Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

My New Year's Eve included pyrotechnics:

Tower of matches held together with straight pins, anchored in a fork, lit over the sink.  Small scale pyrotechnics for sure, but still pyrotechnics.

Today's WOD: 

100 burpees for time

13:10.  My goal was to come in under 15 minutes, so I was happy.  Talked my brother-in-law into joining me, and he got 11:30.  

It's been a nice break to be working out on a once every 2-3 days schedule, but I'm eager to get back to every day.  It might be a painful adjustment back though!

A New Year's Resolutions Rant

Since it's New Year's Day, I thought today's post might include a list of resolutions for 2009.  But in thinking it over, I have to agree with Claudia (go read her nice rant) that I don't really like New Year's resolutions.  Who actually makes them and keeps them?

I think it's safe to assume that most resolutions are about diet and exercise.  Until recently, I've been working out at university gyms for the last 10 years.  Every year, in January, they get incredibly crowded because of all the resolution people.  And it always drives me crazy.  But by the middle of January, the crowd has dropped off, and by February, the gym is back to normal.  What good did those resolutions do?

In January you see all the ads for diet programs and quick fix exercise programs (we saw some especially enthusiastic infomercials this morning, pre-burpees.)  New Year's resolutions have just become a way to sell things to people.  Or a way for people to say they're making a change, give it a halfhearted try, and then give up and feel less guilty because hey, at least they tried.  

Despite feeling this way about resolutions, every single year since I can remember, I've made a careful list of all the ways I need to improve myself.  Getting in better shape/losing weight/eating better is always on there.  Often it goes beyond this, to unnecessary things like getting more organized (I'm already pretty organized), to things I have no control over, like getting more publications, to fundamentally changing personality traits (be less angry, more patient, etc.)  Do I really think saying something at the New Year is going to make me change my personality?

But this year, there will be no resolutions.  Since September, I've completely changed the way I look at health and fitness, and that shift was more important than any vague commitment.  I know what I'm doing is effective.  How many people fail at their fitness resolutions fitness because they are just doing things that are ineffective, because they are setting the wrong goals in the first place?  As Tim pointed out, most people make superficial appearance-based goals (lose weight, look better), but performance-based goals are what really matters for true fitness and health.  And as Claudia pointed out, you can only change the things that are actually in your control, and if you're serious about changing them, you don't need a resolution, you need to just do it.  Real change takes commitment every day, not just one day a year.

People will continue to make New Year's resolutions, and there's nothing I can do about it.  But I can say no more resolutions for me, and for once the New Year is not a day for apprehension and guilt in the guise of a "fresh start", but just another day where I'm doing the best I can.

Happy New Year everyone.  

1 comment:

claudia said...

Happy New Year, Amy! Let's make 2009 a really good one.