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Inspiration | Forget resolutions! It’s all about the Guiding Principles

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December 31, 2014      No Comments

There is so much social media floating around right now about goals and resolutions. It’s that time of year. Right?

Start that diet, sign up for that one big race, lose weight, learn to swim, get that job, be that person. The list just goes on!

When I look back I had a really great year in 2014. A year full of firsts. I accomplished so many goals like my first relay race, the Palm 100 mile race with fellow Mermaids which, incidentally, was an absolute riot. Then there was my first Ironman, Ironman Texas, which was the best race I have ever done. I am not sure what can possibly top it. Add to this finishing my first 5k swim in Miami, albeit very slowly followed by another amazing swim in my home town of London in the dirty old River Thames – no I didn’t get sick! I honestly think I can be proud of what I did.

Then I completed another 70.3 in Hutchinson Island whilst high on medications after a week of being sick (yeah, ‘dumbass’ not badass) all of which proved to be very humbling. No regrets right? Just lessons learned.

Lastly, I topped out the year by running the Chicago Marathon for no other reason than #cozwhynot. It wasn’t a goal race. I just enjoyed the moment meeting, as I did, loads of Mermaids along the way. It was amazing, by the way, to be tapped on the shoulder whilst running among 42,000 people only to hear “Live Life Make Waves. Oh The Mermaid Club, I know you guys!”

And whilst all these goals were mapped out as totally conscious decisions achieved as they were with a big smile, a lot of other important goals fell a bit flat. One goal comes to mind – making sure I had total balance with my family whilst training while trying to give 100% to my day job as well as The Mermaid Club. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you all that balance is probably one of the hardest goals to achieve when you do what we do. I genuinely think I fell a bit short. If it was not for my husband I think the house would be a good choice for the show ‘Hoarders’ and the kids would not have been fed. It is the truth! I could go on and on but I will save my woes and stories of mum guilt for another post (I know you mums out there get that!).

I have been told that I am very hard on myself, maybe that is true, but in 2015 I don’t intend to focus on goals or resolutions. I don’t need January 1st to set goals. They happen daily, like simply getting my ass out of bed at 4:20am to swim and then be back to help my daughter Hayden put her hair up before she leaves for school. In my mind that is a goal achieved. And forget resolutions. I break them all the time, and then think “you suck Helena…you said your resolution was…blah blah”. Forget resolutions. I’m just setting myself up to fail and then I beat myself up when I do.

For 2015 my focus will be based around ‘Guiding Principles’. These principles, I hope, will ensure I and those around me have the best year ever!

Here it goes!

  1. Be Prepared for Change. It’s coming. Whether you like it or not.
  2. Be Kind. To everyone. You never know who is watching you.
  3. Be in the Present. While we all love a bit of fun with social apps it can get a bit much. I am a big social whore and I won’t deny it. The time spent on them is shocking and can even be kinda depressing. I see this a lot with my kids and it makes me sort of sad that they are obsessed with their phones and don’t interact enough. There is a lot of studies showing the negative effects of social media so, for me, it’s time to make a stand and BE in the Present. I will make eye contact with others whilst we talk over tea, and not be on the phone! Admit it, you do it!
  4. Be a Leader and a Follower. I discovered this video from Ted.com a few months ago. I love it! It really made me think about what is happening with growth of The Mermaid Club. I am happy to be that idiot and only hope others will follow and help build a movement which could be really cool and fun. Here’s the video – you should watch it. http://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_how_to_start_a_movement?language=en
  5. Be Aggressive and take Action. If you want something make it happen. It’s as simple as that. Nobody is going to come over and tell you “hey I know the secret to running faster”. You want to get faster? Well, you have to make it happen with hard work and commitment. You want to have happiness? Go get it. Nobody is going to give it to you. Only you can steer your own ship.
  6. Be your own Best Friend. How many times do you sit there and say “I suck after a bad race, or bad run”……..or ”Helena you’re a fat cow for eating that chocolate cake”.  Some of the things you say to yourself you would not even say to your best friend, so why would you say them to you.  Be your own best friend and give yourself a squeeze every day.
  7. Be in Love. With you. And while it feels a bit cheesy, look in the mirror and say something super nice to yourself. Then grin like an idiot. Every day.
  8. Be Smart. If the race costs too much, or it’s too far away, or you will lose your sense of balance to do it, make the right decision. You know how to make that decision, it’s called your gut and it never steers you wrong.
  9. Enjoy the Rest. Rest day? Take it. Enjoy it. Use it. Maybe the ‘you’ reading this is a pro who thinks they don’t need one, though you do really! Most of us regular mermaids, of course, need one from time to time. Take it and don’t feel guilty about it. Rest is training too.
  10. Be Mindful. Meditate more. Lay back. Close your eyes. Breathe.
  11. Be Joyful and Make Things Seem Really Big. Whatever it is that you are going to do – be really ‘BIG’ about it. Just enjoy it. If people think you’re nuts so be it. Who is the one having fun?!
  12. Stop and Smell the Roses. How many times have you hammered it on a bike ride and failed to miss the sunrise? Stop, reflect and enjoy the moment.
  13. Be Positive. It’s sooooo easy to be negative right? It’s so easy to let that bad guy sit on your shoulder and tell you how bad things are.  The universe doesn’t respond to that and it won’t help you. So be positive. When you feel Mr. Negative knock on your door, learn how to channel the good and tell him “not today.”  The results will be astounding. I promise.
  14. Be Grateful. Acknowledge that the greatest good you have in your life comes in the form of your friends and family. Without their support, love and real commentary on your crazy ass ways you’re alone and in the dark, and sometimes out of touch with reality. They are the gardeners of your soul and for them always be grateful and thankful.
  15. More Hugs and Kisses. Make sure you squeeze your kids every night. They are growing up fast.
  16. Eat clean. Coz you should! And it’s not that hard!
  17. Give a 100%. Always. With your family, friends, those special people in your life, with your job, your passions, your training, your race day and even your rest days. Be committed. Be passionate. Be 100%. Don’t sell yourself and others short, and don’t do stuff half assed.
  18. Love hard. Be in the moment and give in. Coz why not.
  19. Be YOU. Be your own crazy badass mermaid self and make no apologies for being you.
  20. Live Life Make Waves. A popular hashtag it seems. Smile. However you choose to define this hashtag is totally up to you. Making waves is completely personal and that’s the beauty of it. And it’s up to you how you choose to ‘make waves’ in 2015. Me? I choose to ‘make waves’ through ‘influence’. If I can influence one person to make a change for themselves and feel good about that change then I made a wave. And that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Yeah kind of cheesy but hey that’s me. I believe I’m making waves, one ripple at a time, and with that guiding principle and the others above, I know I’m going to have one amazing year.

Much love, many waves

Running Mermaid

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