2013 – Leave It Better Than You Found ItOur

Joes Barbell
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Our goal/motivation/budget board placed neatly where we see it… all the time

Hurray we aren’t not here; Mayan’s 0 Earth’s populous 1.  With that out of the way and the new year upon us it’s time to come up with a resolution and getting to lying to yourself about following through with it.  A bit negative I know but it’s the truth, at least in my experience.  I think the best I have ever done regarding New Year’s Resolutions is remembering it around May and trying to start it back up again.  Last year, Eliza and I took on a joint venture in hopes of holding each other accountable and only made it to March.  The truth is New Year’s resolutions are junk and rarely followed through.  Maybe you’re the exception.  Congrats, I’ll mail you some paleo cookies.    
If you’re really into this New Year’s thing I think a better go about is to set some goals.  Filling your life with goals and accomplishments, not empty promises and lofty declarations, is not only a little more positive but definitely more self gratifying.  Goals can also be adjusted, revamped, and when you make them you get to pat yourself on the back and continue on your journey.  Part of the problem with a resolution is that once you screw it up the game is over.  And, by definition you are stuck with them.  I thing that also helps me chance, maintain, and surpass goals is making them public.  I tell my wife about them, talk a little junk to friends at the gym about them, and generally try to make the public aware of them.  Sometimes I even share them on this forum, today I’m not.  Why?  Because, I don’t have too (probably as some new year’s resolution protest).   
Another way to attack this New Year’s “Thing” is to adopt a theme for the year.  Kind of like what a sports team does at the beginning of each playing season.  When I was a junior in high school we went with “Play 48 in 98!!! (a high school football game is 48 minutes long… get it)”  We went 3 and 7 but played every minute of every game like it was our last… probably (who knows, high school kids are loopy).  In college we dedicated an entire year toward holding our portion of “The Rope,” and I think we won a share of our conference title; each man towing his portion of the rope (except when they battling a hangover).  One year at Appalachian State (the year they kicked Michigan’s Butt… maybe) they went with “FINISH!!!”  The point here is that your theme should be simple, broad, motivating, and provide some direction.  It should also sound cool if you yelp it before going after squat PR or fit on a t-shirt.  
Obviously I take this New Year’s thing very seriously and you shouldn’t too.  However, your life should have direction and you should take some time here and there to set some goals and come up with a plan to achieve them.  In my opinion waiting for the New Year is dumb and making some life changing decree just because everyone else is and sealing it by kissing a stranger is even more dumber’er.  So, if you must, adopt a general theme, set some goals, share them with your friends and get to work.  In the Szymanek House we had this discussion and have set some fitness, family, financial and even faith based goals (don’t worry we won’t be handling snakes or dabbling in polytheism).  We even chose a theme for the year, “Leave It Better Than You Found It.”  We like it.  We figure it can help us clean up after ourselves and even drive us toward the lofty goals we have set for ourselves.  Have productive new year crazies!!!