A New Year Challenge

A New Year Challenge

By Erik Johnson

January 4, 2016

Well, here we are. The ball has dropped and we have crossed over into a new year and everything that comes with it. A new year with new opportunities and new challenges. If you are anything like me, the last couple of weeks have been filled with too many Christmas cookies and not quite enough Christmas miles.

Many of us come into the new year with a list of things we hope to achieve or are looking forward to within the next 12 months. However, all too often, many if not all of those goals are given up or forgotten before February is halfway through. Last year, I resolved that I would read two books a month for the year, apart from what I was reading for college. I think I made it to March and forgot. I know I read a few books after that, but nowhere close to what I had planned.

Why is that? How come we can so adamantly resolve to run four days a week or stop drinking soda and then turn around and completely forget a month later? Why did I completely forget to keep reading books after March?

In truth, there can be a lot of reasons. It was my final semester of college and there was a lot to do before I could graduate. Sometimes life throws a curveball and trying to change what has become routine to you is just not feasible.

Overall though, one of the biggest reasons we fail to make a significant change in our lives is because change is uncomfortable. If you haven’t exercised in years, going for a run does not feel good at first. It just doesn’t. It takes time, patience, and some hard work before just going for a run becomes an easy thing.

We live in a culture that equates comfort with happiness. We naturally gravitate toward what we know, even if what we know isn’t any good for us. And when we make a resolution to change, that change often places us in an uncomfortable position for a time. In those moments, it is so easy for us to cling to what we know. And so, I want to issue a challenge for you for the new year.

My challenge for you is to not be afraid of doing things that make you uncomfortable this next year. Sign up for that first 5k or half marathon. Stop carrying your phone with you everywhere you go. Cancel a social media account. Make the effort to get uncomfortable this year. You’ll be glad you did.

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