sacrifices. If I maintain the daily disciplines of food control and weight management, my new “building,” my new body, can be built in three months. The changes I must make to have this very reasonable weight loss of two pounds per week will not be easy, but I can do it. I want to do it. I will do it.
What about you? What changes do you plan to make in 2018? What are you willing to give up to have what you say is important to you? Remember, it isn’t enough for us to just commit to what we will do. We must also give up some of the familiar and desirable to have what we want more.
I wish you great success on your journey!