Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Resolve: On Dropping the Ball

And falling off the wagon. And missing the mark. And coming up short. And, well, you get the idea.** This is about failure.

I came into my March resolution strong. I was out of the gate strong. I even did 13+ strong days - and even put in a smattering of strong days since. But the thing is, I failed. The resolution was to walk every day. And I didn't.

Starting out, I was willing to accept 10 minutes as a decent walk. Plenty enough to check it off the list. But then Jordan mentioned that any walk under 20 minutes basically doesn't count (in terms of heart-rate, blah blah). And having laid down that gauntlet, I pushed for 20 minutes. I did 13 days - in the rain, in the dark, in another state. But here's where the problem developed: I got busy. And it's not that I was less busy for the first 13 days, it's just that I started to let being busy assert itself into the resolution. So I counted piddly things like walking the mall (sheesh) and walking through the airport. Yes, I get extra points for lugging two kids... but those points should have been for general mommy awesomeness and should not have been counted toward the resolution.

Also - the fact that 90% of my walks happened after 11pm is testament to the fact that somehow, despite the self-imposed rigidity, the resolution was not taking priority. If it were really a priority, I would have gotten my butt out of bed first thing in the morning, and it likely would have made my day better - I'm always in a better mood when things-to-do get crossed off the list before noon.

So there you have it: the March resolution failed. Which is not to say that I didn't make significant improvements - I walked more in March than I've likely walked since... maybe since we got home from Europe. And I've learned a little more about setting monthly resolutions, what they're really about (improvement vs. the rigid every day check off the list) and what it takes to make a habit stick.

*post script of interest: a quick google search "euphemism for failure" brought up scads of articles mostly relating to schools (especially elementary) who use as many euphemisms as possible to avoid an outright declaration of failure for their students. Like the honor roll assembly line "No Award." Seems inocuous and rather neutral - until you remember that this really means that that student is particularly terrible at whatever he is not receiving an award for. Really? Maybe this is the root of our accountability crisis (uh, that's a whole can of worms in itself - don't get me started).

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