A resolution revolution

January 30th, 2013

It’s 8:30 a.m., and I venture out on my morning trek to breakfast, eager to stuff my face. Cleverly enough, my morning commute from Campion to the Schott Dining Hall passes the Corbo Room. I pause, just for a moment. It’s the first week of school, far too early in my opinion to see the morning light, and I’m struggling to keep my eyes open. Yet, to my entertainment, the gym is packed. I shift my glance to a room jam-packed with focused individuals, full of spunk, enthusiasm and concentration.

Funny, I can’t recall a similar scenario in November or even December. There can only be one reason for this sudden change in routine: New Year’s resolutions.

I shake my head, laugh to myself and think, “How spirited of them. Ah, so naïve. That won’t last. But points for effort.”

After reading this, you probably would come to the conclusion that I am an extremely insensitive individual and have the urge to stop reading this column and instead move on to another editor’s work in hopes of reading something far less cynical.

However, I encourage you to bear with me and think to yourselves, “When was the last time my New Year’s Resolution actually succeeded?” No, I’m not just talking about for a few weeks or even a few months. When was the last time your grandiose New Year’s resolution actually became a habitual part of your life?

If you have succeeded on these terms, I sincerely applaud you. However, it is safe to say that the majority of us are gung-ho and dedicated to our often-elaborate resolution in January, however as February rolls around, the idea of stuffing your face with a box of heart-shaped chocolates as opposed to rolling out of bed before the crack of dawn to jump on that treadmill is a bit more appealing.

I have concluded that my efforts of accomplishing a big New Year’s resolution at an over-hyped period of time in the year have been futile. Maybe this is a sign of my fear of commitment. Maybe I’ve given up too soon. Maybe I’m just plain lazy. This year, I solemnly resolve to do away with New Year’s resolutions. Period.

Do not kid yourselves. At the beginning of the year, we are hopeful of new beginnings. We want that clean slate and the chance to begin again. Yet, this has blown entirely out of proportion. We are only lying to ourselves. All the New Year has become is a time for gyms to make mass amounts of money in increased membership fees, health food companies’ sales to skyrockets and for Target to completely clear out of those electronic scales that not only tell you your weight, but your body fat percentage too.

Before you know it, that inkling of ambition you had at the beginning of the year has vanished. You look away in shame every time you pass the Corbo room, those carrots in your room have magically turned into Cheetos. That scale you spent your entire paycheck on has been tossed out of your dorm or apartment window out of aggravation of actually gaining weight during your period of aspiring to be the next Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper sets in.

My theory doesn’t simply apply to a resolution of living a healthier lifestyle. It can be applied to anything: from not going on Facebook to quitting an addiction.

I’m not saying that we should give up hope on our lives, becoming obese, Facebook-crazed, smoke a couple of packs of cigarettes a day, alcoholic animals. My point is that a major life-style change takes time.

Drastic plans to change your life do not come in microwave form. It’s the little changes we make.

Instead of thinking, “I’m going to work out everyday and eat nothing but raw celery,” switch up that approach with, “I’m going to go to Zumba on these days, Spinning on these days and trade in my after-dinner cookie for an apple.”

Progress in life can be slow. As in the tale of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race. Those who set New Year’s resolutions and begin the race with all of their energy fizzle out in the end. They are the hares. Those who approach life one day at a time, paying careful attention to the certain aspects that need fixing will pace themselves and often succeed. They are the tortoises. Recognizing this is step one on the road of change.