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Thomas McChesney: Living up to resolutions requires stepping out of our comfort zone

Jan. 22, 2013 @ 09:50 PM

How's your New Years Resolution going? Are you succeeding? Have you given up?

We start every year with the best intentions; making resolutions to live healthier, work harder, live more full lives. And yet we frequently give up before the first days of spring. So often, we return to our old ways even though we want to do more.

Why don't we live up to our resolutions? Well, because doing so is often very hard work. Those things we resolve to change are often very difficult. They require us to change long-standing habits. They demand that we step out of our comfort zones. Eat better? Sure, but I really do like pizza. Exercise more? Absolutely ... when I have more time. Read more, have real conversations with my family, make a difference in my town? I'll start as soon as my favorite TV show is over.

Living up to our New Year's resolutions can be difficult. Resolutions are even harder when we try to do them alone. What's harder than going to the gym? Going to the gym by yourself. What's harder than eating healthy? Trying to eat healthy when those around you are enjoying pizzas and burgers.

Living up to our resolutions is easier when we can share the load with a friend; when we have someone to support us when we get tired and to cheer for us when we succeed.

Like many of you, I spent some time during the last days of 2012 considering what I wanted to do differently this year. I resolved to exercise more and lose weight. Frankly, I feel good that I'll accomplish these. Instead of trying to do them on my own, I am partnering with my wife and friends to go to the gym, and my wife and I committed to enjoying fresh cooked food at home instead of eating out.

I also resolved to get more involved with the Create Huntington Chat 'n Chews this year. I had been very active for several years but my participation waned some last year. However, as I spent some time looking both back to 2012 and forward to 2013, I realized that I missed the positive interaction and engagement you find at the Chat 'n Chews. I also missed having the support of others who could help me work on the community projects that are important to me. I realized that, just as with my resolution to exercise, my projects in the community were much more likely to be successful if I had willing partners to help me through the hurdles.

Chat 'n Chews are a place where I can meet other creative, engaged people who want to make Huntington an outstanding community. They're a place where I can share my ideas for making Huntington better without worrying that people will scoff. Chat 'n Chews are a place where I can find others to help me create the type of Huntington I want to live in.

I attended the Chat 'n Chew last week and it was awesome. We worked on ideas to encourage Marshall Students and their families to spend weekends in town. We met a group of young ladies who are looking for volunteer opportunities. And we connected two groups who want to work together to address the overpopulation of stray animals.

People also talked about projects ranging from holding a TedX conference to establishing a "welcome wagon" for new residents, and from designing pedestrian wayfinder signs to making Huntington more cycle-friendly.

Have you seen all of the positive change in Huntington and wanted to take part? Do you have an idea that would make this a great place for you to live? If so, join me and other committed residents at the Create Huntington Chat 'n Chew. They are free and open to everyone. Chat 'n Chews are held 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. every Thursday in the lobby of the Frederick Building, 940 4th Ave., Huntington. For more information about Create Huntington, visit the website at www.createhuntington.com or the Create Huntington Facebook page.

Thomas McChesney is a Huntington resident.