Resolute/Resolve

So, what are your New Years resolutions?

C’mon, don’t act like you didn’t make them. Don’t pretend like you’re too jaded for the new year. (Although I will admit, you can start to be a new you any day of the week. You really don’t need to start at the new year.)

So, why didn’t you?

I think the biggest reason people don’t make resolutions is that they think they need to “resolve” something. They think they need to start at square 1 and be at square 365 by the end of the year. That everyday needs to be pure progress instead of one step forward and two steps back.

But that’s the nature of things, really. It’s a process, not a one and done. It’s why you should think of yourself as being “resolute” in your resolutions instead of resolving something. Just be firm in what you want to do and you won’t notice that the problem at the end of the year isn’t fixed. You’ll just be happy that you focused on something for a whole year and put your energy into it.

So, what are my resolutions? I have a lot to be “resolute” on, but here’s a couple:

  1. Lose weight

I’m sure that one is no surprise to you, and it’s probably on your list too. The problem is that it’s really generic. You need to set goals and deadlines for weight loss goals, not just say you’re going to do it. Like, I’ll lose 2 lbs. by March 1, etc. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll set your goal really high but will be really happy with any progress at all. For me, I’m going to try to eat less carbs and focus on meat and vegetables as the main part of my diet. (What do you expect? I have two food allergies! There’s not much left!)

2. Learn a new language

Not every resolution has to be about making yourself better. It can just be something you want to do. Focus your energy on learning something specific like a language or a hobby, and you can count your time working toward your goal just by reading about it on Wikipedia. (It’s a lot less strenuous than exercising!)

3.  Notice more

Sure, I can achieve this just by putting down my phone when I’m  walking down the street. But this also means noticing when I’m happy and noticing when my body is sore and when I’m thirsty and when I’m bored and everything around me. Because we internalize a lot of things all day, but when was the last thing you actually noticed something? Really took it in? (I’m hoping this blog will help!)

And that’s it! Have a great year out there! Just remember to be resolute, not resolving!

Hold On, I Have to Pee

I’m so sorry about not posting yesterday, but when I have off from work, I take off from my entire life (including this blog).

However, I did go to the gym. And I realized something while I was there. No, I didn’t learn how painful it is to be twisted into a yoga pretzel. No, I didn’t learn how many drops of sweat could fall on a treadmill before it short-circuited. No, I didn’t learn whether people could actually see how long my leg hair was through my pants, especially since I forgot to shave.

I learned that it is really important to go to the bathroom before you start working out. I personally take a Zumba class, as I have noted before, and I learned that jumping, twisting, and twirling can take a toll on your muscles, as well as your bladder.

But this isn’t news. Anyone who has been to the gym directly after dinner can tell you that it is best to wait a bit before trying to burn off the calories.

Rather, it’s the crazy, metaphorical perspective that I gained from this ordinary experience that is really mind-blowing.

You see, after the fourth time I halfheartedly kicked my leg up in the air to dance along and try to escape the notice of the instructor while similarly hoping to quell the discomfort that was aching in my abdomen, I realized that I was purposefully holding myself back by not going to the bathroom.

And that, in a greater sense, is the same feeling that anyone might be having about his or her life. This urgency inside that simultaneously holds us back from what we want to be doing and yet pushes us forward toward something new so that we are stuck somewhere in between.

Real or not, most people view obstacles as excuses to not try as hard at something. Usually, we hold ourselves back because we are too scared or nervous for the future. So, we try to convince ourselves that we don’t deserve the opportunity that we might want or even that we are too good for it. We try to tell ourselves that we are right to get in our own way so that we won’t get hurt. For awhile last night, I didn’t mind that I had to pee because I didn’t have to work out as hard, and that, as anyone who exercises knows, was okay with me. It was an excuse that I maintained for myself that helped me in the moment, but also sabotaged my future (hopefully, fitter) self.

Because the truth is you’re only hurting yourself if you hold yourself back.

All you have to do (which is all I had to do, too) is release. I simply had to go to the bathroom to have full range of movement, if I had decided to do so. And since life is all about choices, you can apply to a new job, find a mate, or yes, even achieve your dreams if you simply choose to stop holding yourself back.

I agree that it can sometimes be painful, difficult, or downright uncomfortable to put your best foot forward, to invest your energy and effort into something. But it is even more so when you realize how much time you have wasted by not believing in yourself. Just like going to the bathroom, you are the only one standing (or sitting) in your way.