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Resolutions? In the Circular File, Please.

There are a million articles online about why New Years Resolutions totally fail.  I read many of them, and I agreed with the propositions behind many, like this one from Psychology Today.

As I sat down to write this post, I was trying to think of what I really thought about resolutions.

Because for the first time (I think) ever, I am not making any resolutions.

I mean, last year, I pretended to give up the concept, but deep down, I was making my evil little hate-myself list…

Actually, I am going into the New Year without having destroyed myself and my body the entire months of November and December. Because (right at this moment – ask me tomorrow – it could change), I don’t actually hate myself or my life or my body–even though many things are notes and earmarked for improvement.

If we are making broad brushstrokes of resolutions, we are expecting enormous change overnight–or at a bare minimum–enormous changes during the month of January.

And that’s a whole lot of pressure.

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In fact…if you are making resolutions, then “You’re treating a marathon like a sprint…Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the ‘I want it ALL and I want it NOW!’ mentality… If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. ”   Source here.

Ah-ha! You’re talking my language.  Marathon? Sprint? Yes!

The challenge we have going into the New Year is, even after a holiday season full of joy and blessings, our list of the status quo may look something like this:

  • I have eaten everything in my sight. And if it wasn’t in my sight, I brought it into my sight, and then I ate it;
  • I am exhausted;
  • I feel disgusting from eating and drinking garbage;
  • Training? What is that?
  • Thank you, Flu. I have enjoyed your visit, you bastard;
  • I am broke.  Thank you, Christmas;
  • My family is crazy;
  • My kids are crazy;
  • I am crazy; and
  • I can’t even fathom going back to work after the New Year.

Not that these are all complaints.

Some of them are just facts: Broke. Crazy. Tired.

Of course, we may not have all of these items–but I would bet, to a degree, that some of them have crept in.

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The problem with resolutions is that we write them down, and declare that these so-called resolutions are going to fix everything on our list of woes. But the truth of the matter is that we are lost, in general with the way things are, and we are lodging formal complaints in the form of: I suck and I better change. Now.

Next question: how in the holy hell do I do that?

For the first time, I am going into a New Year with nothing really changing.  I ate well and trained hard during the holidays in hopes that for once–maybe just once–I would start a new year feeling good.

And if not good, then at least, not hating myself. (Whispering:  I think I did it.)

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With just a few days left, I think I have figured it out. And it’s really simple.

Let’s just try and take care of ourselves in 2016.

Be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to nap. Allow forgiveness. Drink water. Say “NO” when you need to.  Make a hair appointment. See a doctor. Read a book. Don’t let people take advantage of you. Say goodbye to someone if you need to. Speak your mind. Don’t tolerate what you don’t want to tolerate. Journal. Take a hot bath.

Instead of making a list of the things that are flawed or that we need to change, let’s make a list of experiences and habits we hope to form or have, races wewant to run, and friends we want to see. Food we want to eat.

Focus on the Action Items that are attainable.  It’s much easier to measure action instead of writing a giant grouching list that points out the imperfections in ourselves, others, our lives…

Okay, so I do have one resolution:  That 2016 be the best year ever.

Because I am going to work to make it so.  And because I believe it.

And really, that’s just a state of mind.IMG_8953[1]

So that’s where I’m going to be hanging out...  working my tail off training for the biggest race year of my life.  Chomping down healthy food. Telling my legs to shut up. Hugging my family. And just treating myself right–for maybe the first time, ever. Really.

Oh, and treating myself with kindness. And with a spirit of gratitude, in all things.

I hope to see you there. 😉

#HappyNewYear #JustKeepMovingForward #BestYearEverComingRightUp

 

Don’t forget about our New Year New Hope Virtual Race!

medal proof

 

 

10 Comments

  • Flybigd

    December 29, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    “I have eaten everything in my sight. And if it wasn’t in my sight, I brought it into my sight, and then I ate It” LOL that is so funny!

    Reply
  • Eileen

    December 29, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    This is perfect: “make a list of experiences and habits we hope to form or have, races wewant to run, and friends we want to see. Food we want to eat.”

    My best year for “resolutions” or reflecting or trying to be better/healthier was when I DID list out some specific changes I wanted to make. Not just “lose weight” or “get fitter” but more a plan to do that.

    Our lives change so much over the years, kids at this age, kids at that age, job that requires this, job that requires that, for me, it’s better to reflect on what works and what didn’t. What made me happy when I did it (and surprise, it made me healthier too!).

    As a triathlete with a TON on your plate, you already have some things built into your year in the form of training plans and nutrition. For me, not being ‘on that level’, it’s having some goals (a 5k, a super sprint, a sprint, a 10k) and then a plan to meet them.

    Looking back on the last 4 years (when I allowed myself to focus on myself), I had the best results (physical and mental) when I made plans and followed them. 2015 was the worst in that regard and it showed on every level.

    Happy 2016!

    Maybe Resolutions is just a catch all word that doesn’t mean a lot. But at the same time, if we have a goal, and there’s a structure to getting there – it’s just keep doing it.

    Reply
  • Andrea

    December 29, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Oh, the perspective that our maturity has provided. I’m right here with you this year. While I will continue to keep reaching higher and being super awesome, I am going to spend more time just being still – in my mind and body. Yoga helps, as does tea, adequate sleep and good for us food. I know we can make 2016 the best!

    Reply
  • Cheryl

    December 29, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    I kicked a rare cancers ass, signed up for a number of IMs, century rides, and 5 km + swims……no resolutions just being the best me I can to keep on with my wonderful life….52 yrs old and greeting 2016 with an open heart, open eyes and open arms because it is what it is …..

    Cheryl

    Reply
  • Kelly

    December 30, 2015 at 1:45 am

    Okay – so your list was so right on, I still have tears in my eyes from laughing! This post is right on, and perfectly captured by experience. Thank you for sharing so honestly what so many of us can relate to. I’m happy to hear that you are starting the New Year in a good place, and join you in your one resolution – that 2016 be the best year yet! Happy New Year!

    Reply
  • Kate

    December 30, 2015 at 8:33 am

    “Be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to nap. Allow forgiveness. Drink water. Say “NO” when you need to. Make a hair appointment. See a doctor. Read a book. Don’t let people take advantage of you. Say goodbye to someone if you need to. Speak your mind. Don’t tolerate what you don’t want to tolerate. Journal. Take a hot bath.”

    This is my favorite. I tend to avoid New Year’s Resolutions, except there is something about the milestone/bench mark of a new year that calls me to set some intentions. My intention for 2016 is to treat myself kindly. What you wrote sums that up so nicely. Happy New Year to you.

    Reply
  • Lea

    December 30, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    A couple of years ago I switched from spending the last days of December planning out my resolutions (for things I probably wasn’t really going to do for long in the new year) to treating the year’s end as a self-imposed mini-deadline for actually tackling some small-scale, mid-priority but non-emergency discrete tasks that have been stalled out on my To Do list that I never quite get around to doing.

    So I take time between Christmas and New Years to finishing out the year by doing one really thorough clean of our storage / guest room, make appointments for annual medical exams, or whatever has been lingering on my list. Then instead of going into the New Year with a feeling of dread at what I “should” start doing I have the satisfaction of actually having gotten something done.

    I also love using this time of year to pick out my races for next spring and summer. Picking my focus for next season and looking at what sort of training plan I would need to have to do those races really helps motivate me to get to the pool when it’s cold and dark out.

    Reply

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