The Revolution Against Resolutions

On New Year's Eve, Kelly's 7-year old daughter Audrey asked us: "Are you going to set any New Year's Revolutions?  We found the question very funny! It got me thinking once again all about the value or lack thereof of New Year's resolutions. So I'm proposing a "Resolution Revolution". Every year at this time we feel compelled to commit to change everything in our lives that we think needs changing. We love the concept of a clean slate. Vows are made to lose weight, exercise regularly, quit smoking, cut down on drinking, give up wheat and sugar. We commit to be on time and quit wasting our lives perusing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest. The gym is always overcrowded for the first 3 weeks of January.

By February most of the new year's resolution people are gone. We no longer have to wait to use our favorite exercise equipment or get a bike in spin class.

I do believe in the value of setting realistic goals that are accompanied by consistent habits for their execution. Why I rebel  against New Year's resolutions is because for the most part they RARELY work. With totally unrealistic expectations on January 1st, we set ourselves up for failure. New Year's resolutions also tend to affirm how much we tell ourselves we're not good enough the way we are. I am not against self- improvement, we should all strive to do the best we can every day. Lofty resolutions get set at the beginning of every year with expectations that the desired changes will magically occur quickly. What is required is a strong foundation of good habits for the long-term.

I think the chances of successful transformation are far greater when we give up the self loathing and comparing our insides to other people's outsides. Let's move from a place of self-love and acceptance. We will have a much greater chance of developing the necessary habits that can bring about the positive lasting change we desire.

Living an Intentional Balanced Life is Rebellious

Americans pride  themselves on their hard work ethic often to the detriment of their health, relationships and family lives. How often do we hear, "I'm always working", or "I'm available 24/7?" I work in the commercial real estate industry and am constantly told by many of my colleagues and friends that all they do is work when they're not eating or sleeping. Is it  supposed to be a badge of honor to be a workaholic? I don't think so, in fact I see burnout to be a very serious health and wellness crisis in this country. I am troubled when I hear how an associate doesn't have time to workout, go to their kid's games or performances, or just take some good quality personal time to recharge for fear of missing that big deal.  Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, not be a tyrannical master that demands we answer every call, text, e-mail or tweet.

Recently I have read many articles by "human potential experts" that  discourage  multi tasking and constantly checking our phones and e-mail. It actually makes us much less productive.

I am reminded of an old story about two fire wood cutters who were working side by side. One chopped non stop without taking a break all day. The other, took a 15 minute break every hour. At the end of the day the guy who took the breaks had chopped three times as much  wood as his partner did, who couldn't understand how that was possible. Extremely annoyed, he asked "what do you do on all those breaks you take?" His answer......" I sharpen my axe."

This  rebel made a decision many years ago that I would do my best to live a balanced life while working in a business that often discourages that. I  meditate & pray, exercise & play regularly, eat a pretty healthy diet and spend quality fun time with my loved ones and friends.  I call this my rebellion against burnout and ill-health.  Sometimes I fall short but I  have learned where the off buttons are on my phone and computer and turn them off frequently in order to tune in to all the beauty around and within me.






Cycling is Rebellious

I'm an avid cyclist, not to be confused with a biker. Cyclists ride bicycles --typically road bikes -- and are often seen  sporting tight padded spandex shorts and colorful biking jerseys. Bikers ride big Harley Davidson motorcycles, wear "colors" and leather jackets and often are members of 'biker clubs."  Bikers like the Hells Angels have always been seen as the archetypal rebels in this country. So you may ask what makes "cycling" rebellious.  For this rebel,  it is the ultimate expression of freedom. It is using my own physical strength to climb that big hill and then experiencing the exhilaration of speeding down the other side often as fast as 40 MPH. It's rebelling against a sedentary lifestyle, being outside for hours usually with likeminded friends away from our cars, computers and all the technology that constantly distracts us from the silence of our souls that can be felt riding along a country road.

Living an active lifestyle for me is health rebelling against sickness, life rebelling against death. Cycling happens to be one of my favorite ways to exercise and stay active. I've developed great friendships with my fellow cyclists, and we have had the opportunity to be involved in charity bike rides, letting me give back to my community and causes  I am passionate about.

Riding a road bike isn't for everyone. It can be dangerous sharing the roads with motor vehicles, and I know that many people just feel too exposed out there in traffic. For me, facing the fear head-on feels rebellious as well.

Whether or not cycling is for you, become active in a way that is fun and excites you.  It will awaken your "inner rebel" and  improve your life in ways that will amaze you.