Ahh, the new year. New beginnings. A fresh start. Time to fire up the old new years resolution machine and start resolving!
Sure, a new calendar year is a convenient way to start something new. Even time itself is another year older and today, the first day of the new year, it is free to start fresh, maybe work on not being so impatient this year. Or, maybe the old year is dead, a new year is born, and we can make resolutions on this day because our past is dead with the passing year too!
Here’s the thing, though. Time isn’t starting afresh. It’s no newer than every second that passes, but we don’t get all excited every time the second-hand ticks over. We assign great meaning to something that merely marks the passing of all four seasons and the earth’s revolution around the sun. Seconds are plentiful, but years only happen once every twelve months, so it’s no wonder we get so excited as rarity tends to breed value. It’s not that time is stupid and that we should get rid of it or anything like that, but I find the importance of pinning our resolutions to be better people to one day a year a little strange to say the least.
Although I understand that when one encounters significant life changes and it is during or after these that making further changes seem to make sense (moving to a new city/country, meeting your future spouse, a new job in a new field, finding yourself in prison, etc), deciding to make changes to one’s life because the calendar flips over to the next page – nay, a whole new calendar is put up! – seems rather… arbitrary?
I mean, if you want something in your life to be better, what’s wrong with doing it, you know, like, now? Are we really so low on motivation and fortitude that we need to rely on the power of a new calendar to push us into action? Are we that sad?
In any case, if you haven’t guessed, I’m not making any new years resolutions. However, if you are, then good for you. I’m not being sarcastic here (this time). New years resolutions are dumb, but resolutions, generally, are not. So, whatever you resolve to start doing today, make it realistic, manageable, and have a plan. You could try this:
Instead of listing an abstract goal like “lose weight,” think of specific small steps you can take, every day, that will have the same result. If you fail at any of these small steps — which you inevitably will — brush it off, and realize that failure and recovery is part of any process. Don’t tie your list to any specific date, and don’t wait a year to start again when you slip up.
Which leads me to my point. Looking at the most common resolutions we make at new years, here are the top five (the study is from the US of A, but I’m quite certain that this would look pretty much the same wherever you are):
- Loose weight
- Getting organized
- Spend less, save more
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Staying fit and healthy
I hope you can see where I’m going with this. Can you think of something that would be common to all of these things? Something that would help support, indirectly if not directly, your resolution this year?
There you go. You can make all your dreams come true by simply resolving to ride your bike more. Use it in place of your Sedentary Mobility Machine™, and you’ll be riding yourself into weight loss (obviously), being more organized (because you will have to plan what to bring, how to get there, when to leave, how to deal with arriving, etc.), spending less (many times cheaper than running a car, and cheaper than public transport too) and saving more (not just money, but time in many cases, and even the environment – yes, I said it), enjoying life to the fullest (this will certainly give you added vitality and a better appreciation of your surroundings), and staying fit and healthy (which is a weird one – resolving to not change something?).
So there you go. Pick a resolution at random, and it is likely that cycling more will get you on your way.
A happy new year to you all, and you’re welcome.
Header image: source