Resolutions Kept, Intentions Honed

It’s January 2nd, 2020. I’m really proud to say that I’ve honed resolutions over the past few years into intentional action and positive outcomes. They say that behavior is hard to change and lifestyle is almost impossible. But I’m proud to say that I’ve done it in a few ways over a course of many years, evolving and renewing resolutions.

In 2013, in a moment of hapless inspiration and desperation, I moved to a standing desk. I got so much relief from my prior back issues by making that change, that I started running within a few weeks and just kept adding to the frequency and the distance and attempts at better pace.

In January of 2014 I made a resolution to work out at least once a week without fail. I didn’t even define “workout.” I just knew I’d know if I was cheating and I was inspired to keep running.

In the course of that year my running ratcheted up a lot. I dropped 50 pounds, from about 30 lbs overweight, back to my high school Soccer weight. I was enjoying the running enough that I kept at it. I started entering 5ks, and 10ks and by November 2014 I signed up for a half marathon. I was staying with the fitness and I was digging it. The running helped me stay healthy, helped with mental and physical stress, and dovetailed nicely with an increasingly regular meditation practice.

In 2015 I renewed the resolution but upped it to a goal of 365 miles, or a mile a day. I started going to a meditation group a few times a month. I started feeling like things were getting more intentional. I also started seeing a personal therapist to help me with my levels of stress.

In 2016 I upped my goal to 500 miles but I definitely slid back a bit in that year, and I noticed it. There was a lot going on at work and at home. By the end of August I wasn’t even close to half way toward my minimum goal of 365. I wanted to catch up so signed up for the half marathon again and knocked out a total of 440 miles before the end of the year.

In 2017 I turned 40. This was also the 40th anniversary of the Richmond Marathon. So this year I spoke my intention out loud. I want to run the Richmond. The full one. I’m going to finish it. It might not be pretty but I’m gonna do it.

One of my clients, who is also a friend, told me that I’m too fat, and that I was going to hurt myself. So much of the achievement is mental and he was messing with my head. It was upsetting but nowhere near derailing. Coming at me from a position of experience, having completed a couple marathons himself, it definitely pissed me off. But I used it. I told him right then, “If I finish this marathon in 4 hrs and 30 minutes I will be utterly thrilled. And you’re out of line. So forget you.” I smiled but I wasn’t happy with him. And I didn’t say “forget.”

I finished in less than 4:31. That was a major life goal that seemed impossible in any year prior to 2013. I cried somewhere around the 24 mile mark, because I thought I was going to die but I already knew I was going to finish and I’d be fine.

I’ve run the half marathon both years since and clocked over 3000 running miles since 2013. I’ve honed my intentions and seen them play out. I work out with greater frequency and I’ve made running and meditation an essential practice of my lifestyle. I feel like I have succeeded at the thing that is a cliche to try or even announce, especially in early January.

The year is 2020 and my intention is to reflect on what I have achieved, what I have endured, and what I have to be grateful for. I’m reclaiming my own highest instincts for what is correct and holding myself to account for creating a more vibrational joie de vivre and a deeper peace-in-the-face-of-adversity that will serve me well and that may benefit others.