Then every January, I’d get the distinct impression Juniper and I were in the middle of the training grounds for the Olympics. Men and women in fashionable outfits and the latest athletic shoes would smugly whiz past. Where did all these runners come from?
When my back gave out, and those around me couldn’t stand my crabbiness anymore, I took up an alternative exercise, swimming. The pool is not as lonely as the road, but most mornings I encounter the same few, people. Many of them acknowledge they aren’t loving being there. They’d rather be in bed, but they admit, they have a habit. Occasionally I have to share a lap lane, but usually it’s with a regular.
Then every January, new Speedos, goggles, flippers and paddles attach themselves to unfamiliar bodies and invade my liquid space. Sometimes I even have to sit on the side of the pool waiting for my lane! Where do all these swimmers come from?
These exercise enthusiasts have traveled from the distant realm of Resolution-Land. They are beginning their New Year armed with the magical weapon of good intention. Creo en milagros! Even though my thoughts say “good for you,” I try not to get too attached to these lovely incarnations, because by the end of the month most will have moved on to another activity or interest. I still applaud each individual effort, because I know one or two will make it into February or even March. Some will actually become regulars.
If you have ever engaged in writing New Year’s resolutions and even been so bold as to save them from year to year, you might have noticed that the same maddening, but differently worded, self-reform mandates will appear several years in a row. It’s okay. Be proud of your effort. To work toward bettering your life is the best exercise!
Here are some resolution guidelines that might help you succeed:
· Keep your list short.
· Be careful about what you resolve. Winning the lottery is out of consideration; buying a ticket isn’t. Resolutions should be things over which you have control.
· Be realistic. Losing 100 pounds in two months probably won’t be a good one either, but you can resolve to eat one extra portion of vegetables a day, or to switch to whole grains most of the time.
· Behavioral change is a journey. Anyone who has ever completed a marathon has started the 5,280 foot process with one step.
· Write it down, and put your resolutions in a place where you can refer to them frequently.
· You don’t have to share your intentions with anyone.
· Resolve to add things to better your life. Giving up stuff is for another season.
A promise is a promise, even if it’s to yourself.
· Build your resolutions around what you value.
Recently, the capable woman who cuts my hair asked me, “Why do I do everything for everyone else first, and then don’t have the energy to take care of myself?”
In order to continue to be able to take care of others, you first need to nurture yourself without guilt.
· Resolve to do just that!