Former collegiate runner and high school track coach, Sean Peterson, shares his feelings about resolutions and why he thinks you shouldn’t make them.
Screw new year’s resolutions… am I right? Why is NOW the best time to embark on some sort of life changing journey. Let’s be honest, January sucks! It’s cold, dark, dreary (not everywhere… but come on, that’s why I moved to California) and we’re feeling the strain of the holidays physically, emotionally and financially. We’ve been overcommitted the past 2 months…who the hell wants to make anymore commitments NOW!
I’m Over Resolutions, And You Should Be, Too
Don’t get me wrong, goals are great, but why do we put so much emphasis on setting them arbitrarily in January. Instead, I’m proposing you don’t make any resolutions this year – they are GARBAGE and you’re NOT going to keep them. Sound good? Great. Now here’s what you should do instead.
Every January (from now on) write your future self a thank you note for the year ahead. You can put whatever you want in there, it doesn’t need to be hyper rigid, just think ahead and imagine what 2020 YOU would be thankful about accomplishing in 2019. Then in one year, read your note, reflect on the NEW person you’ve become and repeat indefinitely!
Stop Wasting Time, Start Changing for the Better
I’ve adopted this practice for the past 5 years and it’s lead to some pretty dramatic changes in my life! I moved across the country, took on a few new roles at work, forged relationships I would have quickly dismissed and went on some amazing outdoor adventures (if we must mention highlights). I credit these experiences to my yearly practice not because I had any specific goals to chase but rather, it created openness to new ideas, and brought a sense of mindfulness to my actions.
Every year I read all the previous notes to reflect on my state of mind year over year and really understand what’s important to me and how I’ve put myself in the right positions to create positive change. It also empowers me throughout the year to know, come January, I get to see if I was able to be the person I hoped I would be a year ago. No pressure right?
Wait…These Sound Suspiciously Like Resolutions!
I’m typically a private person (in most cases) but I’d like to share the card I wrote to Sean 2019 as inspiration and hopefully a catalyst to starting your year with new purpose. It’s not incredibly profound, but it has meaning to me, and really the power starts to emerge once you have a few years to reflect on. Themes start to develop and roadblocks begin to emerge, and you start to realize how to overcome what would have been seemingly impossible in the past.
Now, I know you might say these look suspiciously like resolutions… however it’s the way in which they are presented that makes all the difference. Instead of saying, ‘I’m going to do this’, you’re putting yourself in the mindset that, ‘I’ve already done this.’
Inspiration for Those Who Need a Little Guidance
To: Sean 2019
Thank you for…
- Sticking to your new eating habits
- Making use of both your national park pass and airline companion pass
- Becoming a better leader
- Bringing more creativity into your life
- Building a social group beyond what you already have
- Giving into some of your crazy ideas and actually seeing them through
- Finding a hobby or new activity you enjoy
- Not letting good things scare you simply because they are different or not what you’re accustomed to
- Picking up a book every once and awhile
- Spending more time outside
- Running because you want to, not because you have to
Love, Sean 2018
Your Turn – Start Writing!
Get ready y’all, the challenge has been set! Write yourself a note and go on being that awesome whatever it is you are. Don’t get too caught up with making this deep, shareable or more than it needs to be… this is your note and your future DAMN IT– it just has to be inspiring to YOU! Oh, and remember – once the note is sealed you can’t read it until January 2020. That’s the one commitment you have to make!
So it goes… out with the old, in with the new. It’s officially time to change your mantra… TREAT YOURSELF… take a seat. 2019 is the year to THANK YOURSELF – you deserve it.
Author Bio: Sean Peterson currently runs less than he should but still makes time for outdoor adventures and travel to keep active! He’s a former school record holder and All-American runner at Southern Oregon University and also coached High School track and Cross Country in Oregon for 6 years. Sean has worked for Road Runner Sports since 2008 in both the Tualatin and Atlanta stores prior to his current role (Senior Marketing Manager) in San Diego. Follow his adventures on Instagram @spaceagelovesong