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Getting the Jump on New Year’s Resolutions

by Christopher Gronlund on November 25, 2013

It’s a simple pleasure: driving along in an open lane on a wide road and having a light turn green right before needing to slow down. All the cars standing still from the red light begin their crawl through the intersection, but you sail through.

Every year, so many people make resolutions for the new year. They slow down as they approach the end-of-the year intersection and decide to wait until January 1 to begin moving again. They know what they want to accomplish in the new year, mostly because they are the same resolutions as the year before.

I’ll lose weight this year…

I’ll write that novel this year…

I’ll learn that new thing this year…

Do It Now

Why wait until January 1 to start what you want today?


I want to get back to running 5Ks…maybe even do a 10K in 2014. It would be easy to tell myself, “Enjoy all the holiday food and wait until the new year to start.” But one of the 5Ks is in the first quarter of the year, and the last time I ran it, I didn’t start getting ready until January. I wasn’t expecting the hills and crowds and blocks-long distance to the starting gate. I did it, but it was an effort.

And so, my wife and I have been doing some trail running on our hikes and getting a jump on getting back to running. (I partially blame Paul Lamb!)

A Long Weekend

There are other things that would be easy to put off until the beginning of a new year, but I have a long weekend coming up (Thanksgiving in America), and not all of it will be spent with family and friends. There’s time to plan for 2014 and continue doing the things I’ve already started — and get a running start on the things I haven’t done, but want to do in 2014.

It seems worth setting aside at least a few hours on a long weekend to get a jump on things and feel like I do when my lane is open on the road and the light turns green as I approach the intersection…

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary November 26, 2013 at 7:35 am

So, you mean I should go to the activity center now instead of later? Is that what you’re saying? Seriously, there is no time like the present to start or resume something important to us and this is a good reminder.

Christopher Gronlund November 26, 2013 at 7:56 am

Thanks for the reply, Mary. Unless one is wrapping something up and waiting to start a new thing, I never understood waiting for a month or two to do what you could do today. Before starting the Men in Gorilla Suits podcast, there was some waiting because other things required attention, but at the first opportunity, we forced ourselves to just jump in and do it. We’ve released 43 weekly shows so far…produced enough content to suck up more than an entire work week’s time! With getting back to running…I knew if I ate my way through the holidays and started at the new year, I’d feel terrible. I walk regularly, so I figured it would be good to start adding some running to walks. It’s been a month or so of getting back to it so there’s a good jump on things when January 1 comes around.

bob salerno November 26, 2013 at 8:44 am

Exactly right, Chris. How many resolutions of any kind have I missed because I decided to wait for the next bump in the road? But when I decided to quit smoking right now, I quit forever, and when I decided to diet today…well, 50 lb so far. Go fer it.

Christopher Gronlund November 26, 2013 at 9:00 am

I never tried a cigarette, but I know more people who just one day quit than who planned to quit on a certain day in the future and did. Not saying that doesn’t happen, but it seems that the best time for doing something — if you’re not too busy with other things — is usually right now. I know that in the end, most people regret working too much and not enjoying life more. So…it seems simple: do things now if you can, and enjoy life as much as possible. Make a little less if that’s what it takes to live more. I know I could make more if I were willing to commute and put in longer hours, but even doubling my salary isn’t worth stress. I have a great job that allows me time to focus on things that make me happy, so…I have no excuse not to jump on some things that might be considered resolutions later in the year…

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