The days early in January are the hardest days of the year for me to motivate myself to get out there and run. It’s dark and cold. It can be foggy. The bed is so warm and cozy.
I don’t wanna.
By January, I’ve usually just come off of accomplishing big things at the end of the previous year, so I feel like giving myself permission to relax or take it a little easier than usual.
The blank canvas of a brand new year feels expansive. There is plenty of time to reach this year’s goals.
That’s not how it works though. Time — days, weeks, months — pass in the blink of an eye. Before we know it, we’ll be gearing up for the holidays again and this year will be almost over, leaving us wondering where it went so quickly.
I have goals for this year, even if they aren’t front of mind right now in January. And I won’t reach them by easing up or slacking off. Slow, steady progress throughout the year, taking little bites every day, is what gets us where we want to be.
So I start a little later, so I catch some of the dawn light instead of total darkness. I bundle up if that’s what it takes. I make myself push up from the warm bed and get dressed.
And as I run, I start to check the buds on the tulip trees in the neighborhood for progress, often one of the first signs of spring around here. Many years the buds begin erupting into blossoms by the end of January, early February at the latest.
The cycle goes on. Spring is coming.