New Years Resolutions

I don’t like them. It seems so silly to wait until January 1 to start a new, healthier habit. Why not start as soon as you realize there is room for improvement?

So it was coincidence that I recently, shortly after the start of the new year, found a new-to-me app, reviewed on Lifehacker, that promises to “break a bad habit or build a few good ones”: it is called Way of Life, designed to “track, identify and change your habits with Way of Life’s unique color system”.

With the free app, you get to track three goals, and it couldn’t be simpler to do: choose your three goals, and every day click “yes” or “no” on the day to indicate whether you reached your goal for the day or not. Then they design graphs and charts to show you your long-term progress.

They have a long list of suggested goals, what they assume most people want to improve: eat more vegetables, less junk food, sleep more, etc and so on. You can also design your own goal.

As I looked through their suggested goals list, I was drawn to these three:

  • walk
  • be grateful
  • had a good day

For me personally, these are more valuable than tracking how many servings of veggies I eat.

I want to make more use of our treadmill – and once the temperatures climb above freezing, walk outside as well. I am not interested in “exercise” but I believe that every little bit of moving – as opposed to sitting – helps, so I walk 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there. With the treadmill I love that I don’t have to get dressed, bundled up, but I step on it wearing slippers and my robe in the morning, set it to 2-3 miles an hour and walk for a bit. Our treadmill is set up in front of the window so I get to watch the world outside, or check email, as I walk. Like so many things in life, it’s not hard to do, but you have to do it …

I live a very fortunate life: I am married to the Love of my Second Life, we live in a beautiful home, I am successful in my job that I love, for the most part we are healthy. I have many things to be grateful for, and I am, grateful. But I appreciate a little reminder, every day, to perhaps be more specific in my gratefulness.

Having a “good day” is nicely vague. Life can be aggravating, and there were several months last year that were more so than usual. It took a lot of effort not to feel pulled down. And, of course, every day there is something that doesn’t go as well as it could and perhaps should. Some days are “good” simply because nothing bad happened. Some days I am glad when I make it through the day and in the evening the house is still standing and we are all still breathing. And that’ll have to be good enough for that day. But I also want to look for things that make a day really good. Not just not bad. Not only looking back in the evening and surveying what was good, and being grateful for the good, but also looking ahead in the morning and perhaps planning? thinking about? what would make this a really good day.

Of course, for me, my three goals are connected: I will have had a good day because I am grateful, grateful for – among many other things – being able to walk. (She says, sitting at the computer …). I think I consider this more of a journey than a “resolution”.

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