Over the last few years I have adopted the philosophy that looking forward is much more beneficial than looking back. There is nothing that I can change in the past. There is a good bit I can change in the future. It is more logical to concentrate on looking forward to new and exciting possibilities.
I am not discounting the benefit of looking back. There are indeed benefits. Learning from my past mistakes is the most notable one. As an analytical beast, I can easily spend a good bit of time rehashing what went right and what went wrong. The key is to limit that backward-looking time.
I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. I have history of them not working in my life. Resolutions are all about looking back. I took a look back. I found what I did wrong. I resolved to stop doing it. A month passes in the new year; maybe two. I was back to repeating this poor behavior. I had to change this cycle.
In mid-2010, I came across the concept of a wellness vision. The deeper I dug, the more I became convinced that my new post bariatric surgery life needed to be driven by a wellness vision. I spent several months rehashing and rewriting that vision for 2011.
As a happy, successful, and active post-op bariatric patient, I draw on my talents, life experiences and passions to motivate myself and others to be mentally, emotionally and physically fit. – Tom’s 2011 Wellness Vision
This wellness vision was a definite shift from my annual list of resolutions for change. It looked forward and was based on using my talents and experiences to help myself and others. A collection of goals made the vision a reality. My 2012 wellness was similar and only required a few tweaks. I see that as a good sign that I am focused on changing the right things in my life.
I revisit my wellness vision often during the year. I commit to a thorough review at the start of every year. To be effective, I know it needs to change as my life changes. It needs to challenge me to move forward. The supporting goals are the main components that change. They are attainable but somewhat uncomfortable. Being a little uneasy about achieving a goal tells me that it is a good one.
How well did I live my wellness vision last year? It was a very good year for me. I challenged myself to begin running and enjoyed it much more than I expected. After completing a Couch to 5K program, I ran five 5Ks and joined a running group. I really upped the bar on my cycling and found myself on my bike most evenings during the warm months. I now find myself hiking and snowshoeing whenever I am free. I love the outdoors. These are the changes I am most proud of for 2012.
I continue to look forward. I just about had my 2013 wellness vision ready for prime time. This past week I came across two fellow bariatric bloggers posts about the importance of personal responsibility. It sent me back into edit mode. I expect to publish my 2013 wellness vision later this week with some emphasis on personal responsibility. Like these bloggers, It has a lot to do with success in sustaining life changes.