As we move into 2019, we’re all, predictably, inundated with talk of new year’s resolutions – encouragement to make them, articles explaining why we all break them, headlines promising us the secret to finally keeping them. If you’re in the majority of Americans who has trouble sticking to a resolution past April, here’s something to try this year: Skip it.
I’m not saying everyone should just stop setting goals, of course. (We’re runners – goals are kind of our thing.) The start of a new year is a logical time to want to reorient ourselves towards a goal; but if the annual surge in gym memberships in January followed by the predictable wane in subsequent months is anything to go by, the new year’s resolution isn’t the most effective catalyst for permanent change.
One glaring problem with new year's resolutions, I think, is in the term itself: The word resolution sounds like a solemn resignation to something inherently un-fun. Having resolve is all about determination, steeling yourself to do something you don’t want to do. Resolutions feel rigid and absolute, less like goals and more like chores. We start the year with these self-imposed obligations coded in grim language, and then beat ourselves up when, more often than not, we don't live up to our own oppressive expectations.
What’s lacking in the traditional new year’s resolution is inspiration. We can declare that this year we’re finally going to cut out sugar or start running six days a week or start doing yoga, but what motivation do we really have to hold ourselves accountable? Even if we do manage a few months of success, for most mere mortals sheer willpower and doggedness are not enough to elicit a permanent change in behavior literally overnight. Instead of trying to force a major lifestyle change at the stroke of midnight on January 1st, let’s take time to reflect on our goals and consider why we want these things. By pulling back, focusing on what compels us to want a change, and identifying why that change is important, we can draw inspiration to pursue the more gradual shift in mindset needed for a lasting change.
So this year, ditch the all-or-nothing resolution, let yourself off the hook a little, and look around for what inspires you to be better in 2019.
Inspired to Eat Better
Tuesday, January 8
Wade Ave., 7-8PM
Nutrition can be incredibly overwhelming and confusing. If you're not sure if you should be eating gluten-free, vegan, keto, low-carb, and paleo-perfect, then this interactive seminar is for you. Instead of stressing out about nutrition rules or labels, get inspired to eat better with a few super simple, evidence-based tips and recipes to fuel your life!
This free seminar is led by Chris Newport, nutritionist and head coach at The Endurance Edge.