Let me start off by saying I have a very pessimistic view on new year resolutions.  I’ve never made one myself, and I’ve never known anyone to stick with theirs into the spring.  Most people have very “blah” resolutions like, “I want to lose weight”, “I want to be more grateful”, “I want to see the bright side in every day”.  All of these are great, but they don’t need to come at the new year.  What really changes in 2012 from 2011?  Aren’t you supposed to wake up every morning with a new fresh attitude and outlook on life?  I counsel elementary school students, and trust me, every day I encourage them to start off new.  Actually, throughout the day I remind them to “reset” their day…change things around if it’s going rough.  Change things around if it’s going better, so why wait until 2012?  If I decide to make a change in June, I don’t say, “well hell, that sounds like a great new year resolution, let me add a note in my blackberry, and I’ll get started on that right away on January 1st.”  No.

Now, this post sounds like it’s going somewhere positive.  You’re thinking, “pessimism?  Try realism…this is totally how it should be!”  But no, this will fit into the, “Seriously?? Really?” category starting…now.

I hate when people crowd MY gym after the first of the year to lose their fat asses.  All of those people out there who are determined to lose weight come storming in on January 2nd (the 1st is reserved for getting over that hangover) and push all of us already active people out.  I am speaking from an experience that I have had to deal with for the 3 previous years.  I’m a member of a different gym now, and I’m hoping that the new year effects will be fewer, but like I said, I’m pessimistic.  These girls (it’s mainly females I’ve noticed) come in and they get on the ellipticals and the treadmills and they poke around at the buttons and breathe heavily while I’m standing by the water fountain.  The gym I used to go to was small with very few machines that were often filled even before the new year rolled around.  The regular gym-goers who had a routine time for their workout would have to wait while the newbies found out what it was like to sweat for the first time.  I know that I should be more supportive.  I should’ve cheered them on, encouraged them, prayed that they would stick with it, but it was cutting into my time.  I had already made the decision to get active years ago, why was I being punished now?  Yes, this is quite selfish, and I would scold myself with each horrible thought that went through my head.

It’s not that I don’t want people to lose weight or become healthy.  I definitely do, but please, not all at once.  Here’s a mini psychophysics lesson.  Just-noticeable difference.  It’s the idea that when a certain amount of a property is added or taken away, the difference from the starting amount of the property is noticed.  If that amount is not within a certain threshold, the difference will not be noticed.  So for example, if one new resolutioner came once a week, I wouldn’t even notice that my gym space was being taken over.  The difference wouldn’t be large enough for me to notice.  However, when all of a sudden 10 new girls are on the machines that are usually occupied by the regular gym-goers, yes, I’m going to notice, and yes I’m going to be pissed if my favorite machine is taken.  And honestly, after a certain length of commitment, I will even group those newbies into the regular gym-goer category.  I will accept you and respect you just like everyone else.  There won’t be a ceremony or anything like that, but I will try my best not to glare.  Unfortunately, most of the newbies don’t make it past March.  They have a good run, and then they fall off the wagon, just to reinstate weight loss as their resolution the following year.

I’ll attempt to end on a positive note.  The main idea: Don’t make a new year resolution.  Odds are you won’t stick with it.  There’s nothing worse than saying, “I’m going to do this!” and then realizing that you’re not.  I don’t have the statistics here in front of me, but I bet if I did, it would say that a majority of resolutions end in failure.  So wait until February, hell, wait until April or May.  It will probably be warmer and then you can run outside.  That’s something I won’t complain about.

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