That’s a favorite saying my buddy Clark and I recite. It usually comes out when something obvious is stated that was being ignored or when either of us says or does something completely, well, nonsensical. You’d think calling for New Year’s resolutions in February seems kinda illogical on my part.
But is it?
I’m writing this column on Feb. 1 for the issue scheduled for publication Feb. 2. So that makes Feb. 1 an important date on my calendar as both a deadline AND (for purposes of this column) what should have always been a goal. As I have for the past 20 years, I made deadline. Although as usual, a little too close for comfort for my editor as he sends up the last pages to the printer.
As for my resolutions, this would normally be a column about how I’ve already blown them up, reverted to my special version of indifference or just plain forgotten them. But oddly in 2022, I’m actually hanging onto a few resolutions — surprisingly and joyfully so.
Let’s face it: Most resolutions are work, and work we despise.
What’s the No. 1 goal for most folks? Get into shape. Pardon the pun, but how’s that working out for you?
That’s why the good folks at health clubs — like our advertiser, Crossroads Fitness — advise doing group classes or working with a personal trainer in an encouraging environment with conveniences like child care and other amenities available to make getting into shape as positive an experience as it can be. As I am sure the good folks at Crossroads will attest, those who make it to Feb. 1 have the best chance to achieve their goals. So, congrats to those who’ve made it this far. And if you need some help, call our advertiser.
That said, it’s difficult to compete in a market where people who need to get into shape are inundated with get-thin-quick, snake oil advertising 24 hours a day on their electronic devices.
You’ve seen the ads. Drink this or take that, and the fat will just melt off and you’ll be in Speedo shape in no time. Let me ask this: Anyone got friends who’ve been taken in by these gimmicks you want to see in an itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie-yellow-polka-dot anything? Yeah, me neither. Here’s what I’ve learned over the past 20 years when my indifference to getting into shape was winning the war: It’s about diet and exercise. Period. And I learned that indifference in another tried and true fashion: Developing the habit over 30 days where it’s ingrained into our noggins to become good or bad. In my case, usually bad.
Truth is, the only time I ever really lost weight and got into shape was after my separation. The “divorce 40” took over my life and I lost, yes, 40 pounds. You know why? With everything going on in my head, I was doing something I didn’t realize: exercising and eating right. Then I didn’t. And now I live with the opposite “divorce 40” right back where I started.
Why am I telling you this? Honestly, I like to say I don’t know, but I kinda do. Because I’m trying and working to extend one of my resolutions of reading a daily devotional. And not just glancing over a quick one-pager with an anecdote. I’m really striving to spend quality time with a partner in the “gym” of life. Because like Crossroads would confirm, it’s really hard to do it alone. Fact is, I doubt you could find anyone who has with any goal they’ve realized. So yeah, making Feb. 1 with Jesus at the wheel is a big thing this year. I’m happy to say I jumped in his ride this morning, and the ride went great.
And it’s the ride that’s important. Staying in the lane of good habits —which a devotional or workout will provide — keeps the bad habits at bay. And whether you use one of these or the other — or both — there’s no question you’ll be in better physical and mental shape in the long run. Especially if a commitment to instilling this as a habit “experts” (actual ones) say takes 30 days. Because the only way to get to March 1
from Jan. 1 to get to Feb. 1. Anyone see a pattern? Yeah, don’t feel bad. it’s only taken me 60 years to understand it’s the only pattern worth seeing and doing.
And that’s OK. After all, getting in shape in the gym of life takes work and commitment. The snake oil salespeople aren’t interested in your health, just their profit. The government? Please don’t get me started. But if you need a confirmation about how it feels about individual health, just look at its messaging during the pandemic about the No. 1 comorbidity related to COVID 19 and how seriously it affects its victims: Not one peep about obesity. And then look at how it treated churches and health clubs during the past two years. Indifferent doesn’t come close.
My thoughts on New Year’s resolutions? Faith and fitness with friends. You’ll love how you feel March 1.
Craig Hall is owner and publisher of the Business Times. Reach him at 424-5133 or firstname.lastname@example.org.