A new year, a new opportunity. My (main) New Year’s Resolution will be to challenge myself to take on new adventures with new activities, but importantly, to keep all of my adventures at my own backdoor, in Wales.
I’m calling this resolution #Challenge5Alive. You can find out more here!
Here’s a confession, though. The resolution thing has only ever truly worked for me on the one occasion.
“On 1st January 2004, I started running, and my life forever changed.”
On that day, completing that 1km was an incredible feat. I recall it like it was yesterday. I was living in Bavaria, Germany, in a French army camp. Two children under two. It had snowed and the ground outside was white, with snowflakes falling down around me. I only ran at night time so that the other residents wouldn’t hear my puffing, or see my purple-red face as I looped once around the block. My gear was basic, all cotton. No devices, no GPS tracking, no heart rate monitor, just a simple watch from Aldi. It had been years since I’d run around at school on the netball courts and hockey pitch, two babies had arrived since then, university and drunken escapades had happened, fitness had plummeted and the weight had piled on thanks to well-known fast food chains, cheap booze and complacency.
So going for a run this time around had to be about something more than to simply be healthy—those neural pathways had yet to connect—this time it was for a definite purpose, and that purpose was to become as fit as possible so that I could become a police officer. And if I’m honest, it was fear of shame that kept me going, because I absolutely did not want to be the one who failed the fitness test because I hadn’t adequately prepared myself. Being raised in a military household, I was well aware of the Six Ps and all that jazz.
Having a reason to do something that gets the emotions tingling makes the fight to succeed at it more worthwhile. Have you tried to create a resolution, or a plan, and not been so committed to the end result that you’re not suprised it just fizzled away? (Or perhaps you were surprised.) These are two completely different concepts, separated only by degrees:
- You are committed to the purpose because you believe in it, you fear something worse will otherwise happen, you are passionate about what you are trying to achieve even if it’s an astronomical leap into the unknown, you are ready to take a risk, and ready to fail trying.
- Having it would be nice, being it would be lovely, you could do this and that, people will say this and that, the purpose only fills a small hole of self-importance and utterly bypasses connecting with other souls on our little blue planet, let’s see what happens.
Varying degrees in between is probably where the majority of us stand when it comes to making changes and taking on a new challenge, and depending on which side of the spectrum our idea falls on will greatly increase/reduce our chances of success. We really do live and learn. If you’re making plans this year, the word resolution doesn’t need to come into it, but making a conscious decision does. That decision doesn’t need to be made on January 1st, or even in the first week, give yourself two weeks to really consider your options. 350 days is still time enough to accomplish almost amything.
Dare you decide to do something greater than yourself? Dare you take a risk of changing, failing, acknowledging, appreciating? Dare you dare greatly?
Consider these words by Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic Games. As principles to live by, is it not our humble, moral duty to encounter the struggle in order to empower and uplift humanity? Rather than deciding that we have an automatic right to everything on this planet, should we not earn our existence by acknowledging our responsibility, appreciating our opportunities, and doing what will challenge us most?
“The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in Life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. To spread these principles is to build up a strong and more valiant and, above all, more scrupulous and more generous humanity.”
Sincerely, I wish you well on your journey into 2017. Why not share your thoughts of changes and adventures you dare to undertake with me in the comments below? The rise of courage will always outshine the fall of pride.