New Year’s Resolutions

Frankly I’m not a big New Year person. Despite the fact that it is typically the biggest and most common holiday around the world I’ve never quite gotten it. It is just another day. This should be evident in the fact that it is 5:30 am on January 1, 2014 and I sit here drinking coffee and blogging after having gone to bed early last night.

Even sillier is the stating of resolutions that are stuck to for a week or two and then slowly fade into memory. Nowhere is this more evident than the gym. Starting the 1st of the year, it is difficult to find an open treadmill, swim lane or weight bench until the 3rd week of January when the enthusiasm and commitment of the resolutionists fades. I guess the realization sets in that change takes hard work and that often doesn’t fit in busy lives.

But I’ve decided to set my New Year apathy aside this year and take the opportunity to make real resolutions that I plan to stick to and hope to be held accountable for. So here goes nothing . . .

Regarding Attitude: It is easy to complain about traffic, the weather, the dumb things people do, the dumb things I do. It is far more difficult to keep a smile on your face and take it in stride. But that is my goal going forward.

  • Resolution: Give people and things the benefit of the doubt and don’t whine about things I can’t control.

Regarding Life: If life had a GPS track or bread crumb trail that we could follow backwards to see how we got to where we are, it is a pathway none of us could ever predict. My life has turned out so much different than I would have ever guessed as I was growing up. I spend a lot of time wishing some things in my life were different. But you know what? That is a lot of wasted effort. Life isn’t so bad.

  • Resolution: Enjoy the reality of life. It is what it is and it isn’t so bad. Instead of wishing some things were different work progressively to make the changes I want for the better.

Regarding Food: A few years ago, i was a lot fatter and far, far more out-of-shape than I am now. I was the classic middle-aged American and a walking stroke or heart attack waiting for a place to happen. I made changes in my lifestyle and have since shed over 60 lbs., completed marathons, 1/2 marathons, and half-iron distance triathlons along with a host of other physical accomplishments I never would have believed I was capable of. But my diet still focuses on calories and not being as healthy as I can. There is a lot of ever-changing information about food out there and tons of different opinions with miscellaneous studies to back up whatever you want to believe in. But there are fundamental food “truths” underlying all healthy lifestyle trends that can be followed by any of us if we so choose.

  • Resolution: Eat better food. I have a lot of goals in life including this year’s full Ironman event. Food must be healthy fuel for the body. While it is difficult at best to totally eliminate processed foods, I plan to reduce them to a bare minimum. Otherwise, natural foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, healthy meat, etc.). I WILL take the time to make sure healthy snacks are on hand so the urge is not there to gorge on ready-at-hand junk.

Regarding Exercise & Racing: There isn’t much to resolve here. Running, cycling, and swimming have become such a part of my daily routine that it is a foregone conclusion each day that I will be doing something physical. Additionally, I keep myself signed up for events that would be downright scary if I were not prepared. Still come race day, I tend to be my own worst self-deprecating critic.

  • Resolution: Believe in myself and my training. Spend race day focusing on the positives. “I can” not “I can’t”. Above all else, have fun!

Happy New Year everyone! May 2014 be a safe, prosperous and happy one for you and your family.

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