It is the end of January, and we are a month into the year 2007. It is so hard to believe that a whole month has passed by since I was writing out my New Year’s resolutions, but we here we are. A month later is a good time for reflection. Did you stick to your resolutions? And for that matter, did I stick to mine?
I had a variety of resolutions. Some were very personal, others were fairly typical. I’m with the majority of the crowd of “lose weight” and “exercise more”. I also have vowed to become a better version of myself, which I think is ultimately what we all want. So where am I at the end of January? Well, I have lost about 2 pounds. Nothing spectacular, but it is something. I have been exercising more. Not a lot more, but some. And that “some” does count for something.
I am writing this article because I noticed something about myself, and the way I handle my New Year’s resolutions. I create my list and take it a little too seriously. I also take too seriously the changing of the New Year, which is simply just another day. Then, into January and February, I take stock of my progress, and if I don’t see monumental results, I feel really bummed. This fact, combined with less sunlight, shorter days, cold weather keeping us inside more, can really bring a person down. I know that I am not the only person who feels this way, so I wanted to bring it to your attention.
I was thinking through this issue and devised a great plan. Why not start your own personal New Year on your birthday? If your birthday, say, happens to take place in the summer, it is a great time to follow up on those resolutions, such as exercising more, and make great progress on them! You can put on your running shoes, and hit the pavement with some great weather inspiring you. Maybe if your birthday falls during the winter months, you could pick a summer day, such as the first day of June or July, to be your own personal “New Year”. Then, when the real New Year comes, and everyone else is furiously scribbling down their resolutions, you can kick back, and instead, do an evaluation of your progress on your resolutions that you made 6 months ago.
I’m not a big fan of following what the calendar tells us to do in regards to holidays and other events. I know it is not the norm, but it works for me. I feel that often, there is so much pressure coming from all sides to be a certain way, and do a certain thing on a certain day, because everyone else in the USA is doing it, that if you do not conform, you are a loser. This is a sheep mentality, and I encourage you to break out of the mold, become an outlyer, and think outside the box. You do not have to feel weepy and sentimental at New Year’s if you do not want to. You do not have to beat yourself up inside at the end of January because you have not lost 10 pounds in a month. Small steps are great. You do not have to be on par with everyone else. I think if we adjust our internal clock and follow the beat of our own drum, we do not have to get caught up in the whirwind media hype of each and every holiday, and most especially New Year’s.
So it is the end of January, and what have you done? Well, you’re still alive and kicking, and that’s a blessing right there! Whether you’ve kept those New Year’s resolutions or not is really immaterial. What matters is how you feel inside. If you are feeling bad about not keeping resolutions, or think you should have done better and are being hard on yourself, don’t be. You can change things to work for you, but do it on your own schedule, not by what the calendar says. Go ahead and pick out that warm summer evening in June or July right now, and claim in as your own. And when you jump up in the air on June 5, yelling at the top of your lungs “Happy New Year”, everyone may think you are nuts, and check your drink for illegal substances, but not me. I’ll be right there with you in spirit. Make and keep those resolutions on your own time schedule. It is your life. Make it your own!