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February is the new January

I took this START photo about three years ago, and finally put it up in my office this week.

Also happening this week: my email box has been filling up with February challenges, including the one from Desk Yogi. On one hand, this is a big break for those of us who didn’t manage to finish (or start) a New Year’s fitness resolution in January. On the other hand, this gives those of us who didn’t finish (or start) a New Year’s fitness resolution in January an excuse to put off New Year’s resolutions until February.

Either way, we’re good.

Several surveys and articles cite excuses for delayed exercise plans: We already messed up/missed the date/ate three pizzas, so we’re going to wait until tomorrow/next month/next leap day to start. Rather than accepting that we can actually start moving/eating right this very moment if we so choose, we tend to set a particular day that will somehow allow us to do whatever we want until that magic date appears. New Year’s day is most often the deadline date for all of this since it signifies a new year and a chance at a “new you.” Birthdays come in second as the day to change our lives for the better.

My birthday happens to be New Year’s Day, so I can relate to this more than I care to admit.

I was talking with a friend yesterday about an amazing woman who is 81 years old and has more health, energy, and passion for life than many women half her age. We both agreed that we want to be like her when we grow up; one of those people that make us exclaim “Can you believe she’s that age? Holy ___!” There’s no way of knowing how I’ll turn out, but I guarantee that I can’t gain that status if I wait, say, until I’m 80 to start a habit of healthy living.

My personal February challenge has simply been to START. Not tomorrow, not after I eat a pizza, but today—and not worry about those other 10,560 days until my 81st birthday. There’s nothing wrong with starting the mindfulness challenge today even though we might have missed the first three sessions. If marketers can decide February is the new January, we can declare February 4 the new February 1. Let’s do this thing.

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