What’s Your Next Chapter?
Every day of our life we get to write a page in a book called, My Story. The first 18 chapters are strongly influenced by other characters: parents, teachers, friends. But then the story makes a tectonic shift when you become an adult and experience the real world.
Somewhere between 30 and 50 I’ve met a lot of people who have lost their way. They feel like they are passengers in their own life and the plane got hijacked. They don’t like their job, they don’t like the people they hang out with, they feel bored and frumpy and lost.
But here’s the thing – you’re not a passenger, you’re the driver of your own life. You direct where the plane is going. True, you have no control over things like thunderstorms and turbulence, but you sure as hell get to decide how you react to those situations. Are you going to give up and let the plane crash and burn? Or are you going to face the storms and learn how to better navigate them the next time?
You are the author of your story. Make it an interesting book! New Year resolutions are the start of a new chapter in your life. Pick a goal that is big and bold or whimsical and novel to you. You will never know what’s truly possible until you try the impossible. What’s the worst that can happen? Even if you fail, what an incredibly good tale it will make when someone asks you about your story.
My birthday is very close to New Years, so I often tie my resolutions and birthday goals together. Every year for my birthday I like to do something that scares me, because it makes me feel alive. For my 38th birthday I entered a bikini competition when I was overweight. After losing 50lbs I decided, I’m going to do everything I ever wanted but was too scared to try. (I call it my Birthday Scare.) For my 39th birthday I jumped out of a plane. For my 40th birthday I started pole dancing. What I did last year is the most over the top thing yet, but it’s still a secret. (You’ll understand why in a few months.)
That leads us to now.
My Birthday Scare
For my 42nd birthday I’m going to stand up comedy at an open mic night. I’ve never done this before but it seems so exciting! When I was a teenager and in my early 20’s I wanted to be an actress and I loved being in comedies. I loved the rush felt from making people laugh. In that environment there were fellow actors and a director and lighting and a script to follow. Stand up comedy is different because I have to write my own lines and success or failure will squarely rest with me. This is slightly terrifying. And wonderful. I hope.
My Resolutions for 2016
This year I’m going to train to be an action hero.
Bodybuilding will remain my core (have you ever seen a super friend without muscles?) and then I’d like to add in fitness things that only action heroes seem to learn. For example, I’d love to learn how to yield a light saber, so perhaps I’ll seek out a stage combat class or sword fighting. Also, when I watch scenes from Hunger Games and Divergent, they seem to be doing a lot of parkour moves, so I’m going to start jumping on boxes and things. While I haven’t seen a lot of pole dancing in action movies, I’m going to take more classes in that too, because pole fitness makes me feel strong, sexy and confident, clearly a prerequisite for action heroines.
The thing that I love about action heroes (versus super heroes) is that action heroes have no special powers whatsoever, just a lot of determination to save the planet. Even though they doubt themselves if they are up to the task of battling bad guys, they never give up and they want to help people climb out of the rubble and onto stable ground.
Chances are I will not be in charge of saving the planet just yet. But I would like to help people who are trying to get their groove back. This year I plan to post more exercise videos, offer more fitness and nutrition tips and tell you the stories of some amazing people I’ve met who will inspire you.
What’s the story of your life going to be? Is it going to be about working 60 hours a week and then watching TV? Aim higher. Be your own hero. If you see someone struggling, help them. If you feel caught in a rut do something completely different like Tae Kwon Do or snowboarding. Run a Spartan race with your kids, go out on dates with your mate, make your life one that you love.
It’s a New Year. I can’t wait to hear about how your next chapter begins.
Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two.
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