Unconscious Resolution


As 2011 came to a close, I noticed something rather unpleasant.

I was getting fat.

Or okay, to be more specific, my stomach is fatter than the year before and my usual pants size has become uncomfortable to wear.

So in the back of my mind, I told myself one of my resolutions for 2012 was to exercise and get rid of that fat and build a leaner stomach.

It was a very light-hearted resolution. I didn’t really focus on it much. My main concern was this blog and my writing.

But then something strange happened.

On January 1st, yesterday, I suddenly had this urge to go running, even though I haven’t gone running in over a year. I remembered my light-hearted resolution and became even more motivated.

Usually in the past, what happens is that I tell myself I have more important stuff to do or I’d be distracted by some other errand, and I wouldn’t do it. But since I’ve learned to stop thinking so much or rather watch my thinking, I saw no reason why not to go running.

So, I drove to the running track near the University of Puerto Rico and half jogged/half walked a mile (I’m extremely out of practice).

Then today, before sitting here and writing this, the urge came again. But I didn’t want to drive all the way to the track. So, without any drama, any excess thinking, I just got up, put my sneakers on, and ran down street where I live, something I would never have done in the past, being constantly worried about what others who saw me running would think and if I’d be bothersome to the drivers on the road. But none of that happened.

I was very much present minded.

Effortlessly, almost automatically, I was keeping my resolution to exercise and lose weight. I still can probably do more, but I know as my lungs get accustomed to running again, I’ll be able to do much more with less effort.

It was suddenly very obvious what Deepak Chopra meant in his work, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, about Attention and Detachment. I made the goal to lose weight, but was very detached from it. I didn’t worry about it. I barely thought about it even. But when the time came to do it, my entire attention and focus was on the action, without worry or excess thinking.

Then it became effortless, another thing Chopra mentioned in his book (though I learned it through the DVD documentary of his book).

Now I’m wondering if this could also work for all my resolutions. Writing a novel. Publishing a novel. Self-Publishing. Etc.

Can all this too become effortless without drama or worry?

I can’t wait to find out.

Have you made any resolutions for 2012? What is your experience with keeping or following through on resolutions, goals or establishing new habits?

5 thoughts on “Unconscious Resolution

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  1. My biggest resolution for this year is to be more positive toward everything in life. Before Christmas I was becoming depressed that I wasn’t meeting my writing goals in a way that was satisfactory to me. I was expecting so much of myself on a schedule that does not lend time for it. We writers are notorious for this.

    In essence i was expecting myself to be able to finish the latter 100,000 words of my novel (and make it great) in 3 months. Not impossible if one had the time to sit and write for hours on end every day but i get a limited time to do so and I do crank out a good amount every day, but it was becoming clear that i needed to extend the deadline. Why would i think i could get the book done in have the time of the original draft when its taking double the effort.

    Draft one took me from March 26th 2006 to July 18th 2008. I started this new draft in late 2010, but didn’t really get going on it and positive until March 2011.

    But when i started doing the math it became clear to me that…. I actually was unconsciously giving myself the space to accomplish this in half the time. Since March i have been producing a steady word count each month that if i continue to simply produce that will have me to my goal by July. Which would make it a year and a half of work instead of 2 and a half.

    I have a good feeling about 2012 🙂

  2. That’s a good way to think about it! 🙂

    I never go running because 1- I have asthma and it can be hell to run for long periods of time (though I’m better at sprinting, and used to play soccer) and 2- because I am too lazy to organize time for that. I’d much rather join a sports team with an established schedule (next semester: fencing!) But whatever the mindset you need, exercise is a good goal to try and achieve.

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