I acknowledge that this would be a very appropriate time to write a snappy New Years resolution piece. In fact, it would be the perfect time to do so – to have all of my NY resolutions wrapped up in a happy little bow, with a perfectly extrapolated message to boot. Love that theoretical blog post. Here’s the thing though, and I’ve tried to flirt around this fact in every one of the 800 drafts that came before this one, but when push comes to shove I get a little anxious about New Years resolutions because often people (I’m including myself in this broad statistic) just don’t follow through. Come January 1 it seems like everyone is making resolutions. Come February 1 – not so much. I resisted this blatant pessimism in my, ought to be peppy and uplifting, New Years post, because let’s be honest, not as warm and cuddly as the other options.
Writing down your resolutions is a phenomenal start to the New Year, but so often we get steered awry by how simple that action appears. Everything seem so concrete when placed on paper, but so rarely is anything significant concrete, and that is where people get stuck. Making distinct resolutions allows us to have a tangible thing to hold onto, an anchor throughout the whole process. But the process itself, well it is anything but solid, or reliable, or clear. In fact, it can be a whole big mess before it results in anything tangible. But that chaotic journey towards something solid, that is the challenging, the enriching, and let’s hope, the exciting part. That is what New Years resolutions are truly about. You may start with some clear ideas, but come the first of the year, if you want those things to come true, you need to dive in and get messy.
The tricky thing about New Years and the whole fitness/wellness resolution experience is that it results in a whole lot of people driven to the gym out of guilt – aka: Christmas cookies. Throughout the holiday season (which now lasts a freaking eternity) we tend to cling to New Years as the light at the end of the, damn you holiday parties, tunnel. Come January 1 we all tend to declare: I will eat better, I will workout more, I will drink less. I’m not knocking those goals, they are totally solid on the whole goal spectrum, but they become significantly less awesome, or less sustainable, when they are merely things we feel like we should do. From looking at gym attendance, should, lasts about 2 maybe 3 weeks tops, and then it sounds like way less fun. Duh. Getting your butt kicked repeatedly isn’t worth it if the only goal driving you is a paper with a bunch of goals on it that you should be doing. You need more than that. Those resolutions seem straightforward upon declaration, but the hitch comes in the completion. The tricky part emerges when you realize that what it takes to achieve those simple, isolated, one-sentence goals is a whole lot more than one sentence worth of work. That business takes all of you. Every single piece.
New Years resolutions should not be easy. In fact, they should involve a fair amount of struggle. By definition a resolution demands change, and change: not so straightforward or speedy. Don’t let yourself be fooled by the perceived simplicity of your own resolutions, because chances are if you do they will end up surprising you and seriously knocking you on your unsuspecting butt. But don’t let yourself be daunted by the immensity of them either, that depth is what makes them significant and worth driving for in the first place. So maybe take a second to A) write down some lofty, 2013 aspirations down, and B) to look at those resolutions. Instead of seeing the action itself, written neatly on your paper, expand the crap out of that myopic perspective. See yourself in that sentence. Who do you need to be to make that business happen, and who will you become in doing so. A resolution, in its infancy and its completion, is merely the tip, the one piece that we can see and grab a hold of, everything else is contained within ourselves, within the person we have become in order to make it possible. You may be riding on happy, determined New Years fumes this week. Enjoy that. Love that free ride. But, don’t dread the moment in which things start to get interesting. Anticipate it. Drive right towards it. And when you get there, dig in, and let it change you.
Welcome to 2013 everyone, and peace out 2012! What are your goals, aspirations, and extrapolations? Who will you become in 2013? I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for this lady and for all of you!