2013 is upon us. Take that, Mayans!
The local radio station I listen to was asking listeners today what they had chosen for their New Year’s Resolutions. Hmm. I made one of those once. I actually kept it for a while, too, though no one who knows me will believe me. (Spoiler Alert: I took up jogging. I was terrible at it.) I persevered for three tortuous (and torturous) weeks, until my wife took pity on me and persuaded me to get a gym membership instead. The membership was a bad investment for the price, as it turned out, but that’s another story. At any rate, we continued pretty faithfully, about three times a week, for several months…and I lost forty pounds. Not too shabby for a guy that had never made a resolution before.
Here’s the thing, and I know it’s happened to you too: Ultimately, it didn’t last. The gym visits tapered off (and finally ceased when our lives catastrophically fell apart in August, but again, another story), half the weight came back, and my resolve flickered and died. It happens all the time—it’s a wonder I made it as long with that resolution as I did. Why, though? Why does it happen?
Don’t look to me to be an expert on anything, I will severely disappoint you. But I do have an idea about this. It’s because changing is harder than staying the same. Dare you deny it? How’s it coming with quitting smoking, or balancing work and home? I’m not scolding, I’m sympathizing. It’s tough! Who doesn’t know that it’s easier to put pounds on than to take them off? The body, the mind, the soul, they all resist change. Positive change, anyway…perversely, negative change seems to be pretty easy.
There is some hope. We can use our laziness! By that I mean, small changes are easier to make, and easier to maintain. Be realistic in your goals. When I made my jogging resolution, I had the goal of losing a lot of weight, but I purposely kept that enormous goal nebulous, “out there” somewhere. More realistically, I just said, “I’ll do this three times a week, as long as I can.” I did narrow it down with a planned day of the week and time of day; the more concrete you can make your goal, the more likely you are to keep it.
Sorry, that’s all the resolution advice I have. But I would be interested in knowing what resolutions you have this year…IF they are unusual. Everyone says they want to lose weight/stop smoking/stop drinking/read more/balance work and home/exercise. How about the more out of the ordinary ones? Feel free to comment.
New Year’s isn’t just about resolutions, of course. It’s about change. If your life is changing dramatically this year, you have my sympathy…mine is also changing, my friend. My wife of ten years and I are divorcing, for one—something I never dreamed would happen, but here it is, for reasons I don’t want to talk about now. With that said, I find myself single-parenting, a challenge I couldn’t have imagined before. If you are facing anything even remotely close to that—or worse, I know there is much worse out there—then again, you have my sympathy. And if you can handle more than that, then you are Superman, and need to be out saving the world instead of reading my blog.
Not all change has to be bad. And this is where I pull these two threads together: This blog. For me, this represents both a change and a resolution. It’s a change, in that I’ve spent years writing, and saying I wanted to be a writer, and never DOING anything about it. No more of that (and thank you to the friends who pushed me—you know who you are!). And it’s a resolution, in that I’m resolving to maintain it. Don’t expect daily content, but we’ll shoot for at least weekly, and more often if I can. Who knows…maybe I’ll surprise everyone, including myself. We’ll find out.
Happy New Year’s!