To Resolve or Not?

On one hand, creating annual resolutions on January 1st seems like kind of an meaningless timearbitrary.  The new year, aside from the date, doesn’t really feel like anything new. At work everything runs on either the academic year (July – June) or the fiscal year (October – September). Life seems to start fresh with each season.

On the other hand, probably due to the false sense of renewal created by society, it does feel like a good time to evaluate your current progress and refocus.  I think it’s just that it happens once a year that makes it feel a little silly and ineffective.  A lot of resolutions fall by the wayside as the “newness” wears off.

This year, I’m going to focus on short term and long term goals.  That way I can reevaluate and update my goals every few months based on whether or not I’m achieving them.  It makes no sense to resolve to lose 5 pounds, accomplish that quickly and then not have anything to strive for the rest of the year.

As I try to narrow down my resolutions, the regulars come to mind – smoke less, eat less, weigh less, exercise more. These are general personal improvements that I am always striving for and sometimes I make progress, sometimes I don’t.  I need to quantify these for the short term, make them SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely).


  • Eat better: Make sure my weekday lunches consist of at least 50% vegetables.  Eat salads, soups, sides.  Avoid eating muffins, bagels, pizzas, cookies.
  • Smoke less: To start with don’t buy cigarettes for New Year’s Eve.  Then don’t leave the party for an hour trying to find a store that’s open and sells cigarettes (last year I was gone so long people thought I left without my bf). There will be people there that smoke and I may have some, but if I buy them I’ll have a whole pack and that’s what I’d like to avoid.  After that, I need to get through a weekend that includes drinking without smoking.
  • Improve my Running: I want to do this, but without my usual bullheaded ignorance.  I need to buy new shoes, listen to my body, and take it slow.


In addition to the above short term goals, I do have one overarching goal.  I want to run a race.  Ideally, a half marathon, but the distance is something that will be determined as I progress.  I don’t know if my injuries will allow me to get to 13.1 miles in the next year and I don’t want to pressure myself into more injuries just to reach a goal.  So, I don’t know if it will be a 5K, 10K, or a Half, but I want to run a race, because I’ve never done that before (Spartan Sprints aside) and it will be really excited to wear my first bib.