Is it too late to be “resoluting”? How about just some thoughts over a cup of coffee, is that ok?
I’ve said before that I’m not big on New Year resolutions. Something about spending the quiet days of the year imagining how you will be active once they’re over rubs me the wrong way. But I do very much like the idea of looking back and reviewing the past year (or years) and figuring out where you’ve come from, where you’re going and how to get to where you want to. Let’s do a bit of that.
The elephant in the room every January is looks & fitness, and I want to charge that head-on so we can move on to more important things.
I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older (read: grown up?), I no longer care that much about an extra inch of muscle around the arms or an extra inch of fat around the belly. Instead, I’ve come to care obsessively about energy levels, “feeling” right and mood. Because of that, my health principles are simple and haven’t changed for me much over the last few years.
‘Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants’ (Source)
Lift heavy things. Move as much as possible.
That’s it, no lifting goals, no calorie counting, no special diets. As always, I’m really happy that I have actually made progress on each of these, but still a long way to go. And that’s ok.
But is that all there is to health? Is it all about that one piece of chocolate, or that steak, or lifting that bar? It’s definitely important, but I think there’s a lot more to it than that.
If I had just one real goal for this year, it would be “make more time”.
Make more time for myself.
Make more time for the lady in my life.
Make more time for my family.
Make more time for my friends.
I don’t want to do more things this year.
I want to do fewer things, better; and I want to enjoy them more. I want to enjoy everything more.
Too many daily things become chores that we’re just trying to get out of the way. I was recently chatting to someone who noticed that I read a fair amount of books, yet don’t do yearly reading challenges. My argument was that I very much enjoy reading as is, I don’t want to turn it into a “challenge” at all. I get enough challenges during the day, laying down in bed with a good book is so relaxing, why would I mess with that? I don’t care if you think I read too much fiction, I don’t care about the twenty books I “have to read” in my life/year/career (What does that even mean? Is the entire meaning of my life dependant on reading some books and ticking some boxes?) and I really don’t care what “successful people read”. Stop turning everything into a chore or a challenge, just read a book because you want to, not because others want you to.
While I feel pretty smug and confident with my reading argument, I don’t apply this as well to most other aspects of my life. And that’s the goal really, and it requires learning, as much as anything. I’m trying to learn to enjoy my time more and part of that is setting up fewer artificial challenges, just for the sake of some imaginary rat-race. There are enough real challenges as it is, just make time to enjoy everything else.
I’m writing this for myself, but I am also writing it to share. The sharing part is not so much about my goals, it’s about yours. As you’re already feeling that sadness that comes with looking at the checklist you wrote down two weeks ago and finding that ticks haven’t magically made their way to it, think about how many of those tasks are worth doing as challenges or resolutions and how many you would just do for fun if you made more time for them. Perhaps then you will arrive at the same conclusion I have… most “resolutions” can be simplified to one general goal: make make more time for what’s important. Once you have that, you will do what’s right with it and you won’t have to force yourself to do it.
In any case, here’s to a great 2016! Let’s make it awesome!