Cartoon from (found via google images)

I had a convo with my friend’s awesome mama about the dreaded new years rush the other day. There are the people who are active year round, and all of the sudden the new-years-resolutioners flood the gym, clog the exercise machines, and are gone within a few months. I give these people credit, at least they are exercising. But why is it that we are so obsessed with changing ourselves for the better this one day of the year? All of the sudden there are commercials about new deals that make it easier for you to accomplish your weight loss goals. Newscasters proudly state their resolutions, the question of the hour is always “So what’s your resolution?” Sure, theres a ton of hype about it in the first month, but soon, no one cares about what your resolution is, and that makes it easy to forget. Why is it, for the most part, that the gym slows down only a few months into the year? There are lots of excuses, not enough time, too busy, etc, etc. The point is, our resolutions are supposed to be year-round, but why do we let go of them so early on in the year?

Don’t get me wrong, it is a relief when the gym crowd dies down and us fitness-buffs can finally have some time to get our full workout, but at the same time I’m still rooting for those people, as frustrating as they may seem at the time. My good fibro Ronnie wrote an awesome post about the importance of starting with what you can handle (read it here!!! ). I completely agree with him, and I think that is the problem with people losing sight of their resolutions: We take on more than we can handle. Its not easy to get to the gym every single day at the same busy time after work. But if you make a routine of it, and maybe start with a few times a week, then you’re golden and you’re more likely to kick it up a notch maybe halfway through the year when you would have normally given up by then.

As for me, if you ask me what my new years resolution is, I couldn’t tell you. There are lots of things I’d like to improve upon: I’d love to get a 4.0, I’d love to spend less time on the computer, I’d love to read more, I’d love to keep kicking CF’s butt. But those are things I have been striving to do before New Years came and all the talk about resolutions clouded my head. Why can’t we improve ourselves every day? Why can’t we wake up in the morning and try to make today even better than the day before? Every day that I motivate myself to run or exercise, I’m making a new resolution, setting a new goal for myself. Sure, New Years resolutions help us to focus on our larger goals, but often times, those goals are frankly too big to handle that we often cower beneath them and before you know it, the New Years Holiday was just a night where you drunkenly watched the ball drop, not the day you made a drastic change for the better.

I’m not saying to abandon your resolutions, I’m just saying that its important to focus on small goals throughout the year, not simply when its hip and the media and your friends say you should. If you do wish to use New Years as a motivational start (which is perfectly reasonable too), at the very least consider making your resolution something that you can manage year long. Maybe make your resolution to “resolute” every night, or week, or month. Start off slow, be mindful of the little things you might improve upon on a daily basis, and make 2011 the best year it can be!