You Say You Want a Resolution?

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It happens every time, around the first or second of January. The parking lots around the YMCA in Denver get packed and they stay packed …. for about two to three months.

That’s right, it is time for the resolutionists.

I get that as far as problems go, dealing with the early-year crowd is a first world problem. To avoid them, you just need to get to the Y a bit earlier in the morning or a titch later in the day to avoid the surge. Or you can just accept that you will have to park farther away and walk for a minute longer, because, after all, you are actually walking towards a work out.

However, the parking lot walk is not the biggest concern. Once inside, the problem becomes more apparent. There are only so many bikes, but many more tushies now, so many treadmills, but many more feet. Furthermore, since I usually only take one towel with me, I have to use one of the Y’s towels, and they tend not to keep up with the demand, quickly running out of clean towels and not being able to wash and dry them fast enough.

And if you have a desire to take a class, forget it. The overcrowding becomes a physical problem, without any room for maneuvering.

Look, I’m not saying that making resolutions to go to the Y or any other health club is a bad thing — I am whining on behalf of all of us who are already members and regular attendees.

There is nothing wrong with making resolutions. They are desires to become better, manifested into goals. I, myself, used to make resolutions, which were detailed, specific and achievable. The problem was that there were one hundred of them. So, of course, I would become bogged down and stop doing them, one by one, and eventually all of them would fail. When your resolutions look more like your bucket list, it should be a clear signal that things are out of control.

I no longer make resolutions. I make one or two goals, and I work on them until they are either achieved or become a familiar process. It took me almost two years, but I now floss my teeth every night. This year, as last year, I am going to continue working on 1) not running late, and 2) getting to bed at a reasonable hour. Both of those things need to become habitual, second nature, so I can do them automatically. Everything else, getting fit, learning Italian and Japanese, and creating my own version of karate that is doable with my aging joints — those are bucket goals.

But I got distracted, as I often do. What I wanted to stress here in this article — and absolutely did not achieve — was that while there is absolutely nothing wrong with making resolutions, we need to make them throughout the year — not just for the new year.

There is nothing wrong with the first of February, the first of August, or the first of December. You could also pick your birthday as a starting point. Also, there are Mondays — I am aware that most people are biased against Mondays, but they are good for new beginnings. And then, let’s not forget each and every morning, a fresh start with the opening of your eyes.

I started going to the Y, “my” Y, three months after the birth of my son, 16 years ago. That was March of 2002, and I have been going there, on and off, ever since. The operative word, in the above sentence — March. Do what you want to do now, and don’t wait for the new year. Do not wait for a magical, mystical New Year’s Day. You will still wake up being you. As U2 once sang, “Nothing changes on New Year’s Day.”

So go to the Y and sign up today, on a Friday. Or start that novel you’ve always wanted to write this Saturday night. Look up a computer coding class at your local community center you wanted to take, or that cooking class you really should take. And do it on a Wednesday! Blow their minds!

So, yes, become a resolutionist, but, please don’t wait for the New Year to begin. There really is no better time than now. And, I’ll be able to get on that treadmill without waiting.

Written by

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.

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