With the beginning of April, and supposedly spring, (oh, and the fact that the instructor at Stroller Strides brought it up), an evaluation of progress on new year's resolutions seems appropriate. Until this year, I have made the typical resolutions: lose weight, exercise more, eat better, blah, blah, blah. I have NEVER completely followed through with these goals and, after years of unaccomplished resolutions, I had begun to permanently identify myself as a quitter, a procrastinator, or worse, lazy.
However, to be fair to myself, it isn't as if I've never accomplished anything in my life. But I do, certainly, wish there were certain goals I had felt more committed to and compelled to complete. So what is it about these new years resolutions that have destined them (and me) to failure? And why is it that I have been able to accomplish such goals as earning a graduate degree or teaching college courses but have neglected my architectural licensure or getting to bed at an acceptable hour most nights? Why do some goals make it and others don't?
I am a procrastinator, no questions about it, but I know that I am not lazy and certainly not a quitter (at least my rational mind does). I've realized that perhaps the problem isn't my complete lack of follow-through, but the substance and nature of the goals I was setting for myself. They were dispassionate goals without the proper plans to encourage follow-through. I didn't consider what systems I might need to have in place in order to make healthy eating easy to do; I didn't define (or even know) the types of exercise I might enjoy enough to stick with. And, I didn't consider the motivations underlying the resolutions and goals I was making. So I would gradually slip back into my previous habits and, rather than reasses my progress and make the appropriate changes, I would secretly cast away the resolutions I had made, begrudgingly replacing them with proclamations trivializing the point of resolutions anyway.
This year, THIS YEAR, I made a small and very quiet resolution to myself - to really do this blog thing, and lo and behold, after evaluating my progress, I must say that I deserve a pat on the back. And while writing this, I've realized that over the years I have developed systems and sincere motivations that help me accomplish all of the resolutions past I mentioned above: a weekly meal plan to encourage healthy eating and a regular workout that I love and happens to fit my current schedule to help keep me active.
My life will always be changing and, from moment to moment, month to month, and year to year, I know I will have to reevaluate my resolutions and goals and find new plans for working towards accomplishing them. I also know that the motivations behind these, and all of my goals, will change and either grow in intensity or shrink into the background of where I happen to be in life at a particular moment. But these changes and movements are a part of life and living and so I've decided to set a new goal for myself: to never identify myself as a quitter or lazy again.