By Gretchen Powell
Here we are again. I know it’s cliché to say things like “I can’t believe how fast the year went!” or “It’s already 2014?!” but I really can’t believe how fast the year went! I mean, it’s already 2014?! Yikes.
In retrospect, 2013 seems like it literally flew by and I’m still here trying to figure out exactly what I did with my time.
Last year around this time, I wrote an article about how you shouldn’t have to wait for Jan. 1 to roll around to try and make good on that resolution. Nor should you feel like you’ve failed if, by Jan. 5, you’ve already “broken” it. This year, however, I must admit that I have found myself falling victim to that classic New Year’s mentality: Everything starts over on the first.
Even though logically I know it’s silly to attach that “reset” mentality to a relatively arbitrary date, I still end up having thoughts like “Well, it’s OK to have pizza again for dinner, I’ll start being better after New Year’s” or “It’s OK, I’ll start going back to the gym as my New Year’s resolution.” The thing is – as I’ve mentioned before – that kind of thinking just leads you down the slippery slope of feeling like, if you don’t upkeep said resolution perfectly, you’ve “failed.” And then it’s all too easy to give up your resolve altogether.
Well, it’s now 2014, and while I did end up staving off my resolve to reinvigorate my healthy habits (and change my not-so-healthy ones) until the New Year this time, I refuse to follow suit with the second part – the giving up part. And while I normally encourage folks to make realistic resolutions that are easier to keep, this year I am trying a new tactic. I’m going big with my resolutions.
After all, if I can keep up the mentality that one failure does not, in fact, spell the end of a resolution, why not give myself some serious goals to strive for? The worst thing that can happen is that I fall a little short. And even if I do, so what? Try, try again, right? So with the gym membership that my parents gifted me for Christmas, and with the local-produce delivery service that I signed up for, and with my two miniature dogs with gigantic energy levels, I resolve to continually try, try, and try again to have that healthy, happy lifestyle I know I am capable of (but just am often too lazy to effectively keep).
So this New Year, my challenge to you is to go big – but don’t go home – when it comes to your resolutions. Resolve to cook at home every single weeknight. Resolve to go the gym every weekday. Resolve to take your dogs for a 30-minute walk every evening, or go back to yoga three times a week, or use that calorie counting app for every single meal. Resolve to do it, try to do it, and if you still end up ordering food once a week or skipping the gym every other day, don’t guilt yourself to the point that you want to give up all together. I mean, hey, at least you’re trying! And if you’re anything like me, I would venture a guess that you’re still establishing healthier habits than you were before.
Gretchen Powell is a fitness and healthy living blogger in Falls Church. She is not a registered dietitian, nutritionist, or medical doctor, and a medical professional should be consulted before undertaking dramatic diet changes. For more, visit honeyishrunkthegretchen.com.