How’s everyone doing on their New Year, New Me journey?
As we wrap up the first month of the 2024 year, this can’t help but cross my mind.
It’s also important to note for those who are still deep in the process and committed to your goals that the truest answer to that is, none of your business. Unless of course you have a side goal of inspiring others or are in it with a group of some type.
I share this because what I’ve come to learn through the years through reading, as well as real life, is … people wait to see you fail. Quite honestly, it’s a sick part of the human psyche and not true for all but those who continually fail struggle with the success of others.
Don’t believe me? Think I’m far off?
How many of you have joined a gym, started a health goal or even taken a shot at a small business only to be asked continuously by others; how’s it going? And … when this is being asked you have the innate insight of knowing they are waiting for you to say - I quit, I failed or I gave up.
What saddens me most is the knowledge that for some, that’s empowering. If they too have not succeeded at a goal, they now feel justified because you failed too. But did you?
That’s the mindset I’m finding myself in this 2024 year.
I’ve shared time and time again in this space my non-resolution mindset. As a goal-oriented person, that just doesn’t seem to come together on the first of a New Year, goals are ongoing.
Yet as I looked to the start of this year and several of the years behind me, I recognized a lot of loss of control. Certain things derailed my life and in so doing derailed me, a bit.
Thinking to myself, what do I want to see tightened up or improved in the 2024 year, I broke the year into quarters giving a good solid three months to individual aspects of my life I’d like to improve.
For me, this offered a more focused approach versus a list of things I want to achieve over the course of 12 months.
Then something happened. Just prior to the end of 2023 I learned of some friends starting 75 Hard in the New Year. Fascinated by the challenge and feeling up for it myself I shared with friends and family I would be doing this also.
For those unfamiliar with this challenge it’s quite simple. In summary: work out twice a day (once outside), follow a specific diet/eating plan, drink two gallons of water and read 10 pages of a self-help book daily. Oh and no alcohol. Oh, and take a progress picture of yourself every day.
The last part I was never in on. I’m just not motivated by taking a photo of myself every day; it seems extreme, but you do you, boo.
Now one month into 2024 I am at peace with reporting - I failed. Certain friends are uncomfortable with me sharing that. Quick to chime in on what my life has looked like the past four years and giving me a host of excuses - the statement is accurate and that’s okay.
I did not achieve the life altering lesson of the 75 journey. I did, however, build a great bond with my daughter over the three weeks that we worked out together and re-looked at the junk we were putting in our bodies. I also reconnected with some favorite meals I hadn’t had in a while because some other reading had told me it was “bad” for me.
I’m not sure how many people you know who have died from too much peanut butter toast with banana, but I’ll take my chances.
Ultimately what I learned in the first 30 days was how unhappy am I really?
Do I have some excess weight that needs to be shed? Yes. Is that a goal from vanity or necessity? Personally both. I love effortless dressing and for me that comes when my body is a certain size - vanity. Also I have big goals for myself (physically) beyond the 2024 year and know that a stronger, leaner body recovers better and experiences less injury. I’m all for that.
Would the 75 challenge have given me a jumpstart? Maybe.
But here’s the biggest lesson, I don’t care who finds joy in knowing I too couldn’t complete the challenge and feels empowered by that. Making goals and achieving them has nothing to do with someone else. Even from the standpoint of encouraging friends as they chase goals, I’ve learned to surrender a bit.
I once was the person who would check in, do the whole ‘how ya doin?’ followed by a pep talk … not any longer. If a friend requests that of me, I’m all in. Other than that, I recognize we are all adults and are acceptable for our choices respectfully. Again, you do you boo.
So now as we all look to the 11 months ahead my thoughts are simple; what do you hope to reflect back on with pride on December 31, 2024? For at the end of the day, month or year no one knows what will prompt that pride and smile more than you - go for it.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 209-847-3021.