Friday, June 26, 2015

New Year's Resolution

Next Wednesday, the year will be half over.  Are your New Year's Resolutions still intact?  Are you going to the gym daily, reading your daily devotionals, donating a day a week to the soup kitchen, and calling your mom? Eating nothing but salads and drinking nothing but water? Run the marathon?

For the first time in my life, I have made it to the year's halfway point without giving up.  And I have hated every moment of it.  By July 1, I will have pushed my body off of the ground using my arms 24,200 times.  Twenty four thousand pushups.  And as a result, my skinny arms are just as skinny.  My chest has not, contrary to my expectations, filled out to a Charles Atlas-level of magnificence.  And women do not swoon as I go by.
Only $13.99 will get me one of these.

In fact, almost nobody knows about it.

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article about how talking about your goals gives you the same endorphin hit as accomplishing your goals.  So from the perspective of your cranial reward center, there is no additional benefit from doing.  Talking about it is enough.

Isn't it?

A close friend gave up drinking at the New Year.  He did not make a general announcement, although he did not hesitate to say what he was doing.  And he was proud of doing it.  For the first six weeks that he was drinking tea instead of beer, I heard him reinforce his decision. He was losing weight, he was more alert, and felt better in the morning....

He had the fervor of a convert.  Not that he was trying to convert anyone else, but he was convincing himself, as much as me, that the return on investment was good. And then, six weeks in, he stopped talking about it at all.  While continuing to not drink.

I had to explain to my wife why I was turning red in the face for the exertion of pushing Louisiana away from my face just before bedtime (on the days when I waited until the end of the day).  I told my friend who has been good about encouraging me.  I have told one or two others.  But I didn't make a proclamation (until today).  And despite the fact that I have missed a few days - and slowly caught up - I have been pretty steady.

Last week, my buddy and I started talking about it again.  I am still doing my 150 pushups a day (I started at 100, but upped it in March to 150), and he is still not drinking.  But it seems like we could both benefit from adding something else.  The whole purpose of New Year's resolutions is to find a weakness to fix, or a strength to hone, something that makes you better.  So we are considering our options.

Another friend of mine once wrote a blog entitled DO OVER.  In it, Michelle detailed her attempt to let go of past events, and start every day fresh (I miss her blog...). She talked about starting fresh. Clean slate.  New start.  Playground-style 'Do Over'.

So what about it?  What could you do, if you didn't have to commit to a WHOLE YEAR? What would you attempt, with a six-month commitment?   Would you commit to learning an instrument?  Spend an extra hour with the kids?  Start doing 100 sit-ups a day?  Give up cokes? Start saving for retirement? Start a blog?  A novel? Do standup?

What would you do with a Do Over?

Give it a shot.  Join me for a Second-Half resolution day.  July 1, 2015.  Let's finish off the year right.


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