Before you make your resolutions, think about why we make them. Why do new years weigh down upon us so greatly? What is different about us on January first? We are a day older than we were on December thirty first, and will have stepped into a new year. Our proverbial slate is clean. If for one second in December we could vow to not repeat any of 2014’s mistakes in 2015, we make our resolutions not with the hopes of holding to them, people rarely do, but having acknowledged to ourselves that this particular area of your life you’ve chosen needs immediate, harsh attention and has become, regardless of your willingness to admit it, completely unacceptable.
My curiosity focuses on projecting your problem, through a resolution, onto others who are doing the same at this time. They are all trying to fit a past year’s guilt and a future year’s hope into one day. For a week we will be a network of supporters, hearing each other’s problems and stating our own. We outline our plans to change and the others in the conversation say “right, right, that sounds like a great strategy.” They will probably ask you on Super Bowl Sunday how you’re doing with the goal. You will either have a bunch of excuses or a good report. Really though, with the uncertainty of human emotions, human schedules, and peer pressure, how valuable is a resolution actually?
Resolutions really to me indicate that the person deep down realizes that this area of their life has become completely unacceptable. What bothers me is that people, instead of choosing a resolution, don’t simply take their resolution and set it as the new standard in their lives, especially if the opposite has become unacceptable. Building a great fitness year goes this way. The successful things in your life are all built around your personal standards.
Instead of making resolutions, figure out how that thing you resolve to do can become an easy and smooth part of your life. If you have to work up to it, then do that, but after you’ve set that standard, set a new one. If you can turn the will and resolve to do something into the guilt and internal shame of not doing it daily, then you are now dedicated to that thing, that thing is positive and yours. Things that you feel are unacceptable should bring you shame. That is a natural emotion that motivates us to do anything from brushing our teeth and showering to dragging our bodies into work every day. The shame of not doing it, the internal shame, the unwillingness to go against our basic principles is what drives us. To make that positive change you’re looking for, your thing must be treated this way. If your resolution is to do anything that might make you more fit, then you need to find out how fitness can become a sustainable part of your life, that you’ve built basic principles around, and that leaves you feeling successful daily. That’s not just in 2015, but forever. Resolve, resolutions, and the ability to make them is a daily process, not a yearly one. If fitness is important to you, then you’re coming up with mini-resolutions every day, not just when the support system is around at the end of the year.