Getting Real About Those New Year’s Resolutions
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I’ve been going to a local gym since 2010. I have to admit I am bemused by how busy the gym becomes as of January 2nd. The other regulars and I arrive and find the “just busy enough” gym jumping with crowds of people puffing and panting on the treadmills and elliptical machines. Many of the newcomers are wearing nifty workout outfits (I’m a little embarrassed in my old T-shirt and faded pants).
What’s sad to observe is the rapid drop-off rate. By January 15th, many of the newcomers aren’t there anymore and by the end of the month, even more have dropped out. Of course a few stay on and join us regulars, but the majority of enthusiastic exercisers have simply gone away; having packed their gym clothes for “maybe later.”
New Year’s Resolutions are like that. Whether it’s starting an exercise program, launching a new diet, stopping smoking and so on – resolutions are hard to keep. All resolutions are based on a genuine desire to make a change, but most succumb to lack of energy or will power.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t make resolutions. After all, we have to keep trying in this life and setting goals is always a good idea.
According to Wikipedia, “A New Year’s resolution is a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year.”
The question is, why does it have to be the first day of the year? Why aren’t we making resolutions every day? In some ways we are. So many of us will resolve: “I’m starting my diet after the weekend.” “I’ll quit smoking after this one last cigarette.” “No more vodka martinis after tonight.” “I’ll clean the house tomorrow.”
I would argue that if you make a resolution and the start date is tomorrow or next week or next month, you’re kidding yourself. You don’t want to change anything in your life; you just want to think you are.
A true resolution to better yourself and your life starts NOW, IMMEDIATELY.
It took me 68 years to get on a diet and stay with it. That’s over six decades of resolving to lose weight and going to the gym on January 2nd. That’s a lifetime of non-commitment, only-fooling-myself resolutions.
If January 1st is the day you become a new person, more power to you. Let me know how you’re doing by the 15th of the month.
If TODAY, right now, is the start of becoming a new person – good for you. And want to know something? You can do it!