We all know the tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions. It’s a heady feeling to think of turning over a new leaf and tackling the items we’ve been wanting to start or quit. The idea of starting fresh is encouraging. As the year marches by, we get bogged down with life’s minutia and soon we start feeling dragged down and not so fresh.
In fact, this sense of being bogged down accelerates quickly as obligations (self-imposed or otherwise) continue to pile on top of our shoulders starting on January 1. By January 31st 80+ percent of us have dumped our resolutions and by Christmas 97 percent of the rest of us have as well.
So why bother? Well I do enjoy that heady feeling of excitement and possibilities when setting down new year’s goals.
This year however, I decided to approach it differently. Being ambitious, I give my all to whatever I do. It’s like all or nothing all the way. And let me tell you, doing something all out, chews up a lot of time. But do I really have to do everything 100 percent?
Some things maybe
Like marathon training. For me, it wouldn’t work to say I’m going to train for a marathon for the next six months, but only do it for some of the weeks. That’s not going to work.
But what about my last year’s resolution to add strength training on top of my running routine? Strength training can greatly improve anyone’s running. But is it critical to do it 100 percent for me to do marathons? No. I have run marathons just fine without strength training.
So while it would benefit my running, it isn’t something that I should bust my head over to do. Because to add that on top of everything else I’m doing would cause me undo stress and limit my enjoyment/benefit of the other items in my life as well as lead to frustration and feelings of inadequacy when I don’t keep up with it.
So moderation is the key there.
I could make a resolution: ‘Strength train four times a week’ and add it to all the other resolutions. Then be very frustrated when 30 days later I give up because I can’t manage all these priorities in only 24 hours a day.
Or I can make a resolution: Strength train one day a week. That way, I‘m adding something new without risking getting overwhelmed and dropping it just a month later. I’ll likely strength train more days over the course of the year, than I would have if I tried to do four days a week and burned out early.
Moderation is the theme for me this year. Except for marathon training. That’s a High Priority, All The Way item for me this year. But more about that in another post.