To resolve or not to resolve, that is the question

Julie Winter 2014_blog

The fad this year seems to be “not to resolve”—to say “no” to the compulsory diets and new exercise regimens, and to be happy with yourself as you are. This competitive, image-oriented culture is exhausted from the relentless demands. Finally. Good for us!

I’ve never been adept at resolutions mostly because I forget what I’ve resolved by January 3rd. Usually I don’t resolve to do anything—except to drink champagne at midnight and hope to be kissed!

Until 2014. Last year I unwittingly made a year long commitment. My best friend and running partner decided in late December 2013 to run every day of 2014.

Every. Day. of the YEAR.

I did not commit to this goal.

However, on January 1, I ran. And on January 2, I laced up my shoes and ran again. By January 5th, I realized that I was not going to let this pixie friend of mine spend a whole year beating me in mileage and bragging rights.

I resolved to run every day of 2014 out of pride and competitiveness.

Because it was such a simple goal (run every day—once every 24 hours—no carrying it over to the next day or make-ups possible!), I knew what I had to do every day—even on the day I got a mild concussion surfing, even when I had to fly on airplanes at 6:00 a.m. and had to run at 3:00 a.m., even when the temperatures were 6 degrees and snow covered the trails, even when I was tired or sick or sick of running!

I ran and ran and ran. I ran in the rain, and in the humidity, and in shorts, and in sweaters and down jackets.

Every day I didn’t wake up and run first thing, I felt an inner pressure all day long to figure out when I would get that run in (sometimes not until after dark!). My family and friends knew they couldn’t talk me out of running or say, “Can’t you just skip it?” when we were on vacations. And I knew I wouldn’t let them (so empowering to have a boundary like that!) It was this one, immovable goal that governed my life for precisely 365 days.

Can you imagine how great it feels to say, “Sorry, I have to do this?” and then get to go do it? It’s amazing!

Truth is: I loved it, even when I hated it.

Which is precisely the reason to have a goal or resolution. There’s something about the commitment that carries you over the edge from “Gosh this bed is comfy and warm and so much nicer than the 10 degree, -15º wind chill factor and dark skies out there” to “Damn, I’m running! This is awesome! I’m amazing! Look at me go!”

The more the days accumulated, the more pressure I felt to keep going. “How can you quit now?” I’d say to myself. And mean it.

So here I sit near the end of this amazing goal (that has hammered my heels, made me gain about ten pounds, and exhausted me) and I’m already sniffing around for another daily commitment.

I remember in 2007 I took a photo a day for Project 365—just one picture a day to post to a blog! Every day. No make-ups. That is one of the most memorable years of my life. Why? Because I was so busy observing it every minute!

So I thought I’d throw it out there. What can we (you and me) commit to do this coming year, the year of 2015, that is a daily goal that can’t be carried over to the next day or crammed into the too small space of the weekend? What is the one thing you can do, every day, this year that will not be quenched or squelched by anyone because, hey—you said you’d do it every. single. day?

I’m toying with a brave goal for me (more intimidating that running). It has to do with writing.

What can you do?

Let’s brain storm and then START on Thursday, January 1!

Here’s to the One Thing Resolution! One Thing, Every Day, for One Year!

One Response to “To resolve or not to resolve, that is the question”

  1. Katie says:

    Wait… it made you gain 10 pounds? Muscle? 😀 Or is life just that unfair? 🙂