Old Year Resolution

I learned the concepts of new year resolutions after coming to the U.S. for my undergraduate study. I was fascinated with the concept, and up until the end of my Ph.D. years, I had always come up with some list of things to change for the next year. Also, year after year, I had never completed any item on my list. Eventually, I didn’t even bother.

As the last days of 2019 go by, something interesting happens. I realized that through the fall and winter months of the year, I completed two items on the lists from previous years, loosing weight and starting a regular writing regime.

Loosing weight

My weight had been above 96 kg (211 lbs) ever since my West Coast road trip in 2009. The best I could do was 92kg in 2016 when I caught the flu and diarrhea at the same time for two weeks. Of course, I came right back up to 96 after recovering. During the summer of 2019, as we get closer to 40, my wife and I have decided that we need to pay better attention to our health through diet, weight reduction, and regular exercises. We initially tried out keto, but I personally could not keep up with strict limitation of food types, as I have a massive sweet tooth. I also ran one mile two to three times per week. From June to September, my weight barely changed. During September and October, something snapped in my mind. I embarked on a significant more extreme approach. Following my wife’s example, I turned to OMAD (one-meal-a-day) and completely skip breakfast and lunch. It was very difficult during the first two weeks. I was fortunate enough to have a teaching schedule that block off most of my free time during lunch and eventually was able to get used to this eating schedule. At the same time, I began to wake up early at 5:00AM and ran 3 miles at lear four to five times a week. With the learning pace, it took 30 minutes for me to finish. As a result of these changes, I lost close to thirty pounds.

Writing Regime

Perhaps this should not really count, as I started it really late during the year. This post would only my second this year. However, it is within 10 days of the first one, and this is what I strive for, regular writing activities. There is not a lot fo talk about for this item, aside from the fact that I just had to go ahead and do it.

Conclusion

With the sudden completion of two resolutions from years in the past, I now have motivation to create new year resolutions again. This time, my list will be different, as I will only have two items:

  • I will keep doing what works: running, dieting, regular writings.
  • I will refine what works to make them better: running more, controlling my urge for sweet food during the day, and paying more attention to how I write.

Perhaps individual and specific resolutions do not work for me. What works is to grow a desire to become better, mentally and physically, day after day, month after month, and year after year.

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Assistant Professor, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

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