That's it. Rather than make a long list of goals that past experience indicates I would quickly start neglecting, I'm keeping it simple this year. So I am not resolving to practice the piano more, or cook more from scratch, or read my Bible more, or floss daily, or be a better listener, or learn how to sew, or organize and print my digital photos, or spend more time planning my children's schoolwork, or stay on top of the filing, or study French more diligently, or lower my coffee consumption, or do any number of worthwhile things that would certainly enrich and improve my life.
If some of those things happen, I will pat myself on the back and enjoy the benefits. But knowing myself as well as I do, I know that if I start making a list I will continue adding to that list until it contains all the elements of "Cheryl's Perfect Life." And then it would be so daunting as to become a symbol of utter hopelessness and I would go down in defeat before I even got started. So this year, no list. Just one little goal.
I have never been an athletic person. It's not that I'm uncoordinated. But I am also neither fast nor strong. I was one of those iconic "last to be picked for the team" kids. I have always much preferred to sit and think or sit and read or sit and play the piano or sit and do just about anything else than move and hurt and sweat. There have been times in my life when I've joined an exercise or aerobics class or even a health club. But invariably I did not see the thing through and the money that was laid down was ultimately for naught. I just don't like to exercise, and thanks to a good metabolism and small-framed, small-boned parents I have never really had to. I pretty much eat what I want, including indulging my highly developed sweet tooth, and still manage to maintain an appropriate weight. If I see the scale go up a few pounds, I slow down on my eating for a week or two until it comes back down.
Yet I know that I am not as healthy as I would like to be. I get winded too easily. I am tired a lot. I would like to have more body strength and stamina. And I am not getting any younger. As I look at my mother, who suffers from osteoporosis, I know that one of the best things I can do to combat the likelihood of following in her footsteps is to build up bone strength by exercising (and taking my calcium supplements). So when my husband recently proposed that we embark on a new effort to get a little more exercise in both of our routines, I didn't have to think twice. (He has always done a better job of exercising than me, especially in recent years. I am really proud of him for several years ago taking off and so far keeping off about 50 excess pounds!)
So the plan is to wake up in the morning, start the coffee dripping, and before doing anything else, simply MOVE. We aren't following any particular book or DVD or exercise plan or aiming for "X" number of sit-ups or push-ups or jumping jacks but instead are just starting the day by MOVING. We've successfully done so twice this week and have enjoyed the time together (talk about a fringe benefit!) and the accompanying feeling of increased energy and alertness. And who knows--if we succeed in this very small goal, maybe . . . but no, I think I'll stop while I'm ahead.