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Letter: New Year's Resolutions

Issue #7 of The Get Some Victory Newsletter went out on Sunday, on the topic of making smarter New Year's Resolutions.

Stefanie Zobus weighted in with a smart reply, and kindly agreed to let me share it here -

Hi Sebastian,

I’d like to add one more thing to what you said. Often times, the resolutions made for the next year are not thought through properly, are quickly and thoughtlessly made, for vague reasons one sometimes doesn’t care about that much, or isn’t aware one cares much. That’s a problem. If one doesn’t think very, very carefully about what really matters, what one wants (!!) to change, and –why- it’s easy to say.. oh well, it doesn’t matter that much anyway. So things aren’t followed through. One needs to know the reasons very concretely, and the consequences of not following through. Instant gratification (gotten by quitting the resolution) is much more powerful than a vague goal stored at some far-end corner of the mind, uttered out loud once or twice during New Years.


Spring cleaning, giving up and veganism


One of the side-effects of Spring, is a tickling energy, which starts bubbling up from a dormant corner. It starts with warmer weather, sunshine that returns a glow to your bones, and builds up and up until the days start to become longer and more things seem possible. Suddenly, I find I have this desire to be lighter, to be more moveable, flexible, lean- in all aspects of my life. One way this manifests is in the traditional Spring clean- de-cluttering the house, getting rid of all the new junk I’ve acquired, and things that I thought, during Winter, would be very useful one day. Stuff can be a huge burden. It gets all mixed up, it hides other more useful stuff, and it harbours old memories, good and bad. All these memories become musty and faded, like the stuff itself, behind both real and metaphorical doors labeled ‘deal with later’. It’s not really a surprise then, that when we clean it all out, get rid of the lot, that there is space for new ideas, fresh perspectives and movement.

The idea of being moveable is really important to me. Maybe it’s because I feel too young to ‘settle’ in one spot, or maybe it’s because people I love are spread out all over the world, and remaining moveable is like a promise to both of us that I’ll see them soon. It seems that this year, my spring-cleaning is all to do with becoming more moveable. First of all, I’ve decided I want to become physically stronger and more flexible. Since the beginning of September I’ve been working on this in a few ways. I’ve been doing regular exercises, such as sit-ups and press ups, in addition to making a commitment to do yoga every day. To monitor my progress, I’ve given myself some goals, things I’d like to be able to do, like I want to be able to do a handstand and a headstand. Both of these require strength, balance and skill. It’s now October, and well, I can pretty much do a headstand and my shoulder strength is making handstands a lot easier (though I still fall over). It’s fun; learning something new and seeing yourself progress.

People always say it’s easier to learn things when you’re a kid. That’s probably true. But why should that stop you learning or even just trying things out as you get older? I think the key is to just let go. Don’t care what other people think, and follow very precisely what it is that makes you excited. Don’t try and do all this stuff you think you ‘should’ because you’re in your twenties and have ‘all these opportunities’. Just do what you really want to. Which, actually is pretty tricky in itself...you've got to ponder and wander around yourself to find out what those things are. Test and try and taste- and if you decide you don’t like it then give up! That’s fine too. You’ll find something new, or maybe you just need a break. I’ve started skateboarding. It’s awesome. It’s frustrating and difficult, but fun all the same. I’m definitely seeing improvements and feeling more and more comfortable rolling around. It’s one of those things I’ve always wanted to do and I just thought, enough with the excuses! “Don’t deny yourself pleasure”- I heard someone say that. It’s exactly that. Make the choice if you want to start or learn something new- you’re the only one that can.

Another aspect of life that can prevent you from being moveable and flexy free is food. Eating the wrong amounts of the wrong kinds of foods at the wrong times can really make you feel heavy and slow, or weak and frail. So, I’ve been experimenting with what the right food for me is. Firstly, I should say that this is personal- this is for my body, my mind, it’s what I’ve found works for me, which doesn’t mean it’s the best for anybody else, or that I think other people are eating the wrong foods. It’s a personal choice that everyone has the right to make. I’ve been vegetarian now for over 6 years. This was mostly to do with ethical reasons, not agreeing with the industry in which meat is produced. Recently though, I’ve been vegan. It’s not as much of a challenge as I thought. Primarily I thought I’d cut out animal products for health reasons, to see how animal fats and protein make me feel, or rather if there is a difference when I don’t eat them. In conjunction with being vegan I have also upped my raw food/ fruit intake. This means quite a lot of sugar. There are a whole host of reasons why sugar is supposed to be bad for us, and I profess to be no expert. I’m just testing the water, and monitoring the effects changes in my diet have on my wellbeing. Above all I want to be conscious about my eating habits and their impacts. So far, I feel great. I feel lighter during the day, have lots of energy and don’t really crave for dairy or eggs at all. Plus my skin seems clearer. I’ve been making lots of delicious smoothies and juices, banana ice cream and yummy treats, such as raw chocolate brownies, to indulge my sweet tooth if I need to. Turns out being vegan is delicious!

It’s starting to feel like Summer. The air is quieter and the sun has more time to warm up the ground. The plants and trees are smelling sweet and the sea-breeze has begun calling us to the beach. Spring is bringing us all out of hiding and helping us stretch and move, easing us into the new season.

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