As we entered the new year, I noticed an alarming number of social media posts and memes ranting about people making resolutions only to revert back to their same old ways. Post after post dismissing the “New year, new me!” mantra dominated my newsfeed for days. Ironically, I didn’t see a single post claiming such. Perhaps it’s the result of a trend we’ve all noticed at the beginning of each year. Gyms push sales targeting new year’s resolutions, infomercials and commercials for weight-loss products go into overdrive, and your gym routine becomes increasingly difficult on account of crowds of resolution-makers. It’s annoying, and resolution success rates can be a bit grim. However, there’s rarely a bad intention behind a resolution to make oneself better.
A new year, month, week, day… They are all natural breaks in time, like a mental reset button. “I’ll start my new diet on Monday…” words I’m sure you’ve heard (or said) in the past. It all begins with an intention, and if someone has the courage to say it out loud, post it to their social media, paste it on their vision board, or follow through by taking up some space at the gym for a month, who are we to knock it? If it bothers you that much, do some housekeeping and hide people from your newsfeed, or delete them if you must. Your gym routine is being interrupted? Take a cue from a resolution-maker and spend a month trying something new.
I’m pretty sure we’ve all made resolutions to be our best self at some point or another, even if it wasn’t on January 1st. I woke up one day near the end of 2010 and realized I had been neglecting myself. I was in grad school, quickly approaching 200lbs, and resolved to put a stop to it. I started going to the gym before class on Friday mornings, hired an amazing personal trainer at a budget-friendly gym, and signed up for the Chicago Marathon. It wasn’t easy. I got discouraged. And I posted my goals and progress on social media. An amazing thing happened—people encouraged me, and some were even inspired to make that first step themselves. By marathon-time I’d lost 30lbs and managed to keep it (mostly) off ever since.
I don’t always stick to every good intention I set, but I try. Sometimes life gets in the way, or motivation wanes. And I’ve definitely let holiday season and two weeks of vacation get the best of me. I’ll be the first to admit my fitness has declined since I moved from sweet-home-Chicago to Boston. I no longer have my trusted running partner, and I can’t just call up one of my sisters to meet me at yoga. So here I am in January of 2014, and I’m not making any resolutions. I am, however, embarking upon two (simultaneous) 30-day challenges to help reset the best me: Whole 30 + 30 consecutive days of Bikram Yoga. I just completed my first day and I feel empowered.
Rather than post to social media, I’ll be writing about it here. Is anyone else out there making positive changes? Happy New Year!