Running into Another Year

We find time for the things that are important to us. Period.
– Scott Douglas

It’s that time of year again, when many of us are in the thick of New Year’s Resolutions. There are the standard resolutions- clean up our diets, exercise more, give up a vice, spend less time working, more time with family- the list goes on and on. We’ve probably all claimed one of these resolutions at least once- January 1 is a handy day for making life-changing proclamations. It’s the one day of the year where we can safely say, “Hey, I’ve got a clean slate. From this day forward, I’m going to do X.” The extra bonus is that we’ve got lots of company as we admit that areas of our life need improvement… most of the world joins us in our efforts to create better lives, after all.

Personally, one of my New Year’s Eve declarations was to make more time for writing in 2012. I had planned to solidify and advertise this declaration in a brand spanking new Runnerchica on January 1. Wow, not only would I say I was going to write more, but I’d actually write more and do it on the first day of the year! Does it get any better than that?

Well, funny thing is, it’s January 2 (two hours from the 3rd), and here I am just crafting this post. Does this make me a New Year’s LOSER? Does this make any of us who made bold proclamations this year (that were perhaps exactly the same as last year’s) only to see them extinguish quickly… losers also?

To this I’d like to answer with a quick “of course not!” The thing that isn’t advertised on the covers of health magazines whose covers shout things like, “Make 2012 Your Year to Get Fit” is that there really are no New Year’s Resolution Rules. There’s no statute of limitations on the number of times we can make the exact same resolution, or the number of times we can fail by the evening of the first.

The problem of it all lies in the fact that when we are making our clean, new proclamations each year, we often are a bit hard on ourselves. Here we are, announcing how great we will be in this New Year. Then, when we blow off a resolution early in the game, it feels like a failure- our grand proclamation turned into another one of the many things we say each day, a fleeting thought lost on our ever growing to-do lists.

And maybe herein lies the problem. With so much on our plates each day and each year, there does tend to be less time for sticking to the things we value enough to outwardly recognize as areas for improvement. Sure, we think they’re important enough while we’re enjoying a New Year’s Eve toast, and they’re important the next day when most of us are spending quiet time recovering and relaxing after the busy holiday season. But, when life starts again, and we resume our frenetic lives… the good intentions tend to slip and the bad habits seep in again.

What it comes down to, then, is maybe less about focusing on things we are resolving to do this year, and more about focusing on what’s important to us. Is it our health? Our fitness? The people in our lives? Perhaps if we focus on these things enough, we’ll just automatically do the things we know we need to do. Who wants to smoke and eat like a pig when good health is our goal? Is staying on the couch really going to help us run that 5K? If we want to spend more time with our families why are we staying so late at work? I think the point is pretty clear.

In reality, we all know exactly what we need to do in order to reach our goals. Sure, we might falter from time to time. But, the truth is, we do make time for the things that are truly important to us. Period.

Here’s to a New Year filled with everything that’s important to you.

copyright 2012
by abbey algiers

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