January Blues

I psych myself up to go on the treadmill before I start work. I run, I rest, I run a bit more, I rest again. The next day, I’ve got an early morning meeting. There’s no time for a run.

January 20, 2023

I started out the New Year so well! I had so much I wanted to achieve. Personal goals, goals for my work, goals for my family, even for my home and garden. I’d noted them down. For my fitness goal, I just wanted to be able to run a few kilometres without stopping, at a speed my university-age children wouldn’t think is laughably slow. I didn’t think that was too much to expect.

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As January passes, I strive to make progress. I reach a plateau. I fall back.

I miss first one goal, then another. First on one day, then on more days.

It is easy for me to think it’s all too late. To think time is linear. To think I can’t achieve the goal now this year so I should just drop it.

It turns out I’m not alone in thinking this. Studies show around 80% of New Year’s resolutions will get abandoned around this time.

And yet:

I could look at this differently.  

Muslims believe God said: ‘I am Time. I alternate the night and the day.’  

So each night and each day, my awareness goes cyclically between three states of mind. Three states of dream and deep sleep and wakefulness. It is a circle. I can’t say which state is the beginning and which is the end.

So I’m going to take another look at my resolutions.  

Yes I strive to be better, Yes I reach a plateau, Yes I fall back. Three states of fitness. But then I can strive again. In my mind, time is less linear and more circular. I can’t say which state is the beginning and which is the end. 1st January was just one day out of many. Other cultures and other faiths have other New Years Days. Every day is a new opportunity.

So I’m heading back to that treadmill. There’s hope.

And I’ve got a message for my kids: while you may laugh, it’s when I rest for a bit from my run that the real breakthroughs happen.