Did you have to wait for the new year to change?
Whenever I hear someone say ‘new year, new me’ I always ask them this. Don’t get me wrong, change is good. After all, change is what makes us learn. It enables us to look back and improve ourselves. It also paves the way for the unknown.
Do you have to wait for the new year to make some changes? If you know that you have bad habits, why not change now for the better? Why wait for the fireworks and the big party?
Why don’t you start now?
Accepting Failure and Embracing Change
Before being a personal trainer, I saw myself as a chef. Cooking for a nice restaurant, falling in love with the whole food thing… in a way very Jamie Oliver-esque. So I decided to go into culinary school.
The first few months were amazing. I learned how to sharpen knives, how to use the right cooking tools and learned some culinary techniques that the pros use. In short, I learned a lot of things. Even more than I thought I would.
At the end of my first year I was able to make a medium rare steak with only having to check the doneness of it with a touch. No fancy thermometers and no slicing it open to see if I did good. None of that. I also learned how to sharpen and hone my knives Gordon-Ramsay-style. Have you ever seen ads for Hell’s Kitchen? The way he sharpens his knife with no regard for human life... Yeah, I did that too!
But that wasn’t the greatest lesson I learned in culinary school. I learned that I didn’t love to cook. I had no passion for it. Don’t get me wrong. I'm glad I learned what I learned about the kitchen. But it didn't make me feel alive or happy.
And through this I learned one of life’s toughest lessons, acceptance. I had to accept the new reality that I found myself in. It's time to take a chance.
I was mortified
Fresh out of high-school, I followed the traditional route. I got into college and had high hopes of making my parents proud. Then all of a sudden I made the decision to drop out! I was mortified.
On one hand, I felt the pressure of being expected to go down this path. On the other, the pressure of knowing that this path wasn’t for me.
What's worse? I was young. I didn't have the proper insight to really grasp my decisions. All I knew was that this wasn’t the path for me. I knew that and with conviction. I wasn’t happy cooking.
Dropping out made me feel like I was a failure because I didn't want to continue my schooling. But I wasn’t happy and I knew it. So, I decided to take a year off from school.
In my time off, I did things I enjoyed. I was free to do anything I wanted for the first time in my life. Free from teachers bossing me around, no early morning classes and no homework.
I didn’t understand the change that was going on in my life during that time. But when I look back, I know that I built good habits. I also learned from horrible financial decisions. But most important of all, I found what I loved to do.
It was just me and the gym.
Discovery is bliss
After a year of hard labor, saving money, working out and losing tons of weight, I decided to go back to school. This time, I knew what I really wanted to learn. I wanted to learn more about fitness. I wanted to be a fitness professional.
I learned a lot of things during my two year spell at College. The feeling of graduating was bitter sweet. I loved it. Every moment of it. I learned so much about fitness that I incorporated all that I’ve learned in my daily life.
I finally graduated college and made my parents proud. It was also a learning experience for my parents. They learned that I could come out on top at my own pace and through my own decisions. And I know that meant a lot to them because it also meant a lot for me.
Most times when we go through a difficult part of our lives we don’t see the changes and the discoveries we encounter. That's because we are taught to do our best to avoid problems. We are so focused on doing better and feeling better all the time that we forget the struggles we go through. But it's these struggles and hardships that teach us the most.
Don’t be scared of being scared. It’s okay to be scared, we’re only human. Change is a natural part of life. When you’re not happy, learn how to be happy. You don’t have to wait for the new year to change, start now.
At time’s life might seem scary, challenging and even downright brutal. But it’s okay. Because that’s how life is. That’s how we emerge as a better and more reliable version of ourselves.
No pain, no gain.