I’m going to fall into the 50 percent category when I dust off my treadmill, purchase a new set of Nikes, and order those Lululemon workout pants online. Yes, I’m referring to my New Year’s resolution to get fit.
The statistic goes as follows: 50 percent of American adults declare they will improve their health by either exercising more or cease smoking and or consuming alcohol.
My health isn’t so bad actually, so this decision I’ve made to improve my overall being shouldn’t be too difficult. Taking a few extra steps a day, getting a good sweat sesh in (yeah I’m almost 40 and said sesh…so what), and getting my heart rate up is all part of the New Year Plan. I’ll get up before the family, in the wee hours of the morning to fit it all in; I can do this! Before too long, those skinny jeans that are high atop my closet shelf will be mine once again, and without the covering of a baggy shirt to hide my overflow of signs I cook really well. Yes! Victory will be mine!
But unfortunately, most people fail in adhering to their stated New Year's resolutions, more than likely myself included. Specifically, 22 percent fail after one week, 40 percent after one month, 50 percent after three months, 60 percent after six months, and 81 percent after twenty-four months. Just not good odds I’m setting for myself.
So instead of making a firm decision that will more than likely end in failure, I’m going to make a promise towards something I know I can keep. No, it has nothing to do with the health of my body, but rather my mind and soul.
To strive to be a human being that has compassion, empathy, selflessness, loyalty, grace, mercy, and tenderness is what I want my New Year to model after.
After having an altercation with road rage where I was cursed at, I really put into perspective humanity and the lack of quality character traits I wanted my children to model. What an awful world to have my children, yours included, growing up in. Lying, stealing, un-faithfulness, bitterness; all mannerisms our world is slowly falling short to. I can’t fathom a day where genuine kindness for one another falls short to the latter.
So what’s a woman to do to help alleviate the sting of the world’s shortcomings? I’ll tell you this: It starts with one person. One person to start the movement towards a better place to reside as a human, that’s all it takes.
Pay for that person’s coffee behind you at Starbucks, buy an extra jar of spaghetti sauce to drop into the food bank’s barrel, bite your tongue when you’d rather spill out un-kind words, give your neighbor that compliment she’s dying to hear, smile more grimace less, speak highly of others, hand back that extra $5 the checker at Albertson’s accidentally gave you when returning you your change (even if you could really use it), help the elderly lady shovel her driveway and when she hands you that tip, refuse it with a grin. As Gandhi has been quoted as saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
I know it is far more popular to set resolutions that improve your health, that center on the physical aspect of who you are. Those resolutions are great. They’re even wonderful! But once the svelte body ages and the appearance of your outward image changes, what will your insides look like? What will the true appearance of your heart resemble? I know for myself, I want it to resemble one of true beauty; one filled with more than a strong heartbeat that shows up on my ekg test, but rather, a heart that beams with gratitude and enormity to be the change I want to see in this world.
I know it starts with me. I can make a difference, and so can you dear reader.
I realize my attempts at fitting into my skinny jeans once again may fall into the percentage of failure, but I know my promise to uphold good human values won’t. Heck, I may not be able to get those jeans past my calves, but I’ll be one amazingly kind, grateful woman. And to me, that beats skinny jeans any day of the week!
*Article first appeared in Idaho Family Magazine*