Get to > Have to

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions.  I think optimistic goals and the idea of positive lifestyle changes that are only made based on the clock striking midnight rarely last (if you’re one of the exceptions to this – kudos, share your secret with me).  Any member of a gym can tell you that in January it’s a struggle to find equipment open, but by March the crowds have dwindled and it’s back to life as usual. Instead of making a list of new goals I want to accomplish next year, I’m focusing on a mindset that I developed after completing my half in NOLA – every time I hear myself saying, “I have to…” I try to change it to, “I get to..”

I have to go to the doctor.I get to go to the doctor and am lucky enough to live in a place with easy access to health care.
I have to run long this weekend.I get to run because I’m healthy enough to train for an Ironman.
I have to go to work.I get to work in my chosen field.
I have to have another MRI.I get to have another test to make sure I stay healthy.

Last month I was scheduled for an MRI to make sure that nothing was regrowing around my pancreas. If you’ve never had an abdominal MRI before – imagine being rolled into a teeny tiny tube-shaped machine and laying there for about 45 minutes completely still. Minus the IV, the procedure is completely painless but if you are even remotely claustrophobic – it is a long 45 minutes. As I was laying there, a lot of the bad memories from 2017 that I usually keep hidden tried to resurface. Every time one would pop up, I tried to spin it into something positive. Thankfully this test had positive results and I’m done with GI for awhile.

I’ve learned to use every doctor visit, medical test, and bad memory as fuel for my Ironman fire. I have one big goal for 2019 – Ironman Maryland. I registered last weekend and am claiming now that on September 28, 2019 I will hear the race announcer call out my name and say that I am an Ironman. I am not the kind of person who cries when she’s happy, but that finish line may evoke all the happy tears.

There isn’t a magic pill that is going to make me or you into a different person in the New Year. The only thing that changes from December 31st to January 1st is the numbers in the year. Instead, positive daily choices and continuing to strive to be better when your original motivation has left is the only way to produce results in 2019 that you’ll be proud of in 2020.

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