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A lot of people have tried to change their unhealthy lifestyles into healthy ones – whether it is changing the way they eat or starting a new exercise regimen, the goal is the same: becoming a healthier, stronger, happier person.

Without fail, those people stumble; they fall off the wagon and pig out on junk food, smoke a pack of cigarettes or sit on the couch for a week. An overwhelmingly large percentage of those people will then decide that they’ve failed in their attempt to change and meekly go back to their unhealthful ways.

***

Cue open palm slap to forehead!

***

I’m here to tell you that stumbling is good; that failure is the path to success. If you don’t fall off the wagon early on in your attempt to change, then you’re doing a disservice to yourself.

As humans we need to overcome obstacles. The greater the obstacle, the greater the satisfaction when we achieve our goal; the more precious we feel our accomplishments.

If change were always easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. So when we fail for an hour, a day, or a week, we are only adding to the greatness of our eventual success.

And that is what we MUST believe in – our eventual success. Because whether you fail for an hour or a day or a week, if you can get back up, dust yourself off and begin moving forward again toward that goal of a healthier, stronger, happier you, then you are not defeated.

Am I espousing purposeful failure? Heavens No!!! But I am advocating not giving in to failure; not being afraid of failure – because I believe that ultimately you must fail to truly succeed.

If you fall of your wagon, grab your totem, take a deep breath and start anew.

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Stumble

[tweetmeme source=”luau” only_single=false http://www.URL.com]

Happy New Year everyone!  With the holiday season now at a close, many have wolfed down that last slice of pie, drunk the last glasse of champagne and moved on into resolution mode.  Yes, January brings the deluge of New Year’s resolutions that people swear they are going to live by for the following year – eating better, exercising more are probably the most common.  Inevitably they falter by the end of the week, the month, the season – at which point they throw in the towel to wait for the next turn of the calendar and start the process yet again.

A word of advice.

Give up.

You heard me.

Give.

Up.

This coming Sunday, forget about your New Year’s Resolution to get in shape, and stuff your face at breakfast or dinner with a huge plate of comfort food.  Make sure you wash it down with 2 or 3 alcoholic and/or sugary drinks.

Go ahead.

Do it.

There is no reason to wait until the end of the month or the Winter, or for Summer to stumble and fall off the wagon.  That’s right, I am telling you to get off that wagon this Sunday and indulge.

***

Wait a minute there, Luau!  Aren’t you a proponent of healthy living? Don’t you advocate regular exercise and eating smart?  Aren’t you the one who says anyone, ANYONE can get fit if they want to?  What the Frak is going on here?

***

Hmm.  I guess I should elaborate a little bit, huh?  Notice above I said “breakfast OR dinner”?  I did not mean to take the whole day, or weekend or week.   I did not mean to give up for good.  That would be silly.

No, what I propose is resolving to stumble in your New Year’s Resolutions.

Nobody is perfect, and because of that we can’t do things perfectly all of the time.  Eventually we are bound to stumble.  This is what happens to so many people who make New Year’s Resolutions every January 1st.  The problem is that once they stumble they feel like that’s it.  The shame of failing kicks in and overwhelms.

“It’s over!”

“I can’t do it!”

I’ve seen it before.  Friends will decide that since they fell off the wagon on Saturday, they might as well carry it on through the entire weekend, the following week or even the rest of the year.

“You know, I ate like crap for breakfast and lunch so I’m just gonna complete the trifecta and eat this whole bucket of mashed potatoes and ice cream.”

A lot of people feel like if they fail the first, or second or third time they try to get healthy, they might as well give up because they can’t stick to it.

***

But what if one “stepped” off the wagon as opposed to “falling” off the wagon?  A planned fall, if you will.  Then maybe it’s not quite as bad.  Then maybe, one would have the will power to step back on to the wagon after a single indulgent meal or a single missed workout as opposed to losing a whole weekend or a week or a month or the rest of the year?

Some people call it the 90/10 plan.  The concept is to eat healthfully and exercise regularly 90% of the time and allow yourself to indulge in some guilty pleasures 10% of the time.  The idea being that if you allow yourself to eat junk food and be a couch potato in small doses, you are more likely to remain disciplined  the rest of the time.

A controlled stumble – think about it. If you are walking down the street and you fall, you are a lot less likely to hurt yourself if you fall in a controlled manner.  It is the same with New Year’s Resolutions.

New Year’s Resolutions are fine and dandy.  They can kick-start an active lifestyle, but don’t panic if you fall.  Even if you fall hard.  There is no reason why you can’t get right back up and dust yourself off.  But if you have found that you have had trouble in years past with sticking with it through the year, try the controlled stumble, maybe once every week or two.

My bet is that you’ll find a lot more success down the road in achieving your resolution goals.  It’s not about luck, it’s about determination and planning.

Have fun this Sunday!  I don’t know about you, but I’m plopping myself in front the TV for some NFL playoffs, beer and a bucket of wings!

GO PATS!

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