When wishing (plus planning, support and doing) makes it so

I just watched the new Wonder Woman movie: WW84. The following is NOT a spoiler, as the pictures are all over the internet. She’s got a new outfit:

Gal Godot as Wonder Woman, in gold armor, helmet and wings/more armor.

The next bit is also NOT a spoiler, but does refer to something in the plot: the notion of wishing plays a role in the film. Hope that didn’t ruin anyone’s day.

The idea of wishing seems timely for 2020. We all wish things were different– that there were no global pandemic, no losses of so many people and so much in our lives and the lives of everyone around the world. We also make wishes for the future– a speedy end to the pandemic via effective and universally distributed vaccines, everyone following public health guidelines in the meantime, and a resumption of our lives as we knew them (except that all work committee meetings should take place via zoom from now on, in my view).

With respect to fitness, I wish 2020 had gone very differently for me. But it didn’t and here I am, on Dec 26–me in my body in its current state. I can’t wish away 2020. But can I wish myself into a different state in 2021?

Yes. But. Not in the fairy-tale way.

Or this comic-strip way (although give it a shot, by all means):

Snoopy writing the publisher about a rejection, asking for publication and $50K. Go hSnoopy!

I do have wishes for myself and physical activity in 2021, which I’ve voiced pretty often (or so it seems to me). I wish to bike more, walk more, move around in and on water more, keep yogaing, and enjoy physical activity with others and by myself more.

Okay, wishing done. Now what?

Planning is next. If I wish to do something, I then have to make a plan. This was one of my big problems in 2020– faced with what seemed like rafts of unscheduled time, I just floated around, unmoored by schedule or structure. Yes, I know I can make a schedule. Oh, I made schedules. Loads of them. But somehow I didn’t commit or adhere to or honor or pay attention to or even remember them at the appointed times. When I did remember them, I often felt pulled by something else or stressed by something else or just paralyzed. So planning is not enough.

Enter support. For me that means friends who invite me to meet them for a walk or ride or swim or some activity we do together. I’m lucky to have many such friends, and they did lots of inviting. I wish I had said yes more, had followed through more, had even taken the initiative myself more. But wishes aren’t for the past, but rather the future.

So, I’ve got lots of support in place. But I did this year, so how can 2021 be different?

The only thing remaining in this quartet of action is the doing.

Is it just me, or does this word “do-ing” look like the sound “doing!”

How exactly does the doing part happen? This is a very good question. Apparently lots of people wonder about this, according to Google.

Questions people ask google about how to do something.

Honestly, there’s no easy answer here. There’s no magic solution for behavior change. But we know that it does happen, to all of us. With help, a few things breaking our way, a bit of oomph and some planning and decision making, change happens.

I’m already wishing and planning for my 2022 sabbatical, which involves bike touring in many places in the US and Canada. That will also require scheduling, support, and lots of doing (in the form of training). 2021 seems like a good year to turn those wishes and plans into miles and hours and rides and destinations. I’ll be reporting on progress and setbacks and responses to those setbacks, and new plans along the way.

What are your wishes for activity in 2021? Are you planning yet? Do you have support lined up? What do you need to make your wishes come true next year? I’d love to hear from you.

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