Reflections on Resolution Renewal Day

I just vacuumed my whole house. Then I mopped. It’s the most work I’ve done in three weeks and I’m pretty overjoyed.  And I did it in time for Resolution Renewal Day.

Let me back up. In late 2019 I made a decision to use 2020 to develop and maintain healthier habits. I’m not really a “New Year’s Resolution” type of person, but I was having my fourth and final kidney surgery on December 27th. It just made sense to begin my focus in January after my recovery. On January 12, 2020, I promptly began exercising six days a week.

In the past, my “healthy lifestyle” has only lasted a couple of weeks. This time my poor health was motivation enough to keep me going.

I exercised six days a week for almost five months, my longest stretch ever. I always struggle more with a healthy diet than I do with exercising, so I didn’t get serious about that until sometime in February (and I will admit that it is still very much a work in progress). Over four months time, I lost about seventeen pounds and was feeling awesome. It wasn’t just the weight loss: my anxiety improved more than ever, I could see changes in my body, was more confident, and had SO much more energy. I was also incredibly proud of my consistency.

Reflections on Resolution Renewal Day

Then, on May 25th, I woke up quite ill.

I had a fever, chills, body aches, and all the wonderful things that go along with a 102 temperature. I also starting getting daily migraines.  I got tested for COVID and a UTI. My COVID test was negative, UTI positive. The fever and related symptoms were gone by the end of the week, but my migraines, lack of energy, and fatigue have for some reason carried with me. I’ve taken my migraine medicine 17 out of the last 19 days. I’m not sure if it’s from my sickness, my ramped-up anxiety, or something else.

My biggest fear was that my temporary sickness would put an end to my healthy lifestyle.

I’ll go ahead and admit that I’m an all or nothing type of person. EVERY time I’ve been in the habit of exercising, it’s ended with either an illness or a big life change. It’s like I take a week off and then decide that I might as well give up until next year. I was so afraid I would do this that I actually considered attempting my workout after spending all day in bed with a 102 fever. Fortunately, with some help I recognized the foolishness of that idea.

But I was just so worried my good habits would fade away

As my fever went down but my fatigue went up, I really struggled. I wanted to exercise, but I would do a load of dishes and then need to lay down. Or I’d do a couple loads of laundry and then have a splitting headache. When I did finally decide I was ready to attempt a low impact workout, instead of feeling refreshed I got dizzy, nauseous, and developed a migraine.

The other day I discovered that July 1st is Resolution Renewal Day.

It made me really consider my goals from the beginning of the year and this is what I came to realize: It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Some days I wake up ready to do a low impact workout. Some days I wake up, do a small task, and then need to rest. Most days I rest in the afternoon while my littles nap because my head is pounding and I’ve learned it will only get worse if I try to work through the migraine.

And then today I vacuumed and mopped and oh how I pray that means that by Resolution Renewal Day I will be back to hour-long workouts six days a week and will be shedding the pounds that I have re-gained the last three weeks.

But if not, I will continue to do low impact workouts when I can and rest when I need to, because something is better than nothing.

This is what I’ve learned: each day I need to do what I can do and trust that my body will tell me when enough is enough.

Do you have goals you set on January 1st (or any time) that you’ve done well with? That you’ve struggled with? That you need to re-evaluate or change? How do you find ways to keep on persevering even when you no longer feel motivated or when life gets hard?  Do you give yourself grace when it doesn’t go as planned?

I hope this gives you something to reflect on this Resolution Renewal Day!

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