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As a fitness trainer, naturally I get a bunch of requests from new clients looking to finally get in the best shape of their life this New Year. It's natural to want to use New Year's as a launching point to make some changes.
However, the reason many of these resolutions fall through, in my opinion, is because neither the process nor the end result automatically makes the person feel happy. The lifestyle of the uber-fit is not a lifestyle most people want. It's just what you think you are 'supposed' to do. Everyone else is trying to earn more money, lose more weight, and get more fit, so therefore I should want that, too, is the thought process.
This year, more than ever before, I have heard so many people make a confession. That confession is that they are not happy. It may just be that they are not happy about one portion of their life, or it may be about their life as a whole. Either way, it would seem that this revelation of not being happy is a recent development.
On the contrary--these individuals usually continue on to admit they had not been happy for awhile, but they denied it to themselves for years--or if not to themselves, at least they denied it to others. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Because, we don't want to give up too easily. We also might be confused as to what we want. Perhaps we don't know what will make us happy, and that is a scary feeling. One we hope might just go away if we wait long enough.
Really, the ultimate purpose of all these 'goals' are to lead us to happiness. Different people feel happy from different circumstances. Perhaps being a great parent makes you happy. Perhaps being a loving spouse or a kick-ass employee makes you happy. Perhaps volunteering does it for you. Maybe eating brownies makes you happy. Working out might make you happy. There's no wrong answer.
Be sure, when you think about this, to separate out the short-term from the long-term. If eating brownies makes you happy, but eating exclusively brownies in vast quantities every day makes you feel tired, heavy, and depressed, well then it's a bit more complicated. You need to find the balance.
Regardless of how much money you make, how many friends you have, what college your kid gets into, or how much you weigh, I hope your New Year's resolution this year helps you to live a life that feels happy and fulfilling, and in which your best self comes through. That is, after all, the greatest goal of all. If you are not sure where to start, create a quiet space where you are alone. Listen to your breath. The answers will come soon enough.