Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How to make a New Years' RESTITUTION.....

No, it's not a mis-print.

I'm not making a list of resolutions this year.

I'm going to make New Year's RESTITUTIONS.

restitution: an act of restoring or a condition of being restored: as
  • a : a restoration of something to its rightful owner
  • b : a making good of or giving an equivalent for some injury
This act of restoring, or 'making good', is typically viewed as something you do for another person. As any parent, guardian, care-giver, or employer knows; in order to take care of someone else, first you must take proper care of yourself. Therefore, in order to better live out my God given purpose of serving others as father, husband, disciple, and citizen I will be very intentional about making personal RESTITUTIONS in 2013.

Do YOU have any unfinished business that needs to be addressed?

Unlike resolutions (the act of resolving or analyzing your condition) RESTITUTIONS are not about becoming something that you are not, or in many cases pretending that you are for a few weeks. RESTITUTIONS  are about returning to center, revitalizing your dreams, and finishing what you started. So if you are among the throngs headed for the gym in January only to end up in the couch by Valentines Day, I encourage you to consider joining me on a journey of incremental life improvement.

First, we must take a quick look in the rear view mirror. Not to dwell or second guess, but to glean some wisdom from our previous travels. This step is very important for two reasons:

  1. It helps us realize and appreciate the progress we have already made.
  2. It provides the building blocks for our RESTITUTION PLAN.
Two years ago today (January 1, 2011) I was putting together what was to become my first list of New Year RESTITUTIONS. I had recently quit smoking and actually managed to lose twenty pounds in the process by making small, incremental, changes in my daily life that snowballed over time into easy to maintain healthy habits. Taking the momentum that I was feeling from these small wins I decided that if strategically placed more small, incremental, changes into a twelve month calendar I could achieve a higher success rate and feel less overwhelmed then if I tried to move mountains all at once.

To give you a clear idea of just how simple a RESTITUTION PLAN can be, let's take a glance back at my first attempt. It was just a list of simple tweaks that I wanted to make in order to slowly change my life for the better.

  • Find and use the farthest parking space from a building entrance.
  • Use stairs and avoid escalators and elevators whenever possible.
  • Train myself to do 1 'real' push up
That's it. No unrealistic goals, no failed promises. Just small, incremental, changes to daily life which can, over time, develop into healthy habits and help you realize your dreams.

Parking out in far out nether reaches of grocery store civilization helped me realize that there many opportunities to do more walking and that, yes, I really do have the time get a little more exercise.

Using the stairs doesn't sound like much until you realize that I traveled on an average of three out of four weeks last year. In fact, just lugging my suitcase and computer bag up and down stairwells at airports and parking garages has provided a serious uptick in the amount of cardio I get in in any given week.

The last one, a single solitary push up, was perhaps my first real challenge. Just a few years prior I had torn my rotator cuff trying to show my four year old son how to use the monkey bars at the playground. Each time I was released from physical therapy I would inevitably stop doing my prescribed exercises at home and re-injure my shoulder. The result of this repeated cycle was a domino effect of strained and atrophied muscles across in my arms, neck, back and all across my core. Only after breaking the cycle with small, incremental, changes was I able to work my way up to doing five modified push ups (on your knees, formally known as 'girl' push ups). In 2011 my long term goal was to build up my overall strength to where I could effectively do just one real push up.

Today, so far, I have done three sets of thirty real push ups and since it is almost 3:00 PM I need to wrap up this blog post in time for my next set.

In order for us to put together an achievable and actionable RESTITUTION PLAN, I need to give you a little homework assignment (come on, you've come this far. don't flake out now!). Remember, it's all about small, incremental, changes. So, we'll keep it simple:
    • what unfinished business is causing you pain or regret
    • what goals or tasks have previously seemed too great and overwhelming
    • don't dwell too long, or beat yourself up. once you get a little momentum this process really starts to get fun. I promise!
    • simply jot down 2-3 things that need restoration in your life, that need to be made good
    • your email will not be used for any other purpose or shared with anyone
    • my posts and updates will remind you of your goals and provide both of us with accountable partnership
    • just by reading this post you have proven to both of us that you have a sincere desire to live up to your God given purpose.
    • so go take a walk, read a book, or fall asleep on the couch watching football, you deserve it.
'dream big, act swiftly...' - b2

email me at b2publishing@gmail.com

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