I love New Year’s Day, maybe for the same reason I love opening day in baseball. It’s a fresh start, and there still hasn’t been time to mess it up. Having been a Baltimore Orioles fan pretty much all my life, there was a long long stretch where opening was the one day that the team was in contention for the title.
New Year’s Day gets a bad rap though. I think because it’s so close to Christmas, it’s kinda the afterthought part of ‘the Holidays.’ Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Christmas kinda guy. But you have to kinda feel sorry for New Year’s, don’t you? When Christmas is over it’s 364 shopping days until Christmas. When New Year’s is over it’s oh crap now I have to keep those damned resolutions. Christmas gets all the hype. New Year’s gets the last couple of days of the year to hurry up and come up with those damned resolutions. Christmas gets It’s a Wonderful Life and The Polar Express and White Christmas (and it seems like a million other Bing Crosby movies) and Elf and… well, the list goes on ad nauseum. New Year’s gets… gets… ummmm…. sheesh, even Groundhogs Day has a movie. I don’t know, is The Hangover a New Years movie?
And that brings me to another thing about New Year’s. For millions, New Year’s morning is that one you actually dread waking up to because either you’re looking at a major scale hangover or you’re worried about what you did the night before. So I’ve heard. I’ve never had a hangover. I’ve actually never been drunk. Seriously. Not that that means anything, sometimes I wish I had been because I could use that for an excuse for some of the really stupid stuff I’ve done in my life. Years ago I drove a taxi, and New Years was the day we drivers both anticipated the most and loathed the most. There was good money to be made, if people showed up… but man, the stuff you gotta put up with.
And that’s the other thing about New Year’s. For so many people Christmas is all about opening presents and hanging out with family and friends, playing games, celebrating a pretty incredible birth. New Year’s is all about the night before. If it’s about anything at all it’s about one minute. 12 AM. One stinking minute. After that, it’s all downhill from there.
Then there are those of us who don’t even bother with that minute. I’m too stinking old to stay up for that any more.
Granted, New Year’s has football. But even that’s being taken away bit by bit. The important games aren’t on New Years any more. And the ones that are, they’re all on ESPN… man if you want to really get me started on a rant, that will do it.
Maybe there’s one thing where New Year’s is at least on par with Christmas. Christmas has the grinch and bah humbug. New Year’s has resolutions.
Those damned resolutions.
I sense there’s a bit of a theme here.
I always hated resolutions. I resolve to keep my blog better up to date. Yeah, right. That lasts a couple weeks. I resolve to work out more. Uh huh.
I looked back on my old blog to see if I wrote any of those obligatory resolutions. I did have a January 1 post, it was the first one in several months (that part about keeping my blog better up to date? yeah, that’s me raising my hand). However, I did notice that I did not post any resolutions. I was kinda proud of myself. In fact I did post something about feeling more energy and maybe that means more running this year. I read that this morning and thought, oh yeah! I know for a fact that I had no idea running more would mean a half marathon. I know for a fact that I had no idea that running more would mean over 250 miles running. In the 2 plus years before that I had been tracking my workouts I had a total of something like 70 miles running.
No resoulutions. And I was far better at blogging than I have ever been (though we won’t talk about these past couple months). And I was far better at getting out and running than I ever have been (again, those past couple months… shhhhh). Who needs those damned resolutions?
Yet here’s the thing… much of that happened because I set a goal. It wasn’t a damned resolution, it really was much later that I set the goal. But I made a decision that I was going to do this half marathon. I trained for it. I blogged about it. I kept my eye on the goal. And I did it.
I won’t go so far as to say there’s something to be said after all about those damned resolutions. I’m not doing any resolutions this year mainly because of this image that we (or at least I) have of what resolutions are. We think of them as something we’re supposed to do, something that we do when we are caught up in the optimism of that fresh start, and to some degree we see them as something we’re not sure we totally mean to keep anyway.
So I’m not doing any damned resolutions. I am setting some goals though.
I WILL run the whole Bolder Boulder.
I WILL run the Colfax Half Marathon.
I WILL complete a full marathon.
I WILL drop 80 pounds.
I WILL begin to transition my career to meet my dreams and passions.
I’ve got a plan for the first 4. Working on a plan for the last one. And maybe that’s the thing that makes a difference between successful goal setting and resolutions. I think setting goals, if there’s nothing behind them and no real plan on how to accomplish them… maybe that’s more like what we call resolutions. Damned resolutions at that. It’s wishful thinking really, it’s what we want to do without really doing anything about it. But sitting down and determining how we’re going to do it, laying the plan out, and then following through… that’s what it’s about.
2013 was a pretty great year, and part of that is because I did some of that, maybe like I’ve never done before, or at least like I’ve not done in a long, long time. And I suppose it’s the momentum from 2013 that just makes the prospects for 2014 more exciting than I ever remember the start of any other year.
So, resolutions be damned. My goals say 2014 will be pretty awesome.