Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How to make a resolute resolution

Some people don't like New Years resolutions because you're setting yourself up for failure. This is, of course, a great reason for hating them and even being morally opposed to them. One useful remedy to this problem with resolutions is to Not Fail. Yep, if you actually accomplish your resolution, then you'll no longer hate resolutions. You'll choose new ones every year and they'll be great because you will have accomplished at least one thing in 365 days. I'm not one to hate New Years resolutions. Yes, I've failed at and/or forgotten several, but making goals is a good thing, so I keep making them.

But how do you accomplish your resolution?

By Accident
My resolution for 2010 was to be able to swim 400 meters. (Previously, my maximum length was something like 50m) Well I took a swimming class at Mines in hopes to accomplish my goal. The class was a pain in the butt. I was born to run, not swim. But I did get better and the longest length I reached in about 45 minutes was 800 meters. I forgot that I had made that resolution until just a few weeks ago, so I just recently realized that I actually accomplished my 2010 resolution.

The only way I was able to do that was by getting into that swimming class. Believe me, I would have quit the class much earlier if it wasn't for a grade. So that class just forced me to accomplish my resolution.

By Making It Really Easy
Make your resolution to wake up every single day this year. You'll probably do pretty good.

By Making it Hard, But Not Too Hard.
This year my official resolution is to ride my bike 3,000 miles in 2011.

There are several, in fact infinite, ways to accomplish 3,000 miles in a year.
  1. 8.22 miles a day.
  2. Ride a 60 mile ride every week.
  3. Do a 3,000 mile tour without training and rest every other day during the year.
  4. Train for 5 months (1300 miles), then do a 1,700 mile tour, giving a grand total of 3,000 miles. Then rest.
Just 8.22 miles per day. No biggie, right? I don't think I could do that though-to just ride 8.22 miles every single day. I don't have the discipline for such a boring goal. The only things to look forward to are 1.) Bragging rights and 2.) A healthy body. Bragging rights aren't incredibly interesting and don't really make for good stories.

One Step at a Time
One 60 mile ride each week would be kind of cool. You wouldn't have to worry about taking vast amounts of work off because you could do the rides on the weekends. I admit that it would be pretty cool, but would be difficult to keep up with, at least for me. If I was permitted to count days where I commuted to work, this would be a quite doable goal, but just doesn't excite me that much.

One Step...That's It
The 3,000 mile ride without training is enticing. (This is a bit shorter than the ride from San Francisco to New York) Think of the bragging rights. Think of the adventures. Think of the mountain ranges and flat plains. Think of the dogs chasing you every day. Think of facing the sun every morning and have it set behind you every night. Think of camping every night. Think of how nice it would be to just relax for 5ish months and then after the tour relax the rest of the year. No exercise. You wouldn't even have to feel bad about it because you did 3,000 miles. Ah that sounds great.

Giving Yourself an Apple to Go After
No training doesn't exactly sound like a good idea, so I think the best option is to train for 1300 miles, then go on a 1700 mile ride. This means my goal will be met by the end of the tour, making my resolution very doable. So that's my resolution. I think it's a good one because it gives me a really exciting thing to experience and something concrete that I'll be working toward. The better health will come as a side-effect. Hopefully I'll have the dedication to do the ride even if I have to do it by myself, but it would be a plus if I can finagle someone to do it with me to have some accountability.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the boring resolution. I think, God willing, I will wake up every morning. :-)