What attracts us to New Years Resolutions? Unverifiably, I say the desire for improvement matched with psychological permission. That is, for whatever reason, making the needed changes without the ceremony of a year change is otherwise difficult. Why?
Maybe we feel pressure to remain status quo.
All our friends smoke, so we don't want them to be on a health guilt trip when we do what we know we should.
Similarly, if we are tubby and need to lose weight, and know we need to eat better, less of it, and exercise, our chunky friends might feel put off. It won't help when they see evidence of us looking fitter and trimmer, and simply feeling more confident, with more interest in the opposite sex.
What about running? Any regular reader of this blog knows I've been on and off again. And that periodically, I get on one-man bandwagon and say, "Yup, this is the year." As 2011 winds down, and 2012 approaches, I am thinking of all of this again.
Today is December 9, 2011. It is a Friday. I'm drinking coffee, sitting in my home office. Snow is outside, apparently from a gentle sprinkling from early this morning. Enough to sweep. Not enough to shovel.
Do I wait until tomorrow? Do I wait another three weeks, to start on New Year's Day?
If I don't -- if I start again, in three weeks I'll likely have put 25-30 miles behind me. Not much, not even enough to lose a pound. But, the three weeks following, I might be fit enough to have run another 35-40 miles, totalling 60-70 miles. Those last 35 miles will be different than the first, as I will have begun to find a rhythm.
Of course, I also know the danger of early enthusiasm, injuries from starting too quickly, and the realities of a life which would now incorporate the time required to work out.
I have the tools. I know what to do. Shoes, shirt, treadmill - check. Will I?
I don't know yet.