As a [former] runner, I am accustomed to making New Year’s Resolutions around this time every year. Most of them stemmed from fitness goals: I’m going to run five half marathons, run a marathon, run faster, run smarter, lose weight, eat better, drink more water and start lifting weights again. And then some personal ones like I am going to journal every day, spend more time planning blog content and do more outdoors. Sometimes they are even ambitious like I’m going to take a three-day canoe trip or backpack with my husband. Sometimes the Resolutions happen (I survived backpacking indeed, but just barely) and well, that’s about it. Mostly they don’t happen and I end up feeling bad about it every time I reflect on what I should have or could have done – but didn’t. I feel guilty and sometimes even worthless. And all because of the New Year’s Resolution label. So here it is, The Top 5 Reasons Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions.
I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions because in reality, they don’t work out.
We set a goal at the first of the year – a really big, scary, hairy goal (like run a marathon) and sometimes, we have no idea about the commitment behind making such a promise. When the goal proves to be or later becomes unattainable, it feels like a failure to not complete it. Failure is hurtful, damaging and painful – both physically and mentally. And, it is in reality often not a failure because plans change, people change and circumstances change – making New Year’s Resolutions a great challenge to successfully complete.
I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions because I prefer to set goals with measurable progress.
Instead of deciding to run the marathon, it is more beneficial for me to set small goals like walk around the block with my husband and dogs or maybe even run-walk a 5K. Small goals, with measurable progress, work better – small steps one at a time eventually add up to a great distance. Instead of losing 75 pounds next year, maybe I will find a successful weight loss program that works for my schedule and lifestyle, join an online support group or commit to doing Weight Watchers for six weeks. If I start to see results with a program that works, I can alter my goal to fit my needs without scratching the Resolution by January 19 and getting discouraged. I’m still getting healthy and I’m not damaging my self-esteem by setting too high of a goal early on in the year. If by March I have successfully ran-walked a 5K race, maybe I then set the goal to run the next one of run-walk a 4 miler. Maybe my goal is to being an exercise program, to lace up my shoes or to join an aerobics class and from that foundation, my future goals can grow. Progress is made little by little, and I am inspired to keep going.
I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions because life doesn’t go according to plan.
Especially for someone moving through recovery or facing a chronic illness. Sometimes taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can resolve to do. If you face additional health challenges during your DVT and PE recovery – which can be common – your health may completely derail what you had in mind for a Resolution. Or, for example, your recovery could take longer than expected. Just because you need to focus on yourself and getting well does not mean you are a failure for not obtaining your New Year’s Resolutions – it makes you normal.
I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions because a lot can change in a year.
And let’s face it, it probably will. The person you are today is not the person you will be tomorrow, next week, next month or at this time next year. Your goals, priorities, motives and direction in life may all change from day-to-day, especially as you move through a difficult, confusing and frightening recovery and guess what? That is okay.
I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions because I don’t have to wait a year to make positive changes or modify the ones in place.
It is important for me to live the healthiest life possible and take care of myself in every way possible, especially since surviving a PE and DVT. Sometimes, I think it is easy to get caught up in the thought that because it isn’t December 31, we can’t make changes. It’s also easier to wait another year before cashing in on the “big one” – the year I am going to run a marathon or lose 75 pounds; but, it doesn’t have to be that way. We can make small choices and changes every day – at anytime – to help us reach a goal. Something as simple as drinking more water, walking to get the mail or limiting eating out to twice a week can make a difference and if a change isn’t working out in the long run – don’t wait to make it work for you.
To you and yours, wishes for a Happy and healthy New Year.
Reader Writes In. Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Why or why not? Share it in the comments below.
There is hope for healing and you are not alone,