The end of the year is almost upon us, a time when people start thinking about New Year’s resolutions.
A quick, completely non-scientific Facebook poll I conducted revealed about half of respondents have achieved a resolution, and about half don’t bother with them.
I’ve made resolutions, usually weight-related, though once or twice, in an attempt at avoidance, I tried to learn a language or paint watercolors. While my auto-pilot brain conjugated foreign verbs, the rest of it just kept thinking about fat.
But unlike some poll participants, I never completed a New Year’s goal, neither one related to fat loss nor language proficiency nor anything else. I wondered why.
What was meant to honor the arrival of another year had become my favored mode of procrastination.
I’d crown a goal as “The Resolution” and shelve it until Jan. 1. Obviously, I wasn’t serious about the goal, or I would have started that day. Since I wasn’t serious, I didn’t attack it with any zeal — and I’d quit.
Jan. 1 became my death sentence, and I demanded my “last” meal — over and over again. My resolution gave me permission to go hog wild until the big day rolled around.
When the New Year arrived, I’d be 5 pounds heavier from my freely wielded fork, and my excuses would start: The gyms weren’t open. I had slept wrong on my left arm. Whatever.
I’d make goal-related gestures. The produce drawers in my refrigerator testified to my intent. The carrots would last a while. The more delicate vegetables fuzzed up and turned scary colors.
I’d wander half-heartedly into a gym. A miniature Lou Ferrigno would rattle off discounts if I signed up right then. I’d sign a contract (my way of forcing my future self to stick to it) and rarely return after the third week. The monthly payment would remind me I was a failure. I’d go eat something to feel better.
And the cycle would repeat the next year, no goal accomplished.
At some point, I decided to skip the resolutions, join that 50 percent in my poll. They knew something it took me a few years to figure out: if I was truly ready to do something about my situation, I’d start — NOW. If I wasn’t really ready, I wouldn’t follow through, no matter what day of the year it was.
Save yourself some anguish and self-flagellation. If you have a truly serious goal, start this minute. If it’s not serious (and you know the difference), skip it.
• Shannon Sorrels is an NSCA-certified personal trainer and owner of Physix LLC in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach her at (480) 528-5660 or www.azphysix.com.