As we finish the first month of 2020, I keep thinking about how time flies as I get older. There are many theories for this phenomenon. For me, it’s all in the math.
When I was 10, a year was 10 percent of the time I’d lived on this earth. Today is my 61st birthday. And one year is now 1.6 percent of my life. That 1.6 percent is a flash, a blink, a moment.
Setting annual goals is never easy. It’s difficult to maintain that immediate enthusiasm. Fitness centers fill up in January, but by Feb. 1, attendance is sparse. Those who are successful are able to get beyond that initial period. They turn the goal into a daily life ritual.
When I was younger, I often saw the start of the year as an opportunity to set goals. It felt like a fresh start. Setting goals was easy. It was the follow-through that was hit or miss. Some years I stayed focused, and it led to multiyear successes. Other times, the goals fell apart early in the year.
But I’ve figured out how to use the math — and the end of the first month of the year — to our advantage. Let’s look at the opportunity we have ahead, even as January comes to a close.
One technique is to start the year’s goals on Feb. 1. Take a day or two and think about something meaningful that you can do this year — something that can lead to bigger successes. Taking the pressure off the start of the year is often helpful.
I also want to stress the math. No matter your age, 2020 will be the year that is the smallest percentage of the rest of your life so far. Between that and a Feb. 1 start, you have the best opportunity to nail your goals. The coming 11 months can be a win.
For those of us dealing with muscular dystrophy, setting goals is not always easy. We need to be creative, realistic, and think outside the box. Most people get stuck setting goals related to physical fitness. And there may be solid exercising goals: We can regularly stretch or work with a physical therapist. But we also can set other goals. I have ideas that I am using for myself: taking an online class, reading, watching movies, and writing.
I look at my recent column on surviving winter from this perspective of goal-setting. When we face greater mobility limitations, having a goal can improve our outlook. And a positive mental approach can keep us focused on things we enjoy, especially when overcoming adversity. I see this as a way to rejuvenate.
I challenge you to look at the year ahead and see the opportunity to start something new. February is upon us. This is an opportunity to enhance your life. Think outside the box. If you take on two or three new ideas and only one comes to fruition, that is a major success. By finding a new hobby or interest, or by connecting with new people, you can find hours of enjoyment.
I’d love for some of you to share your 02/1/20 goals. Even the date is unique, and those of you who are palindrome lovers will understand. Let’s do it!
Note: Muscular Dystrophy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Muscular Dystrophy News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to muscular dystrophy.