Well, we’re halfway through January already, so that means we’re two weeks into our New Year’s resolutions.
Whatever you resolved to do will require willpower and willpower is hard. It reminds me of my favorite children’s story of all time: “Cookies.” Remember Frog and Toad?
In “Cookies,” from Frog and Toad Together, by Arnold Lobel, Toad bakes a batch of cookies and finds that he and Frog can’t stop eating them. They try putting them in a box on a high shelf but they just go back and get them. Finally, they end up throwing all the cookies to the birds which disappoints Toad. Frog explains that while they don’t have any more cookies, they now have lots of willpower. Toad says that Frog can keep his willpower because he’s going home to bake a cake. I totally get where Toad is coming from.
A long time ago, I learned to comfort myself with food and this year I really want to work on finding other ways to de-stress. I want to find something to replace the sensory joy I’ve located in a bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese, but this weekend, I gave in to my cravings. I was Toad going to bake a cake since all the cookies were gone and because I was worried and anxious and upset, I caved when confronted with pizza and popcorn and cake and, oh my God, Bellinis at a party (which were fantastic by the way).
I’m not going to beat myself up about my lapse. Sometimes, I simply need a little more inspiration to get me through another week. I’ll bet that you do too.
Come on, we can do it! We’ve got this, y’all.
Here are my five favorite quotes about willpower to help keep us on track with those resolutions:
1. “You are only as lazy or lacking in willpower as you think you are.” ~ Ken Christian
2. “They can conquer who believe they can. He has not learned the first lesson is life who does not every day surmount a fear.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
3. “Our bodies are our gardens to the which our wills are gardeners.” ~ William Shakespeare.
4. “Lately I was near the beehives and some of the bees flew onto my face. I wanted to raise my hand, and brush them off. ‘No,’ said a peasant to me, ‘do not be afraid, and do not touch them. They will not sting you at all, if you touch them they will bite you.’ I trusted him; not one bit me. Trust me; do not fear these temptations. Do not touch them; they will not hurt you.” ~ Francis de Sales
5. “But success shall crown my endeavours. Wherefore not? Thus far I have gone, tracing a secure way over the pathless seas, the very stars themselves being witnesses and testimonies of my triumph. Why not still proceed over the untamed yet obedient element? What can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man?” ~ Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Marilyn Monroe/elephant archives