One more week until the new year begins.
I don’t always make New Year’s resolutions. I take it year by year, deciding each year how I feel about it. I don’t put a whole lot of stock into the “tomorrow I’ll somehow be able to do something I haven’t managed to do yet” thing.
But I do believe in periodically taking stock, setting goals, focusing energy toward a few specific things that are really important. I believe bucket lists and New Years Resolutions serve the same purpose: to put something on your own radar in a very clear way, so that if (and when) you do reach your goal someday, you’ll be able to look back and say, “yes, I had actually intended to do that.” That way life doesn’t just “happen to you” all the time. You feel you have a little guidance and control over at least some of it.
A few years ago, the same year that Michael Jackson turned 50, a bunch of my friends also did. Each and every one of them (including Michael Jackson) struck me as being a little more energetic at 50 than I expected. 50 seemed to be a new peak in their lives. So I set my sights on making my 50th birthday see me in better physical condition than I was at 40.
The progress has been extremely slow-going. I started regular whole-body exercise, I started paying attention to what supplements my body needed, and I started trying to eat closer to the earth (and farther from man-made chemicals) than before.
I don’t think I look any healthier right now. And I’ve certainly continued to make poor choices in food and habit more than I would like to admit. But I do feel physically stronger and more flexible now than I did a few years ago. And I’ve been eating more naturally, overall. Each birthday that brings me closer to 50 makes me panic just a bit more, but that just means the resolution is only getting stronger.
I’ve got a long way to go, but with every New Year I can stop and gauge my progress and redefine my plans on how to get there. So this year, my goal is to eat even more naturally. Exercise even more regularly. And figure out which foods my body is reacting negatively to. I’ve already identified gluten as a problem, but I suspect there may be more. Maybe yeast, dairy or sucrose. And it’s hard to just give those foods up cold turkey (and with them, a lifestyle), which is why I need a plan.
And this is the week I intend to make one.
How about you? Are you planning to make any changes/resolutions for the coming year?