The New Years Resolution
Ah, blog post, how I miss you. My world of diaper changes and spit up and naps where he-who-will-not-be-put-down cuddles in my arms for sometimes hours at a time leaves little time for personal reflection or witty comments on writing. It leaves little time for writing period, something I fully intend to correct in the next little while. While raising a little human who hopefully won’t become an asshole certainly is important work, the task, along with the weather, leaves me unable to get out and get inspired. By inspired, I mean find subjects which irk me or provoke me in some way. I’ve lost my connection to the downtown area, unless I use the carrier, as the city is currently working on the underpass ramp. Hard to get a stroller up and down stairs after all. At the moment, I’m fully convinced they’re using school glue and popsicle sticks to renovate the relatively short ramp, why else would it take so long? That thing better look like a glamorous dwarven cave filled with jewels and precious stones once they’re done!
Occasionally though, inspiration hits me in the forehead. Case in point, new years. More specifically, the all-mighty new years resolution. I love how we believe that a new year will magically change our lives for the better. January 1st is a wondrous day that is nothing like December 31st. And maybe it isn’t, you aren’t usually hung over on December 31st! I’ll admit, for some people the new years resolution is a Godsend. Let’s say, for ten percent of the population. (don’t quote me on my numbers, I’m making them up) For the other ninety percent, it is wishful thinking.
Let’s take the often pledged weight-loss resolution for example.
Think about it. A new years resolution usually follows a month of revelry and plenty, where sweet treats and huge meals are had in rapid succession. Even if you don’t usually drink, you might indulge in a glass or two of something special. (Baileys anyone?) So when the meals are over and the new year celebration clears from your system, you’re likely left with a few extra pounds and a butt load of guilt. So what do you do with that newfound devil on your shoulder? You sign up for the gym! Yes, this will be the year! Bikini season, I’ll be ready for you! HEAR ME ROAR!
So you buy a new workout outfit, because they are not only staring you in the face from every corner of the shopping universe, (I was at the grocery store and saw at least three racks of workout clothes) but spending the money on a new outfit will encourage you to put it to good use. Workout facilities of every sort are having sales on memberships and you’ve decided where you want to go. All that’s left to do is show up. It’s your first day, you’re nervous, there are fifty people in the gym and thirty of them all have the same lost yet determined expression on their faces. (The other twenty are praying for March to roll around so they don’t have to wait so long for the machine/best spots/teacher/do zumba without tripping on someone/etc…) The first day is fantastic, you did so much! That’s got to be worth three pounds. You step on the scale.
It doesn’t budge a millimetre.
So you go again, and still the same. This is where the truly committed weed themselves out from the bandwagoners. Bit by bit the new years resolution becomes a chore, like sweeping dirt out of a sandbox. Some people last two days, others a week. Some last a whole month. Maybe they lose a couple of pounds, but it’s not working as fast as they’d like or expected. Others last until the end of February. But in the end, you’re resolution ends up tossed in the garbage with the leftover party favors.
Am I being pessimistic? Probably. Am I being realist? Absolutely. I think most of the issue is that people often don’t find activities they enjoy and use a gym filled with machines as a default choice. Try joining a class, doing some martial arts such as kickboxing or Muay Thai, take up swimming, learn rock climbing, join a hiking group, or try some yoga. There are plenty of other choices out there than simply using machines you aren’t familiar with around a bunch of people you’ll likely never get to know beyond the names you make up in your head. (Who doesn’t know a never does legs guy or a here just to pick up person or the what the hell are you doing this time lost soul, you know, the one hanging off machines with their feet where their hands go?)
Now, don’t get me wrong and think your resolution isn’t worth it, go ahead and beat the odds! Just know that it’s work and in the end completely worth the effort. The reason most people fail is they feel pressured into doing it, either by themselves or by others. You want to lose the weight, great, but do it for yourself.
You don’t need a new year to start something new, you only need a new day.