One simple word, right? Wrong. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word hope means to expect with confidence or to desire with anticipation. More important than its roots, hope just so happens to be the middle name of yours truly. That’s right: Samantha Hope Hansen. You see, I am one of those lucky gals whose given names actually mean something. My mother lost her older brother shortly before I came into this world. His name was Samuel. So for my family, naming me after an angel and following it up with hope as my middle name was not simply done for the sake of not calling me “baby girl,” which one can only assume would have quickly commenced had no proper name been chosen. Rather, I like to think of it as a grand gesture, for even in the seemingly darkest of times, hope always remains.

In the 2013 lexicon, hope manifests itself in many a form. Yes, today hope is the name of many girls, it’s a twitter handle, campaign acronymn, college, candle scent, and lord only knows what else. At this point in this post, you may be thinking to yourself: “well this post certainly came out of left field…” And you are correct, sort of. Earlier today, one of the loves of my life asked me to write something motivational. I pondered which direction to take that request (quick ways to get the ever-coveted six-pack abs or some random quote about having your actions speak louder than words, perhaps?)… But no. Maybe because it’s my middle name, but to me a lot of concepts often times boil down to hope. To be truly motivated to do something, change a behavior, complete a task – you have to have hope that said change, progress, etc. is possible.

So here we are again, finding ourselves standing on the WELCOME mat of a new calendar year. People who do not know me as well, may have been hood-winked into thinking that I actually am a bonified realist. Well false advertising be damned, deep down I am forever and always an idealist. That’s right, I am one of those people who still hope that we can all just get along at the end of the day. Deep down, I believe love will always win and that people are more good than bad. If you now think I’m an idiot, to each their own. However, if you find yourself peering down at your 2013 resolutions and not knowing where to start, perhaps toy with hope as your starting point. What are your deeper hopes behind getting fit this year? I think looking at your goals through this lens may afford you with a sturdier foundation from which to build upon. Finally, one can never be full of the always welcome concluding food for thought from a man much wiser than myself:

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late, or in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

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