Monday, December 16, 2013

Resolve Not to Resolve

Oh, the dreaded but much anticipated New Year's Resolution. We vow to lose weight, eat better, run more, be nicer, and pay it forward. And we do it - for about three weeks.

On January 2nd through - maybe - mid-February the local gym is bustling with new comers.  When I am there, at 5:30 am (boo. hiss.), I see the gym population double with new faces. Some are confused, some are determined, most are tired - but all resolved to make 2014 the skinniest, healthiest, fittest year yet! With trepidation, some approach the treadmill while others have enlisted the assistance and expertise of a trainer during these early days (and earlier mornings).  Even, the gym itself sponsors a program to help us all lose those extra pounds put on during the holidays, but it is specifically geared towards those January newcomers.

But then something happens. It is called February....

February not only brings with it cold weather, snow, and frosted windshields but it also brings a sporting event that restocks your fridge with fried goodness right after you have purged the last of the fruit cake and eggnog. Yes, I am talking about you Superbowl! You come and knock us off the wagon so soon into our fitness mission. A different article for a different day,  but having the game on a Sunday night has those of us on Eastern Standard Time staying up late on a "school night" and binging on beer, burgers, and wings later into the night than usual. Monday the alarm goes off,  we skip the gym, swear we will go Tuesday, but that one missed Monday can often be the beginning of the end. Tuesday becomes Wednesday, Wednesday to Thursday and then we say, this week was a bust - I'll start again next Monday.

Last year I made a resolution to drink more water. At the close of 2012 I bought myself a 64 ounce water bottle while waiting to check out at TJ Maxx (darn it, impulse buy!) and made a sweeping declaration to my husband and 2 month old son that I was going to drink two of these a day for a year.  Like the gym goers, I started off strong. Finishing off the rest of my maternity  leave happily hydrated and once back at work - I was fortunate to have an office near the water cooler. But then, like the gym goers and dieters, things happened. First toting the water bottle plus lap top plus lunch into the city got annoying so I started leaving it at home, then I lost the lid somewhere so it wasn't portable anymore, and then I forgot the resolution all together.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we feel the need to change the 2013 version of ourselves when it couldn't have been all that bad? Why do we pick the first day of the New Year when there are clearly hangovers to recover from and still leftovers to eat? Of course, we can stay this day is the first day of the rest of our lives - but I think forcing it  to be on January 1st with the rest of the pack is a lot of pressure. This year I say we resolve not to resolve. We resolve to love and appreciate the person that we were the year before and continue to be that wonderful person in the next year and years to come. When you read this, look in the mirror and say, "Hey! I'm pretty awesome and will stay just as awesome in 2014! THAT is my resolution!"

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