Making Change Make Sense

Well good morning and Happy New Year! It’s a fine, foggy winter day here in Salem and a brand new year to jump into!

Which brings me to something that I’ve noticed more and more as of late. There seems to be a growing attitude that eschews the practice of New Year’s resolutions.

To be honest, that sentiment feels so depressing and defeatist to me.

Sadly, tho, I can see where this perspective comes from.

Usually when I chat with folks about their resolutions, the number one topic is lose weight.

This statement has been made for probably longer than either you or I have been alive. Way, way back in the day, when I was a young fitness coach, I would see this in both women and men. It would manifest in different ways. Typically women wanted to lose fat and inches around their waist, arms, and thighs while men would want to gain inches in places like the pecs and biceps, but lose fat, especially around that gut.

In both incidents, and everything in between, I would first have to ask What’s the actual motivation for this?

All too often this particular resolution is driven by guilt or shame that arises from the feeling of not meeting some standard set by society. Unfortunately, these types of resolutions are miserable and destined to fail, because they’re externally motivated. A good physical trainer/coach knows this and will first do a walk through with their person to accurately frame their problem.

A resolution should be something undertaken when a person is inspired to grow in some way. It needs to be change that’s truly desired by the person making the resolution.

For me losing weight, in and of itself, is not a good resolution. Neither is something that’s more quantifiable such as lose 20 pounds or lose 6 inches. It’s focusing on the symptom and not the cure. Establishing a healthier lifestyle is better. The focus is more holistic and inward. The goals along that path can be set smaller, which makes them more achievable and motivating. Overall, it’s simply more sustainable.

Other great examples of resolutions include being more present with my family, making more time for my friendships, getting my finances on track, or bringing balance to my life.

It doesn’t end with the making of a resolution, of course.

Once a resolution is decided upon, to make it truly achievable, goals should be determined to actually implement the change…otherwise it’s all just wishful thinking that will never manifest. This is the piece that will, most likely, leave a person feeling guilty about not meeting that resolution.

A person should never feel compelled to make a resolution. Approaching it this way is a recipe for failure. However a person should also never enter one without full intention and a strategy for success. What is a strategy? Well, it’s basically your plan of action. This could be a shift in your schedule, picking a gym to go to, setting up time with a therapist, removing obstacles from your life that will block your intentions, etc.

In keeping with the spirit of the post, my resolutions for 2023 are…

First, get my physical fitness practices back on track. I’ve had a busy couple of years. The pandemic itself knocked me way off the mark, initially. Right on its heels followed a series of health issues, a beautiful new relationship, big changes at work, and the reality of caring for a home. I’ve kind of let life throw me around a bit in terms of my schedule. It’s time to take control of that and get my health in order. Sure I’d love to lose weight (and I will) but the bigger issue now is being healthy overall. This includes really important things that need to be considered more as I age. Things such as taking care of my heart, mobility, flexibility, and balance.

Second, the past year has been full of new love and a new home, which are both amazing things that I’m eternally grateful for. However I’ve bundled myself up in these things, as one normally does, and I’ve let some very cherished friendships lag in the process. Fortunately I have an introverted fiancée who recognizes that I’m an extrovert and understands that my people bring my heart joy. I’m a happier person when my social life is in better balance. So yes, this year I’ll be making more quality time in my life for my friends.

These are my two resolutions. There are lots of goals involved for both to ensure I achieve what I want to. I won’t go into all of them here, but they will surface in future posts, especially my fitness ones. Hopefully you’ll stick around and join me on these journeys.

Whether you’re a resolution maker or not, I hope this new year will bring you all you need to bring you joy, peace, and prosperity.

Published by Jonah Sheridan Fenn

Nerd herder, word wrangler, working on the next chapter...

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