Start The Resolution Without Me

     It’s been two weeks since 2017 began and things aren’t completely horrible. Of course it’s still early. I’m ready for anything this time. I won’t be caught off guard like I was last year. I’ve already got my seat belt buckled in anticipation of a bumpy ride.

     I’m starting the year on the right foot. I’ve made some positive changes. I started exercising at the gym a few days a week. After a month long absence, my workout routine is coming back to me. It’s like riding a bicycle – an exercise bike to be more precise. Although, I was frustrated to find a few of the life cycles were out of order. After my third attempt on a different bike, the gym member using the bike beside me gave me some advice.

     “You have to start pedaling to get the machine to turn on,” he said.

     “Oh,” I said. “I didn’t know I actually had to exercise. I just came here to catch up on my reading.”

     The helpful samaritan plugged in his earphones and started pedaling faster, straight-lipped and focused on the closed caption newscasts on the overhead televisions. Some people have no sense of humor.

     I’ve made some positive changes on the home front as well. I reorganized the room I use as my office. My work area became a catch-all for many household items that were displaced by my Christmas decorations. I’ve organized my paperwork into manageable piles (that should be tossed into the recycling bin at some point). At least I made better usage of my workspace. Now if I only had a few more freelance clients I’d be all set. It’s early in the year so I have plenty of time to search out new markets for my multitude of projects that are one step away from being given a green light. I just need to find my audience, I know it exists. <crickets>

     I’m also eating healthier now that the holidays are over. It was tough going for a while. After maintaining my weight for years, I used every excuse in the book to let less healthy snacks and desserts back into my life. Oh how I missed them. But no more. I’m making every attempt to become more aware of what I’m eating. (Although nothing can compare to the feeling of the first bite of a chocolate frosted Honeydew donut. Why is that?) And in reality, a plain old rice cake can be just as satisfying. I have to keep telling myself that. One bit of advice I’m taking with me into the new year came from the unlikely source of Dr. Oz. He proposed that if you are trying to follow a healthy diet, you should allow yourself one “cheat day” per week to eat whatever you are craving. Studies show this method makes it easier to stay on track the other six days of the week with successful results. According to the great and powerful Oz, anyway.

     This year I’m not making any resolutions. Resolutions, like promises, are made to be broken. Breaking resolutions is the first step in the ever-so-subtle downward spiral of self defeat. I’m not falling into that trap. I know what I want to do. I know what I have to do to get there. I’m going to take small steps each day in the right direction. Sure there will be set-backs, but set-backs are only temporary. And if I get derailed, I’m going to keep moving forward anyway.

     This wasn’t intended to be an advice column on the merits of exercising, eating healthy and working hard. Following that path can only lead to success. It’s so easy to spout lifestyle philosophies to other people. This year, I’m going to start taking my own advice.

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