It has taken nearly all of my fifty-two years on earth to figure out that new year's resolutions don't work. They immediately put pressure on us, straight out of the chute, to do something significant that we erstwhile weren't able to do in the past 365 days and probably will fail to do forward in perpetuity. So I'm kind of against making them. On the other hand, what better time is there to begin anew challenging ourselves to improve the quality of our lives, our happiness, and our positive influence on others? There's a difference you know.
There's nothing like a clean slate to reinvigorate our intentions and finely tune our focus without the distractions of the past year. Want to lose weight? Great. What's holding you back? When you boil it all down to it's basic elements losing weight is a mathematical formula just like everything else. It's not personal. So to everyone (myself included) who ever lamented that they just can't lose weight, I say rubbish. Employ the formula, and you'll succeed. But don't expect it to happen for you. Put a little effort into it. Make a commitment to wake up every day with the attitude that you can, and you will. Of course, the opposite is also true and it's very easy to sabotage yourself with negative thinking. So instead of convincing yourself of all the reasons losing weight is impossible, go and empower yourself to get the job done. The key is consistency. Remember... Rome wasn't built in a day. Make a few simple changes, stick with it and be prepared to be amazed.
Same with fitness. Want to exercise more? Just start by putting one foot in front of the other and repeat. It doesn't have to be anything grandiose, just move in a way that makes you feel good. Breathe deep. Sweat a little. If you choose exercise that is pleasurable, you'll be more apt to continue with it. Dance while you clean house. Brush the cobwebs off your bike and go for a spin. Traverse a bridge or two. Hike. Play tag with the kids. It all works and it all adds up.
One of the things that I am attempting to overcome myself this year is the fear of change. My life is pretty comfortable and has settled into a rhythm that feels secure and happy. Problem is, we all know that the minute you allow yourself to be lulled into a sense of perfect balance and harmony, something always comes along to upset the apple cart. So it's a good rule of thumb not to be so comfortable that when the inevitable happens you're not completely blindsided and toppled and destroyed. Toward that end I have taken a new job a couple days a week and am venturing out into the world voluntarily. This particular job is a brand new thing for me too... a much more difficult job than I imagined or anticipated and even though my fight-or-flight reflex is urging me to run away as fast as I can, I'm going to stick with it and give it a chance. I may end up loving it - or not - but I have decided that I will not make a hasty or general decision on something without having given it a fair chance.
So you see... we are all in the same boat. Every new year as we ponder our successes and failure of the past and make strategies to improve our lives in the coming year, we must all fix our goals and then give ourselves a fair chance at seeing them through. Not with resolutions, but with resolve. Not with nouns, but with verbs.
In 2011 I resolve to dissolve all my old attitudes that keep me from reaching my full potential. I resolve to stop wasting time thinking about what I want to do, and actually focus on doing it. And most of all, I resolve to never make another resolution again as long as I live. Who's with me?