Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My 2012 of No Resolutions, But 100% Commitment

It might sound odd that someone like me doesn't make New Year's Resolutions. It's that one day of year where many set goals for themselves and look ahead at the coming year and what they'd like to accomplish. I don't roll that way. It simply doesn't work for me.

Clearly, it's not that I'm not a goal-setter: quite the opposite, in fact. I guess it's that I make commitments to myself 365 days/year, and set goals that are realistic to those commitments. I have goals for 2012. What makes that different than a New Year's Resolution? I've declared these goals months ago - I'm not waiting until January 1st.
Three years ago, when I decided enough was enough, and it was time to lose weight, I didn't wait until January 1st to roll around. On the day I knew I was ready to take on this big challenge, I took the first step. As a result, I've now lost 125lbs (and counting) over the last 3 years. This required being committed every minute of every day to respecting myself, my body, my future, and how I treat myself as a result. I didn't know how many pounds I wanted to lose, and how many was enough for each year. I just committed to living healthy and the rest just fell into place. 

Running has kind of taken on a similar shape. When I renewed my passion for this sport 2 years ago, I didn't know that a full marathon was so close in sight. I didn't say to myself that I'd run a 5km in 2010, a 10km and half marathon in 2011, and then plan for my first full marathon in 2012; it just kind of happened that way. I don't know how many races I'll end up running in 2012, but I'm sure it'll be at least 3 or 4. And no, I have no idea what 2013 holds. I'll know when I'm ready to know, as each and every day, I honour the commitment I made to myself to be healthy and conscious of how I treat myself and I ask myself the question, "what's next?"

I've often chuckled that January is the busiest month at my neighbourhood pool / fitness centre. As a result, I intentionally avoid it: too many resolution-making members of the public taking up space in my swimming lane. I know that's a generalization. And I know that I should applaud them for making the healthy choice, even though it's not my way of doing things. I guess I just wonder why the pool was so much emptier in December. Don't they know January is coming and why wait when there's no time like the present? Now's just as good!

January is a great time though. A new beginning, a blank slate on the calendar, and a chance to look ahead to 12 months of experience. Oh the joy (and anxiety...) of uncertainty. In fact I'm kind of thrilled that day 1 of my training plan is January 1st. I'll be out running and enjoying myself, knowing it's day 1 of training for the big day. It will be a day where many are looking for exercise to shed a few pounds after holiday indulgence (again, I'm generalizing and so, I apologize). But for me, it's a day I've been looking forward to for months, and have been running regularly to be ready for.


  1. I applaud the way you wrote this :) when I used to do yoga I was so frustrated when classes that were absolutely empty in Nov-Dec were overbooked a few hours in advance in Jan - I couldn't even get into the classes I had been doing, one of many reasons that led me back to running...there's always room for another runner on the seawall :) And the nastier the weather, the more room I have to myself!

  2. Yup, when I was swimming more than running, January always ruined my routine. I was always used to having a lane to myself or otherwise sharing it with others who swim at the same speed as I do and know lane swimming etiquette. In January, it's a whole other story, and I end up not being very happy and having a poor attitude toward the other swimmers. Anyway, yes, as a runner, you don't have to worry about sharing space so much and it's great! I love it when I have a park all to myself. Makes me feel so self-indulgent enjoying something that I shouldn't (although that's not true).

  3. I never much liked New Year's Resolutions either... I think it promotes procrastination! That, and my New Year's Resolution for the past 3 or 4 years has been to use an agenda to keep me more organized, but sadly I tend to abandon it after a month or two :P

  4. procrastination promotion = well said!