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Old habits. Not new resolutions.

Just a thought that popped up while working out the upper body in the last hour.

But first some context.

Last week and this week, I am finding it very hard to exercise. It is after all holiday season, and I have had excellent exercise compliance so far this year. So why not take a break for Christmas and New Year weeks? The world doesn’t stop, and the sky doesn’t fall if you miss just two weeks, has been my inner monologue!

But somehow that did not feel right. I felt uncomfortable from within about not having to exercise even for a week. That’s probably a nice side effect of keeping the “Exercise 3 times a week” habit for about five years now. So I dragged myself into workout clothes and laced my shoes. Rest everything took care of itself. I worked out three times last week. I am already done with full and upper body workouts this week. And I am looking forward to some squats and swings tomorrow. And repeat it all next week as well.

Again, it wasn’t easy…until I changed into workout clothes and put on my shoes.

I don’t take all the credit though. I am supported by a few great people. Besides the momentum of my exercise habit, the support system of the people I know or follow has helped me not dither in this silly season.

First, my ex-colleague, friend and a champion trainer (for the last five years and counting!) who sends my workouts remotely and checks-in every week. He also occasionally sends some much-needed inspiration:

Holiday exercise inspiration

Second, this retired US Navy SEAL named Jocko Willink. I recently started following Jocko β€” author of Extreme Ownership, a book that I have in my reading list and Discipline Equals Freedom, a book I borrowed from the library, read and kind of liked it, but I loved the title!β€” and he tweeted this:

Which lead me to think, I mostly don’t need any grand new year’s resolutions. I just need to continue my boring, but beneficial old year’s habits. I said mostly because I will likely have a few resolutions around my learning goals, but for the most part, I will be better off carrying my old habits into the new year.

I encourage you to consider this idea and think in terms of habits you can start and keep for the years to come, not the resolutions you will set and forget in a few months.

By Chaitanya

I am a family man, perpetual learner, coffee drinker, dessert eater and Happiness Engineer at Automattic. I also read, write, move, and meditate.

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