With the New Year come New Year’s resolutions. I always notice more people at the gym the week after the New Year. People are motivated to change their lives and make better decisions. I think most of us get caught up in our own hope for change. We think happiness is within reach. “If I can just get that job or promotion and then I will be complete.” Or, “once things slow down at work I will be a better husband or father.”
I asked my brother the other day, “If you had one year to live what would you do?” He said he wouldn’t change a thing and that he is doing everything he wants to be doing. If he wanted to do something else he would have already done it.
Most would probably call his attitude complacent, and maybe it is, but I’m fascinated by his outlook on life. We get so caught up in our steps, plans and obligations that we lose sight of living. If we are constantly looking to the next thing for fulfillment we miss everything the present has to offer.
Not to be a downer but the chances are that if you didn’t achieve your goals in 2011 you probably won’t achieve them in 2012. I think striving for a finish line or an end result is the wrong attitude. It’s about adopting a lifestyle.
A common goal for the New Year is to lose weight or be healthier. Many people want to drop 10 or 20 pounds or build muscle. I think by focusing on the end result or goal we limit ourselves to doing the bare minimum. “How little can I do to achieve my idea of health?” By focusing on the lifestyle of a healthy person we can better achieve the fruits of our labor. If going to the gym and running on the treadmill is not your thing get creative. Do something active that you enjoy doing. Embrace struggle and pain as an equal experience to joy and happiness.
I have to think that if your life would change drastically by only having a year left to live then something is wrong. Sure we might be a little less frugal or cut down on the salads but I think it says something if you would change careers or get out of a relationship. Maybe I’m a naive, unmarried, fatherless, twenty-three year old young man but life is too short to not go after what we really want. Maybe we should already be living like we only have a year left to live because according to the Mayans we do.