QUICK! CHANGE EVERYTHING! RIGHT NOW!!!
By: Lauren Anderson
It’s no surprise that I got a beef with New Year’s Resolutions.
The advertising around this time of year is relentless. And rightly so, I suppose! You would be a fool not to use this time to get people into your doors, or into a new deal, and into the next great thing.
For example, I am writing this blog for my beloved gym Solcana. We’d be idiots not to entice people to finally try us out around this time of year. Because now is the time of year people do this kinda stuff!
(And I seriously do wish everyone could come work out with me.)
And even though my gym thankfully side-steps a lot of the downfalls of *hiss diet culture, we are in the business of bodies feeling the best they can! After the typical bounty of the holidays, people really are looking to get into some kinda usable routine. There is data that supports this. So like any good business, we advertise!
BUT! And there is a BIG BUT here…That’s not really what I’m beefin’ about.
I’m beefin’ about the timing of it all.
(The following has been italicized to denote EXTREME SARCASM.)
Because I mean, culturally we are supposed to “Change” now. It’s the “NEW YEAR” after all, and all that stuff I was supposed to be doing 7 days ago, that I didn’t do before, I’m finally gonna do NOW.
With no prep or working up into it. And I will be SUCCESSFUL AT IT!
BECAUSE IT’S THE NEW YEAR!!!
AND in the New Year, I WILL BE SUCCESSFUL AT EVERYTHING!!!
Because my body and my life are exactly like the greatest cities in the world.
And ya know what makes the best cities? NO INFASTRUCTURE.
Okay… sarcasm over.
Like a good deli sandwich, it’s time to get to the meat. And the meat of this sandwich is you guessed it– BEEF.
My beef is not with gyms trying to offer deals to get people through their doors. Unless they use the typical guilting mechanisms of *hiss diet culture to do it. Which thankfully my gym does not. In fact, it doesn’t even align with the values of Solcana (yet another reason I love it.)
My beef is with how arbitrary it all seems.
Although it does seem perfectly human to want to resolve to be better. And honestly, what a better time to do it than in the fresh first moments of a new year? You’re right. You got me there.
But here’s the deal… just like I don’t need a Valentine’s Day Card to tell someone I love them, I don’t need January 1st to be the catalyst that finally makes me sign up to run a marathon. In fact, if I’m going to commit to training for an endeavor of that magnitude, I hope I have something else supporting me than just a “New Year New ME” mantra.
Let me explain.
Surprisingly, I have no beef with Valentines Day. But I use that day to tell people that I ALREADY LOVE, that I love them with candies and flowers and the holy grail of decadence– Chocolate covered strawberries.
Besides, I can never be too mad at a mostly candy-based holiday.
But I wouldn’t use the silly holiday to tell someone I loved them for the first time… JUST BECAUSE it was Valentines day. You see where I’m going with this?
So with New Year’s Resolutions… I feel like often we try and implement things because it’s the New Year, and we feel like we should. Not because we really want to.
Because, and this might be a hard pill to swallow… if we really valued it, we would be doing already.
I’m gonna say it again because it’s that important.
If I really valued it, I’d be doing it already.
It’s kinda like the other day I was talking to a friend a mine, and he was telling me about yet another upcoming trip he had planned. He’d been traveling a lot in the last year, and had a lot more trips on the horizon. I was kinda jealous, because I have a deep wanderlust, and I said as much.
“Another trip?! That’s awesome. Man, I wanna go.” I whined.
And he very simply said, “Well, you should go.”
And it kinda stopped me in my tracks. Because he’s right. There is nothing really stopping me from setting up some travel plans of my own. I could complain that time and money are factors, but honestly? WHEN ARE THEY NOT?!! And if I put in effort, they’re not really. Not seriously. Because…
IF I REALLY WANTED TO DO IT, I COULD MAKE TIME AND SAVE UP MONEY TO GO.
I could say, “Well, I don’t have anyone to go with, and I don’t know how to do it.” But that’s bullshit too. I have plenty of people I could ask to travel with me, Or I can go alone! And I’ve been a AAA member since I was 21. They have travel agents there that could easily give this baby bird some wings– FOR FREE.
So what’s stopping me?
Well, good question. I’m not prioritizing it right now for some reason. Traveling and seeing the world is something I desperately want to do, but I have yet to put any real effort into that part of my life.
I think for so long I was only focused on work. And for the past 5 years, I’ve been focused on my body journey, and in the last year I’ve been focused on therapy and getting over some past trauma that was holding me back.
Hmmm, so maybe now in 2020, is the year I add another stamp to my passport?
But here’s the thing folks. I won’t travel because it’s 2020, and 2020 is “the year of traveling”. I will travel in 2020 because it’s something I value that I am now focusing my attention and resources on.
And that’s the difference.
One has infrastructure, and one does not. One is supported by a deep belief, and one is not.
One is deciding what I value and what I want to spend my time and money and effort on, and one is the random turning over of a calendar page.
And that’s my beef with resolutions. It’s not the desire to change, it’s that the change feels like it is pushed onto us by society, and *hiss diet culture, then from where it really counts.
Like, the depths of our own desire.
Because when change is made just because it’s “that time of year”, I think we’re setting ourselves up for failure. I mean, only robots and sociopaths can maintain a habit just because they feel like they should.
(I’m teasing here obviously… or am I?)
But when change is implemented with purpose and belief, I truly believe humans have the power to make themselves greater than they could’ve imagined.
And if that happens to fall on the January 1st of the year, then more power to you.
But if not, then may I offer what my therapist talks about when it comes to making great change?
She says, “Start small. Do one small thing. And then do it enough that it becomes part of you. Then add another thing. Great change happens in the midst of small practices.”
So if you’re like me and you’d like to work out more in the new year, I know I don’t have to do it 7 days a week just because it’s January and that’s what everyone else is doing. If I set myself up like that, I know I’m gonna fail.
I know I can make it to the gym once or twice a week, and that’s very much in line with my desires.
And if I like it and it works, I can decide to fold in more. Having my desire met, I will feel like a champion. And let’s be real here, who doesn’t want that?!
I know I don’t have to book a solo trip to Antartica to prove that I love to travel. But maybe I can look into flights and finally make good on a promise to visit some of my friends in LA or Denver or Texas.
It is a dream of mine to see elephants in the wild in Africa. But first, I should probably see if I can make it through Epcot, ya know?
Great change happens in the midst of small practices.
The only resolution I will make is to start small. And it doesn’t matter what time of year.