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Four Years at the Mount

Junior year

Donít sleep on it

Leeanne Leary
Class of 2017

(1/2016) This morning I opened my email to scroll through the unread messages from the day before. At the top of the list was an email from my gym with the subject "Couch to CrossFit 2016." The email went into detail about this (awesome) 4-week program starting January 2, intended to be a slow and steady introduction to CrossFit. Note the start date, January 2, 2016, just in time for everybodyís New Yearís Resolutions to be put to the test! I laughed a little at this because I realized that the first day after the resolution is made, whether it be out loud at the stroke of midnight or planned and plotted weeks in advance, really is the hardest day.

The same way that every single morning I wake up to my alarm and think, do I really need to do that first thing on my to-do list that I made just twelve hours ago? Couldnít I just sleep for another hour and do that later? The answer is normally yes to the first question and no to the second, but in typical Leeanne fashion, I normally get those responses a little confused in my half-woken state and hit the snooze button. Now normally I make time later in the day and end up getting everything done even with the extra sleep, but sometimes I donít. Sometime that was the only chance I had, and I end up taking a loss on whatever it was that I was supposed to get done.

I bring this up because we all experience it Ė and if you donít, please contact me and share your secrets. I think itís natural and I think itís easy. It certainly isnít something Iím proud of, but it is life. Hereís the problem Iím beginning to see with that Ė what if that mentality starts to transfer to bigger things in my life? Sure, now it is only showing itself in the wake of too little sleep and a buzzing alarm, but that could easily start to seep into later parts of my day when I donít have sleep deprivation as an excuse. How easily could it show itself on January 2, when I have to get dressed to go the gym, have to walk to the chapel to pray, have to study for the LSAT, or in the face of any of the other New Yearís Resolutions I could make in a few short weeks.

That is why January 2nd is one of the hardest days for me. The thrill of New Yearís Eve has worn off; Iíve had my traditional pork and sauerkraut on New Yearís Day, and now Iím waking up to start real life again. Thatís going to be a hard day.

Iím sort of posing an issue without offering a real solution here. Iím noting that thatís going to be a hard mentality to overcome that day, and if it doesnít hit me right then, Iím sure it will one day in the weeks to follow. One day Iíll probably look at my resolution and think it can wait for the day, or I donít have time for it that day. Iím completely sure that my 6 a.m. mentality will show its taunting and irresponsible face at some point in the journey of my 2016 resolution. Iím answering that issue simply by saying there is no real way to prevent it. Itís going to happen. The answer, I guess at that point, is to respond exactly the opposite of the way I do most mornings. To not let that mentality get the best of my resolution, because the truth is resolutions are important.

Iíve never been a big fan of the New Yearís Resolution idea. Iím not sure why, probably because all too often they only last about a week before people start to neglect them and they are often unrealistic. On the other hand, when they work, it is beautiful. When July comes around and I see "6 months sober" posts or anything of the sort, it really hits me how incredible the simple turn of the year can be. Nothing actually changes. We donít change overnight. The world doesnít change in any way when the calendar flips from December to January and our phones start to read "2016." Iím telling you, nothing changes. But I think sometimes the flip of the calendar is exactly what some people need to make a change.

Itís really the perfect opportunity in a weird, unexplainable way. The idea that the New Year should bring out such changes is a human creation meant to provide an opportunity for people to finally set a goal, get started on a new life, make a change, or simply try a little harder. That is beautiful.

I spent years hating the idea of a New Yearís Resolution. In fact, I havenít made a real one since I was probably 13. Iíve held on to the mentality that I donít need a date to tell me to make a change. Change should be made constantly. Improvement should be a never-ending goal and a simple calendar flip means nothing in a practical sense.

Thankfully, I think Iím ready to shed that mentality. Because who cares, right? Who cares that itís a human creation and promotion. The bottom line is that it is one that sometimes works. It can actually inspire people and actually gives people the excuse theyíve been searching for to finally go for something. That should truly be embraced, not rejected because of its "impracticality."

What Iím trying to say is Iím starting to see the beauty in the idea of a New Yearís Resolution, but I also see how my 6 a.m. mentality could ruin it as early as January 2nd. So now the goal is to embrace the opportunity that the New Year brings and resist the urge to "sleep" on it as much as possible. I hope everyone joins me.

Read other articles by Leeanne Leary