You’re getting close to the end of another decade of your life, realizing how good or bad your life has been up until that point.
You may have had a great life. Or maybe you didn’t.
No matter which one it is, getting close to this new decade gets you to reflect on your life.
You may have achieved a lot but somehow it feels like not enough.
Our lives are just tiny windows in the whole scheme of things. We were born one day and (usually) less than 100 years later, that’s it. We’re gone and the world keeps going on without us.
The world doesn’t really care for us so it’s up to us to make our time worthwhile.
Finishing a decade means (at most) finishing another tenth of your lifetime. It is rather impactful.
It’s been said that when we get close to a new decade, most of us engage in “meaning-seeking behaviors”.
Just like the name says, it signifies that we start acting in certain ways to find meaning in our life.
As it turns out, almost half of first-time marathoners are in their last year of their decade. I have no idea how many finish it but that’s not the point here. Getting close to a new decade makes us realize we want to accomplish something outside of our comfort zone.
I’ll turn 29 in a few months and am well-aware of how I haven’t taken care of my body for my entire life. I’ve been eating junk food constantly, doing absolutely no sports of any kind on a regular basis, barely eating vegetables, drinking quite a bit and smoking a whole lot.
I got lucky with my genes I guess because I’ve stayed thin since I was 6 or 7 despite all of the above. I suppose that’s why I never really felt the need to exercise.
I first came across this tendency of 9-enders just a month ago, right at a time a friend had made me realize I had barely more than a year left before reaching the big 3 0 and I was feeling completely unprepared for this new decade around the corner.
So, like any any easily influenced person, I decided to run a marathon next year.
Or did I?
Keep your priorities straight
I spent my first week running every day for up to 3.5 km — or whatever that makes in miles — stretching and prepping my body, having the marathon in a year in my head.
But then I realized I didn’t write for 3 days that week. Which days? The days I ran more than 2.5 km. There was even a day I wrote my absolute minimum of 200 words and left the article to be finished the next day. I got lucky I had some articles scheduled already.
Do I feel compelled to run a marathon? Do I love running? Nope and not really. I just think it’d be a good accomplishment and running is fun but clearly not as much as writing.
So I decided to bring it down to a half marathon. I want to achieve something outside of my comfort zone and with meaning but this shouldn’t take over my life goals.
Trying to do something new is fun and insightful. But should it really become the center of your life?
If the only reason you thought of it is because of the end of your decade is getting close, then it should never become your primary focus.
After all, you’ve still go about a year to go, right? If you start now and spend even just 15 minutes on it every day for the next year, you’ll have spent more than 91 hours on it by the time you get to the big day! And you can accomplish a lot in 91 hours!
Especially if you start from scratch.
Try something completely new
Why is that really important? Because it will allow you do discover a new facet of yourself.
While deciding to work harder on something you’ve already been working on is definitely worthwhile, you’ll also miss the opportunity for discovery.
Deciding to run a marathon (or semi-marathon in my case) will strengthen your will as well as body, make you understand better how to control your breathing, your pain, and maybe discover a new long-term hobby.
Deciding to help homeless people at the local association for a year will allow you to appreciate what you have more than ever, meet very different people and create friendships.
Deciding to learn a new language and take a small trip will make you learn a new culture, mindset, strengthen your memory and most probably meet new people around you or through the internet.
The examples could go on and on forever but you get my point.
Let me say it again, doing something new will provide your with the best opportunity of all: Discovery.
Now, I know I’m “only ” 28 for now so I still have loads to learn and experience. We evolve on a daily basis but let me assure you, no matter how much my friends laugh currently laugh at the idea of me running a semi-marathon in a year, I’ll do it and discover a whole lot along the way.
What about joining me and making your last year of the decade your best one?