As I walked Marley this crisp January 2nd morning, it suddenly dawned on me that this is the first year I can remember that I didn’t make a grandiose list of New Year’s resolutions, usually concerning dietary and lifestyle changes and, of course, weight-loss. I have to admit that it feels concurrently strange and incredibly freeing- a strange cocktail.
Mind you, I don’t have anything against New Year’s resolutions; I have made so many of them over my lifetime after all. Some stuck and were life-changing…others went the way of the dodo by the time February 1st rolled around. I wonder what is so different this year? Well, other than a freaking pandemic.
When December began a year ago, I decided to go ahead and start intermittent fasting and building a consistent daily exercise regimen instead of my usual- allowing myself to over-indulge all holiday season and then kick off a lifestyle change on January 1st. I stuck with it, losing fifty pounds, and at almost fifty-eight, I feel stronger and more fit than I have in ages. I’ve slowly put habits into place that I hope and pray will allow me to maintain this way of living for good. I think that taking the pressure off of a huge New Year’s resolution pronouncement and just quietly settling into new habits made all the difference.
I have found that I don’t enjoy competition, at least with others. Competing with myself, however, is a completely different story. I like surpassing my own achievements, pushing myself to be at least a little bit better than the day before. That is what gets me up early each morning, fired up about my health goals. It feels empowering, and I like the idea of heading into the next chapter of my life feeling strong and more in control of my health.
I do have many more areas that I want to focus on in my life, very much inline with my INFJ personality of always seeking self-improvement. This year, though, I am seeking to accomplish my goals through small daily changes instead of unrealistic dramatic pronouncements. We all have to find what works for us, and- please God- I think I’ve finally found what works for me. I do love the idea of a fresh start, the turning of a page to a new chapter, though, and I hope that we are all able to write a much better chapter in 2021; with or without resolutions.