New Years Resolution Solution
Usually, during this time of year, we all promise to make changes for the better. We look at where we have come from and where we would like to go from this point. Many of us, after two weeks of binge eating and running through stores with tunnel vision with no disregard for the old woman in the walker, resolve that 2014 is finally the year we get into shape and start being nicer. And as quickly as we resolved to become better, we fall into the black hole of laziness and anger we have grown to know and love. With that I give you the two-too common, resolutions that often fall short.
#1.) I promise to finally sign up for a gym and get into shape
There are two times of the year when the gym becomes unbearable: The waning weeks of May and New Years. The end of May finds people rushing to the gym to try and get in as many Stairmaster sessions and crunches as possible before that all too close departure for the beach. Realizing that they did not plan nearly enough time or salads for their goal, this realization eventually leads to people succumbing to the fact that they are not going to have that washboard stomach they planned on at the beginning of beach season, and the decision to take every shirtless picture with the "non-apparent" sucking in of the gut.
The other time of the year when people swarm to the gym in droves is the week of January 2nd. After two weeks of scarfing down seconds of Aunt Bea’s ham, washing it down with a dozen of Grandma’s buckeyes, and gargling it with store-bought EggNog, people tend to feel a little more “jiggly” this time of year. Those of us who are active and enjoy outdoor activities (give yourself a pat on the back Lem’s Customers) are usually able to zip up those pants after a week or two of being on track.
However; everyone has to start somewhere and there are many people who promise that the first of the year, (“ugh gym’s not open? Ok ok, the second of the year”), they will finally shed a few pounds and the same resolution they made a year before finally feels right this time around. They take their shirtless “before” selfie picture in the mirror before heading to TJ Maxx to load up on Nike Dri-Fit shirts then head to the gym just like the thousands of others who have finally decided to break a sweat.
The gym becomes filled with unfamiliar faces and awkward exercises. Almost every machine is occupied, which include the weird open and close leg machines and the line for the treadmills is out the door. Meanwhile, half of the clientele are walking around like lost puppies, while the meatheads “happened” to wear their extra small tank tops and brought their extra large water jugs just to ensure everyone knows who the real bosses are in the place. Day after day, the “resolutioners” slowly diminish like a sniper is up in the rafters until the gym returns to normal thus making 2015 the year for Physical change!!
“It was a good run guys (literally), I made it a full two weeks, now pass over the twinkies and remote.”
It just seems so easy. We have heard the quote before, “When the first of the year comes, I am going to quit wasting time and start enjoying life!” Of course you are little buddy! However; this little testament is much easier said than done people. Sure January 2nd is pretty easy, you finally made it into the gym and although they had a weird in and out leg machine and there were a lot of muscular guys that seemed to be wearing their sister’s sports-bras, you made it through an entire 45 minutes of blood, sweat, and tears. You come home, with a skip in your step, whistling your favorite tune, noticing you have a missed call from Aunt Bea. Because this is the year of change, you decide to call her back to thank her for the amazing ham and to ask about her day. Finally instead of countless hours of Facebook Stalking, you put the laptop on the shelf and pick up the one book you own while simultaneously turning off the Justin Bieber Pandora station and opting into the Beethoven’s 9th Symphony Station. Ahh in 24 hours the amount of sophistication within your life has increased tenfold. This is going to be the year you become a better person, and this is the year you will finally do all of those things that you have always wanted to try.
It all seems too perfect. It was way too easy to do all of those constructive things in a span of 24 hours and it seems like the next 364 days are going to be a breeze. Maybe the next few days are and life seems to be going very smooth. 2014 has become your year! But around the corner, right underneath the surface is that catalyst we all run into when we aim at trying to better ourselves. This so called “catalyst” comes in many forms.
Often times, it takes the form of a new TV show on “Netflix” that you heard your friend say was “amazeballs” and you cannot live another minute of your life without watching. You say to yourself, “Well I have an hour before I have to pick Aunt Bea up for crochet class and I kicked yesterday's butt, so maybe I’ll reward myself with an hour.” Next thing you know you snap out of your "Dawson's Creek" blackout only to realize you are 8 episodes deep, your fingers are bright orange from the Cheetos, and there are a dozen missed calls from Aunt Bea.
Or maybe the catalyst comes in the form of a friend persuading you to come out for “one” drink to celebrate their recent promotion. “Of course!” you say, while thinking to yourself, “If I want to be a better person I need to be more selfless and start celebrating the lives of others. So I must go out!”
Well that one drink slowly turns into two, three, four, and the next thing you know you are taking body shots off of the single mom at the end of the bar and Def Leppard is blasting on the jukebox. The night abruptly comes to an end in the Taco Bell drive-thru and you have a half eaten Taco Bell family pack in your lap with fire sauce smeared all over your face.
The next day hangover causes you to skip the gym, ignore Aunt Bea, and eat anything deep-fried, simultaneously putting an abrupt end to Beethoven’s 9th and any skip your step may have had. Thereby throwing that resolution out the window and becoming optimistic about 2015.....
I don't write this post to get you down about the potential and optimism you have about any resolution you have made this year. Quite the contrary.
The moral of the story kids is to get a helmet, because just like life, New Years Resolutions are tough. We make them every year because they are so darn hard to stick too. 365 days is a long time and by setting the bar so high, we are inevitably setting ourselves up for failure.
Make a resolution, but realize that it will be broken whether it be two days of 364 days from now. Don’t aim at perfection. If your resolution is to get in shape, start by taking the stairs instead of the elevator everyday. If your resolution is to eat healthier, start by eliminating sodas. Finally, quit putting so much pressure on yourself. Tolstoy said it best (I happened to stumble across a quote book in the men’s bathroom a few weeks ago), “If you want to be happy, be.” So grab the bull by the horns, but make sure you have padded the floor around it!!
Happy 2014 Lems Customers! No pressure!