I love the energy that comes with a New Year. So many of us recognize January 1 as a day of new beginnings, new opportunities, and new adventures. If last year wasn’t what you’d hoped it would be, December 31 is a clean break – a time to say goodbye to the dissapointments, frustrations, and fears of the year that has passed. It’s a line in the sand, allowing us to let go of what isn’t serving us, and embrace all that lies ahead. On the first day of the year, it seems like the possibilities for our future are endless…
Working in the fitness industry means I get to experience the New Year, New You Energy ten-fold. After two typically slow months in the gym, people return in droves, with fresh resolutions, fresh excitement, fresh motivation and a fresh outlook on the world, and themselves. The energy in the air is palatable. It inspires and motivates me to bring the best to my teaching, to help everyone that I meet achieve that goal they’ve set their mind to…
…And then sometime around mid to late January, the energy starts to shift again. Some people fall off the wagon, get frustrated or feel they’ve failed, and remain so discouraged they decide it’s easiest just to forget that resolution anyway. Others get crabby, angry at the throngs of people vying for their parking space, or their locker, or their favorite treadmill. Still others push on, trying to maintain the commitment they made to themselves to make THIS the year… only to find out it’s a lot harder and takes a lot longer than they thought. They start to wonder if they will ever lose that weight, or recover from that injury….
Really, it doesn’t matter if your ‘resolution’ is fitness-related, or work-related, or family-related, or anything else: this cycle is all too common. Riding the wave of possibility and lavishing in the liberation of a blank slate, we set our sights high, creating resolutions that we just KNOW we will stick to. This will be the year, goshdarnit. And then, when and if we fall behind, we beat ourselves up, often feeling worse about ourselves than we did before we made the resolution.
What if instead of making a RESOLUTION, we decided to approach the new year with RESOLVE? These two words are rooted in the same meaning, yet their connotations are markedly different. A resolution is a lofty goal, often hard to keep, and often broken. But when you posess resolve, you posess the drive and determination to soldier on towards a better you, despite the difficulties, despite the obstacles, despite the 5 cookies you had for dinner last night. Resolve is what will guide you, keeping your end-goal in sight, while allowing you to forgive yourself of the small setbacks you are certain to encounter along the way. A resolution may break in an instant; resolve will help you to keep your eye on the prize.
My mom always told me that fitness isn’t a destination, it’s a lifestyle. And it’s true. In the grand scheme of your life, one rough day will not make or break your goal. But the discouragement you feel when you beat yourself up for breaking a resolution could last for days or months, paralyzing you.
So I urge you to think about this: in what area of your life do you wish to see a positive change? What are the simple things you can add into your day to help you make that change? Once you’ve identified it, RESOLVE yourself to keeping that end goal in mind, no matter the setbacks. Forgive yourself if you make a mistake. Forget the rough days: sleep them off and start anew tomorrow. Soon enough your good days will outnumber the difficult days. And before you know it, your resolve has set you free.
Happy New Year, my friends. Cheers!