Alright folks, it’s time to talk about New Year’s Resolutions!
But wait — you may be asking yourself — isn’t it a little late to be setting 2018 goals? I mean, the presents have been opened, the tree’s been untrimmed and the bearded man in red came and went.
True statements, all of them, but formally setting my intentions for the new year after January’s already in full swing brings one key benefit: I already know after two weeks of testing if they’ve stuck.
That’s right: I actually set my resolutions on Jan. 1 like the rest of the world, somewhere between waking up semi-hungover and binge-watching the entire season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel — which, let’s be honest, everyone should stream this three day weekend. (Except people working MLK Day at the inconveniently timed Detroit auto show, but I digress.)
People set absurdly unattainable goals all the time and then are disappointed when they don’t work out, so I opted instead to give mine a trial run during January’s first half before sharing them with the world. And since these survived all the way to Epiphany and then some, I now have more faith in my ability to keep them.
So what am I doing in 2018? Nothing as dramatic as my past resolution successes, like losing 30 pounds or running my first marathon or starting this blog. Instead, I’m targeting incremental tweaks that I’m hoping can have an outsized impact with fairly little legwork.
1. Strength training just enough not to get injured. I’ve set muscle-building resolutions before, and they’re hard to stick with 1. without a personal trainer to hold me accountable and 2. because strength training stinks. So this year, I’m trying something lower key — I resolve to do one set of each one of these Bart Yasso-recommended runner-strengthening moves every week. I’ve subbed out a few of them for more me-appropriate exercises (i.e. swapping in hip-strengthening clamshells for totally-impossible pull ups), but so far, so good. By squeezing in squats in empty elevators and doing bridges during Jeopardy, I’m finding little ways to fit in the moves that should make me a more well-rounded runner.
2. Eating cleaner, sometimes. Full disclosure: I just ate three slices of pizza dipped in Hidden Valley ranch for lunch, so I think we can all agree moderation has its limits. But for the most part, I’m trying to double down on last year’s good habits with even more smart choices this year, from more fruits and vegetables to less processed meat and white grains. I’m not planning on cutting out anything completely, like alcohol or chocolate, but hopefully by targeting more healthy choices, I’ll be able to keep my weight in check and my running well-fueled in the new year.
3. Brushing my teeth for the entire two-minute electric toothbrush cycle even though it’s so long and boring I could die. This resolution is reminiscent of my 2011 goal to start flossing (and also to run a marathon.) This resolution is the hardest one on my list by far, and I’ve already thrown in the towel several times mid-clean. To try to get through the full cycle, I resolve to do more tree-poses and calf raises and other things from resolution #1 while trudging through resolution #3.
There are several other things I want to do this year — visit my brother in Hawaii, throw an epic bachelorette weekend in LA, maaaaaybe revisit the marathon distance — but I think three goals is plenty sufficient. Well, maybe just one more:
4. Get an excellent haircut.
What are you resolving for the new(ish) year?