A view from my side.
A blog I follow, In My Opinion, posted a panel from a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip the other day and I just have to share it. I’m a big C&H fan. My Kids have given me all the books as Christmas and birthday presents over the years. I’ve never been one to make resolutions, because, well, as the comic says, how can one improve on perfection? LOL
In all seriousness, I do have a tendency to become very introspective this time of year. The week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve has always been one where I examine my life and, like a match at halftime, I try to find the subtle adjustments needed to make it better. Those that know me well enough will often ask in January what my musings have wrought and how will I be different.
I say subtle adjustments not because I couldn’t benefit from an extreme make-over, but because I believe it is the small changes we make that become permanent. Those are the ones that tend to stick and when they stick, they have the desired effect. So many people over reach at this time of the year. The number of new members in health clubs is a good indication. If you’ve ever been a member for any length of time, you’re familiar with the pattern. A surge in the number of people walking, running, rowing, swimming, lifting, spinning, etc., in January. By March…well, not so many are still there. While well intended, the changes they tried to force on themselves were often too severe. They didn’t understand that what they resolved to do really involved a change in lifestyle. Not something everyone is truly prepared to do all at once.
So what are my subtle changes for the year? I’m still working on them, but I have decided to continue my running program during the soccer season. I often let it fall off in the spring and fall, but not this year. I’ve done this before and I have the time so it’s not that severe a change for me. I feel better when I’m running. Not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. I’ve let it slip for a variety of reasons and have finally realized that has been a source of some of my discontent. It’s a subtle adjustment that actually amounts to a return to a lifestyle that I dropped a few years ago for the wrong reasons.
Other plans include drinking more water. Since I’ll be training more often, I’ll need to increase my intake. I frequently go hours without drinking anything at all. I usually have between 16-20 oz at breakfast and lunch, but none during the day, in between meals. So, water bottle in hand, a stop at the water fountain in the hallway twice a day will fix that problem. Again, a simple fix, a subtle adjustment.
Another subtle adjustment on the horizon is to run in a few races this year. I haven’t run in a race since Feb 2005. I don’t have any delusions of winning the race or even coming in the top 10 in my age bracket, but I’d like to start participating in them again. They are fun and usually a fundraiser for some cause or non-profit organization. Finding races is pretty easy and if I limit myself to the shorter distances, 5K and 10K, it should be a simple matter of waking up a bit early on a Saturday morning once a month and spending some time doing something I enjoy anyway.
And, since running in races is a great way to meet other people who share similar interests, that will help me with another subtle adjustment I’d like to make. To get out in the world more and make some new friends. I’m already out quite a bit, but in the same old places. It’s time to expand the circle of potential friends and get more involved with life.
All in all, 4 subtle adjustments that are on the table for next year. All already in the works and fitting into my lifestyle. All related to each other and all things I know will make me a happier person. As I quoted John Lennon in my post In Pursuit of Happiness…
When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. – John Lennon
For me, happiness is achieved by making the Subtle Adjustments.