I've been running in the mornings for about three weeks out of the last month while based here in San Jose, Costa Rica.
A hangover break was necessary January 1st, but running resumed on January 2nd. The track had 400% more people on it than it did December 31st. It was quite impressive.
Some new faces showed up the following days, while a couple disappeared, many kept coming back. It was truly a wonderful thing to see when people working toward their New Year's resolutions. (Since I already know, I've been full-blown ignoring one of my own.)
While self-improvement can start on any day of the year, the new year gives you a chance to start a new you- a better you. Outside Online published The 5-Step Self-Improvement Overhaul. Originally I had sent it to my partner, because the first section was about running. He has talked in the past about running a marathon. I immediately regretted sending him the link, because I thought he'd start being obnoxious about me starting to push myself more while running (I really dislike it, but since I don't have a bicycle or a place to swim, there are few other options for cardio).
However, I kept reading the article, and realized it had nothing to do with running at all. The five steps blew my mind:
Step 1: Get Fit, Eat Right
Step 2: Go Already
Step 3: Simplify
Step 4: Give Back
Step 5: Just Chill
While here at The Volunteer Bay we promote Step 4 100% of the time, I was most intrigued with Step 3. Amazing author (and apparently a transcendentalist guru), Henry David Thoreau, offers up some pretty good advice. From the Step 3, here are two of my favorite passages:
Thoreau says: "Let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand."
Thoreau was obsessed with preserving a "broad margin of leisure" in his schedule, so he cut his to-do list down to the essentials: thinking, writing, hoeing his bean rows, and evading human contact. Your interests may differ, but the strategy works: Weed out the extraneous—like those nagging social obligations you never have the guts to decline—so you have more time to surf, ski, bike, and play.
Thoreau says: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer."
More often than not, greatness is achieved by those who follow their own muse. This doesn't necessarily mean ditching your day job and becoming a river guide, but it does mean having more faith in your own creativity. So if there's an idea you've been sitting on because it goes against conventional wisdom—like taking a leave to sail to Mexico or pitching a plan for community bike lanes to city hall—now is the time to act on it.
Check out the rest of the article here, and find your own inspiration. Its a long piece, so dedicate a good 10 minutes to reading it. You'll be surprisingly happy you did.