I hate new year’s resolutions, and only partly because I’m terrible at sticking to them. Past failures have included doing a sun salutation every morning (I lasted around 11 days), writing a novel (something of a work in progress), and getting at least 7 hours sleep a night (ooh cat videos you say? It’s 11:43pm but let’s watch 20 in a row!).
The fact is, why are we all setting ourselves up for failure at the very beginning of the year when we’re all full of chocolate fudge brownie Wensleydale cheese (yes, that is actually a thing) and missing Prosecco being a socially acceptable breakfast? We’re out of money, it’s cold, and the sparkle of Christmas has pretty much gone. That’s hardly a recipe for a good time to make successful life changes.
Apparently, you have to do something every day for 66 days before it becomes a habit. If you start on January 1st that’s March 7th people. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a really long time. And this is coming from someone who already has plans with Theemiddlesis for March 2017. In a nutshell, this is why I think new year resolutions suck. Why do you want to limit bettering yourself to just one day of the year, and a potentially hungover one at that?
It was on the 13th January 2015 that I signed up for my first ever triathlon. Back in April I decided to start taking my running more seriously by getting a coach in the form of Alan “Baldrick” Baldock and starting this blog. In August I joined Ely Runners. Around this time I also wanted to try adding more yoga and foam rolling into my regime. But rather than say “I will do this daily!” and feel crap when I failed, I decided to aim for two times a week. And sometimes I do it twice, sometimes five times, or sometimes not at all when life gets a bit busy. But the point is I didn’t set myself unrealistic targets, and by doing even a little bit it’s an improvement on what I was doing before. I’m now a whizz at doing crow pose to headstand and then back to crow pose, and I’m even managing a wobbly one legged wheel pose on a good day. By not setting myself a whole bunch of ridiculous (unreachable) targets all at once, I’m getting stronger and faster, bit by bit.
I guess the point I want to make is that we shouldn’t be so strict with ourselves. If you want to make a change, don’t wait until one day out of 365 to do it. Just do it when the time feels right for you. And don’t set yourself such rigid boundaries either – often it’s the small increments that matter in the longer term.
(But if you fancy taking up running and want a buddy to come with, give me a shout!).