It’s always the right time for health so, why wait until new years to start thinking about the changes you want to make in your life? I’m certainly not waiting, but there is something to be said for new year’s resolutions. Yeah, sure, lots of people fail and break the promises they make to themselves, but I have to believe resolutions work for some people.
Here’s why I defend new year’s resolutions:
They work for me (mostly). Humblebrag time: I did almost everything I set out to do in 2012. My goals for last year were:
- Learn and accept that this is my life. I’m not on a diet, I’m not in it for weightloss and there is no end to my journey. (YES!)
- Continue trying new activities. Find and try one that scares or intimidates me (this won’t be hard I can think of several off the top of my head…. ). (Did lots of this!)
- Continuing challenging myself in terms of running – Complete a half marathon! (I decided that running is just not for me. It was painful, a little boring, and just not really my sport. I replaced it with Crossfit and Body Pump).
- Continue to eat healthy, whole foods and drink plenty of water. Continue to keep track of what I eat and hold myself accountable. (I kept up my food journal throughout the year but slacked off during the past month or so).
- Get a bike and start saving for a car. (Yep! Got my bike and have a modest savings).
- Start strength training. Get over my fear of weight rooms. (YEP)
If I’m honest with myself I did them all except #3 and I had a hard time being “perfect” with #4. Even though I didn’t do everything I set out to do, I achieved a LOT in 2012. I challenged myself to try things that terrified me, I bought a bike, I exercised throughout the year, and I took steps to make myself a happier person.
I also advocate for resolutions because:
Resolutions can cause introspection. Sometimes we avoid turning our thoughts inward because the idea is a bit painful. Avoiding problems is easier than meeting them head on, right? I like resolutions because it’s a chance to be honest with oneself, to write things down (this always helps me think), and to look to the future with an optimistic and hopeful eye.
People are capable of rising to challenges. I’ve been a gym member for more than 2 full years now and have gone through the Thanksgiving/Christmas lull followed by the New Year’s rush twice now. Both years I’ve listened to people bitch about the sudden influx of people, and have been a little disappointed in regular gym goers. How can you, in good conscious, whine when the gym gets popular and hope people fail so you have a little more room for stretching? Shouldn’t we be cheering these people on? Shouldn’t we be holding up encouraging signs and shouting positive affirmations? Yes. After all. EVERY regular gym goer was once a gym newbie who rose to the challenge of fitness and stuck with it.
If you write your goals you have evidence of progress as well as a reason to push yourself. This is what I like best about resolutions. I have a list of my successes and when I’m down and feeling like I’ve failed, I have a written pat on the back. It’s usually all I need to remind myself that I am capable of being awesome. I can also look at my list, grit my teeth and try my hardest to achieve something I know I want. In fact, last year I was writing a post about my goals and realized I hadn’t run a 5k. With two months left in the year, I knew it was something I could tackle. I felt I had to do it – and so I did.
Resolutions are an excellent way to conquer fear. I’m big on beating fear. I feel it’s the reason for lots of unhappiness. We avoid the things the scare us most and try to reason them away or pretend they’re not real. Resolutions give you the chance to acknowledge your fears, look them in the eye, and beat them.
So, despite the stigma surrounding New Years Resolutions, I say go for it.
- Write resolutions.
- Write what makes you most happy and determine how you can have more of that in your life.
- Ask yourself what you want to be and how you can achieve that now (or continue to do it)?
- Challenge yourself. Be one of those new gym members this season and stick to it — prove all the skeptics wrong!
- Write your fears too. Ask yourself how you can overcome some of them (or even just one) this year.
What about you? Are you a fan of resolutions?