By Gabrielle Walter
Distinguished Young Woman of New York for 2011
I have never been a New Year’s Resolution girl, but this year I decided I would make a list. I see the resolutions as goals for myself. The New Year is a new beginning. If you keep your life the way it is and do not change anything about it, you are not bettering yourself. You are in that same stagnant cycle. The New Year is celebrating what is to come and forgetting the past, whether it is good or bad. The new year holds hope for the future. The only way the future is going to change is if you change yourself. Goals to change yourself improve this New Year and this new you. It is the hope for the beginning to start and become a journey. Hopefully when the next New Year’s Eve comes, maybe the past one was of sadness or disappointment, but this next New Year’s Eve is one of celebration and one of more resolutions.
So, I have been writing goals for myself. I even looked up statistics on what are some of the top New Year’s resolutions. Not surprisingly losing weight was number one, but following were things like saving money and traveling. I saw people have some really interesting goals for themselves. Little resolutions lead to big things. If I work on little things now, I will be able to accomplish something great in the end. For someone who has never done it, you cannot wake up one day and run a mile, it takes time. Right now, I am working on running a 5k. I take a couple days out of my busy schedule to go running with my roommate at the gym and on Friday’s we even run outside in the park to get a change in scenery. Although I am not out of shape, it is hard for me to get the breathing pattern down and have the stamina to keep going. The first time we walked into the gym, our goal was three miles no matter what, even if we had to walk the last half. Sure enough, that three miles turned into three and a half, and now we can push for four miles as the weeks go on. After the New Year, I could not stop thinking this may not be the thing for me, but I cannot be an expert the first time. It takes time to gain those skills. I have learned to be patient because in the past I have had frustration with waiting to become better and wanting to move on, I could not wait, it had to be now. But if I make my now each step, each goal, each little flag in the race, then eventually I’ll win.
“Plan difficult things while they are easy. Accomplish great things while they are small.” – Laozi
What is going to be your new beginning coming from 2011? What are you going to change in your daily life to better yourself? It may overwhelm you to take the first step if it is not something you are comfortable with, but I promise after that you will feel better about the journey you are about to take. Each day we are learning about ourselves and the world around us. Take a step back to get away from the rush of life and make that first step for yourself in this year’s race. I challenge you to meet me at the finish line. So walk up to the starting point, take a breath, and open your eyes to life’s course of better change, better you.
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