Sometimes, I wonder why the new year starts in January. January doesn’t feel like a new start to me. It just feels like part of the progression of winter. It is the part of winter when it REALLY starts to get cold. To me, more cold is not really the most motivating to rush out to the gym. It is time to do my yoga at home on YouTube or meditate in the comfort of my own home. If I want cardio, I am fine with asking Alexa to turn on dance jams and bust some moves in my living room. If I think I should make diet changes, I am going to ask Amazon Prime Now to deliver that healthy food to my house. Yes, that is lazy… but I get really cold and my house is very cozy. Of course I leave my house. I just take a blanket when I go to the movies.
New Year also makes “the holidays” drag on for another week. We have been at this since Thanksgiving, people! Let’s space it out a little!
Why doesn’t the new year start in spring when there is actually new life and the animals start to come out of hibernation. Some people sort of come out of hibernation too. Even Christians believe that spring is when Jesus rose from the dead – If that happened to be the case, talk about new life! I bet those followers were full of “resolutions” after witnessing that miracle. **This is just an example, not really an invitation to question or criticize anyone’s belief system**
I hear pros and cons for new years resolutions. For some people, it is a really good time to start new habits, or change old ones. It is probably less intimidating because “everyone’s doing it” and it feels like we are all in this together and less alone. It is also cheaper to join the gym or start something like Weight Watchers. It is probably a VERY profitable time for those businesses though.
Here’s my take right now. My mom always tells me you can’t change everything at once. I tend to be a little extreme in general, so over the last few years, I have started to embrace that change takes time and happens little by little. Sometimes I develop good habits and they negatively impact the other good habits I thought I had mastered. One example is that from August 2016 to March 2017, I did not drink soda. That was a major accomplishment because I have a huge sweet tooth. I was just starting to get over some of my sugar cravings when suddenly I started to get sick almost every time I ate. Once I discovered I had celiac disease, that caused a dramatic change in my diet. Guess what? Soda does not have gluten and neither does most candy. Both of those are also very convenient and don’t require much effort to obtain. So, I removed gluten entirely and my desire for sugar snuck back in.
For about a month or so, I gave in and started eating candy. Then I would allow myself to have a soda every so often. Here’s what’s different about when I quit entirely and when it started sneaking back in: I have a better understanding of moderation, self-forgiveness, and the ability to see the extreme and venture back toward the middle. I know how my body feels when I am eating well. I have made a lot of changes and have an awareness of everything that goes into my mouth. I don’t eat without thinking anymore and I make choices. Sometimes, they are choices that aren’t good for me, but now I know I am in control of them.
New Years resolutions are like a big red button saying, “Don’t be moderate! Jump in, make yourself crazy for about a month, and crash into absolute failure!” It is very stressful. I have decided not to go with the crowd and just continue to slowly form good habits, accept that not all of them are going to stick, and continue to grow and become the best version of myself over time. That has been working for me.
Spring is a hopeful time when I will embrace change a lot easier. The reward is greater. I can walk outside more. The sun is like a smile and the cold is like being punished. Ok, I know I live in Colorado where the sun shines 300 days a year, but those other 65 happen to be in the winter and are a real downer when you might already feel like a failure from setting the bar for your resolutions way too high.
With all of that being said, who is with me for changing the beginning of the year to April?