On New Years Day of 2020, I Make Resolutions to… Hey, Is That Chocolate?

It’s the year 2020, a catchy number, and the start of a new decade. It’s a natural time to turn over a new leaf and start up some new habits. Lose weight, get organized, write that novel. But if you’re like most humans, after a few weeks most New Years resolutions have gone the way of holiday wrapping paper. A bold proclamation is now just a broken Hanukahmass toy sitting sadly in the corner. So why bother? Well, for some folks, they work. And as readers of A Dude Abikes know, I’ve had a fair bit of success with some changes. So here’s what I’m doing — and not doing — in 2020.

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A Walk a Day for Almost Two Years

My daily walking habit began on January 1, 2018, and I haven’t looked back since. I may have missed one day but I often do more than the allotted 30 minutes. I make sure I hit 1.5 miles, and some days it’s 2.0 or more miles, or even two walks. I don’t write about it much because it’s not that remarkable, but to me it’s a good habit for life that I wish I’d established many years ago. It’s not easy when you’re busy, sick, tired, injured, it’s cold, windy and wet outside. Somehow, I have found the discipline. And what the rewards are subtle, they are worth considering starting your own walking practice if you don’t have one.

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The Bad Side of Good Habits

It’s taken me a lot of time. effort and an indescribable amount of will power and discipline to establish and maintain the good habits which are the four main pillars of this blog, and in some ways a good chunk of my life: Biking, Walking, Writing and Yoga. I am approaching six years of daily yoga (yes, you read that correctly), four years of bicycling an average of 13 miles per day, two years of daily walking, and two years of daily writing, Let’s not forget two years of eliminating almost all processed grains. As 2019 winds down, the pressure to come up with New Years resolutions for 2020 looms large. So I’m reflecting on the nature of habits because sometimes, what seems good may sometimes also have a bad side.

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What Are You Willing to Give Up (for Lent)?

Today was Ash Wednesday in the Christian Catholic tradition. Numerous believers around the world went to church and got a cross made of ash drawn on their foreheads. While A Dude Abikes is not Catholic, and by no means can offer an authoritative treatise on Lent, some of my ancestors were. A number of people today and last night at One Page Salon talked about this practice of renouncing something, which is only one part of a religious of taking 40 days to prepare for Easter Sunday. Somehow this one part of a solemn spiritual ceremony “went viral” and became a sort of New Years resolution do-over. For lapsed Catholics and others who just like the idea, it is a worthwhile endeavor to renounce something “sinful” or a “vice.” It could be cigarettes, alcohol, or something stronger, like candy. Or a behavior like watching TV. In any case, I began thinking, “What am I willing to give up?”

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A Dude Abikes in the News!: One Year Later…

…I’m Still Ready for My Close-Up

That’s right, A Dude Abikes was featured in the local newspaper.  I blogged about it on January 15, 2018, and since it’s exactly a year later today, it seems appropriate to remind older readers, new followers and visitors, too.  The blog is titled “Read All About It!  A Dude Abikes Featured in the Austin American-Statesman.”  While it did not catapult me to stardom or anything, I thought it was a pretty decent write-up.  It was by the now former reporter and author of the Fit City blog, Pam LeBlanc.  (She continues to write about her travel and fitness adventures at this link.)  In the year since that post came out, I have continued on my own journey.  Please click on through to read more!

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Coaching Your Self With Compassion Instead of Criticism

The other day I had a rare headache, and someone near me said, “Why not try some alternate nostril breathing?”  I did, and it helped.  Then the little voice in my head kicked in, and I started kicking myself.  “Why didn’t you think of that before?” it mocked.  “Why don’t you do more pranayam every day?” it jeered.  And so on.  If you’re at all like me, the inner critic is never far from bursting through the front door of our conscious mind and raining on our parade, to mix metaphors.

Have you ever noticed that we don’t have a name for the inner compassionate person?  But we should.  Our inner Dalai Lama, perhaps, or whatever spiritual teacher may appeal to you.  But after my last post about yoga, I’ve been thinking about the other limbs of the yogic path, and self-compassion is a big one.  So here are some thoughts that might help you, whether it’s starting or maintaining a regular practice of writing, walking, yoga, cycling or whatever, just being better with your self.  Or maybe becoming the next President of the United States, a job which should be coming open pretty soon, from the looks of it.  A Dude can dream. Continue reading