New Year’s Resolutions and I have a strained history and I think that most people out there can relate. You start the new year with all these visions of how this is the year you overhaul your life. Change everything, do everything, see everything. But the end of January rolls around and chances are you’ve faltered more than a few times if you’re even still going. Not everyone experiences this, of course, but for the ast majority the 100% motivation of January 1st is depleted pretty quickly. For me, New Year’s Resolutions are a pretty new struggle. Growing up, my family didn’t do them and if my friends did, I didn’t know about it. Then I got to be a teenager and started doing things that I had “discovered” on my own. New Year’s Resolutions were one of those things. I’ve made plenty of resolutions over the years but I’m pretty bad at self-motivation and completing (non school related) projects so I was never able to keep them going for more than a couple weeks. Until last year.

2012 was the year that I realized my biggest New Year’s Resolution problem: I was too ambitious, I made too many and they were too complicated to tackle all at once. I wanted to change every single thing I didn’t like about myself (and let’s face it, in the teenage years that’s a pretty long list) in one fell swoop. But last year I realized that changing is a process. It does no good to bite off more than you can chew because, chances are, you’re going to get discouraged pretty quickly and give up all together. At least, that’s how it is for me. Maybe it’s a product of being in this generation but I’m pretty big on instant gratification. I need to see progress to keep going. There’s no point in trying to continue a futile effort, right? So last year I decided to commit to the process of change and instead of having a list of resolutions a mile long, I thought long and hard and I picked just one that I thought would be challenging but achievable.

Carpe Diem. That was my New Year’s Resolution for 2012. Short, sweet and simple but it really did make me push myself all year. And for the first time in my life I feel like I can honestly say I achieved my goal for the year. Yes, I had some setbacks, I faltered a bit under various circumstances but when I look back at 2012 I’m really happy with everything I accomplished. I tried all sorts of new things, I lived in new places, I made the most amazing new friends I could imagine and I absolutely attribute it to my constant commitment to the “carpe diem” mantra. And, I have to admit, I’m pretty proud of myself. Not only for all the things I accomplished in 2012 but also for sticking with it and continually fulfilling my New Year’s Resolution all year long. It’s given me the confidence that, if I think hard enough and pick the right one, New Year’s Resolutions can actually be a useful tool to help me become the best version of myself. That’s why, even though I’m late to the party and most folks have given up on their 2013 resolutions, I’m just finally picking mine now.

It’s not like I’ve just written January off completely in the “self-bettering” department, I’ve been working on my resolution all month but I have avoided actually settling on one until now because I’ve been weighting my options and fielding the raging debate inside my head as to what 2013 should be about. On the spurs of my previous personal victory I’ve been tempted to make more than one resolution. But quality is always better than quantity so, even though my list of things I want to improve is still a mile long, I’ve forced myself to just pick one. I’ve got lots of years left for other resolutions but for now I need to stick to one thing at a time. So 2013 for me is all about fitness. It’s absolutely cliche and probably one of the most broken resolutions of all time but it’s very important to me. And I’ll be clear, this isn’t about weight loss. Okay, it’s a bit about weight loss but my resolution is not to lose x amount of weight, my resolution is to be more fit. That’s it. I’m not looking to run a marathon, I’m not looking for a perfect beach bod; those are goals for another time. The goal here is to improve my level of fitness from where it is now. The goal is to be more active and to exercise regularly and if weight loss happens along the way, then that’s just a bonus.

So here’s to a successful 2013 and to getting up off the couch once in a while!