I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. I really never saw the purpose…it just seemed a ritualistic form of reverse psychology to me. As soon as I made that list it was my green light to start breaking them, and I’m pretty sure I am not alone. In January fitness centers are hopping and the produce section at the grocery store is being cleaned out. Come the end of February the surge is over.
Let me be clear on this…not everyone is motivated the same way. Some people thrive on making detailed lists and accomplishing the list. I wish I was one of them…but yeah, not even close. For those with a similar mindset to mine, there are certain thing we should just avoid resolving.
We should avoid getting too detailed. So, if I was going to write a list here are some examples of how I would write it.
Resolution #1: I will go to the gym every day for an hour.
What I am really saying is that I am going to be the biggest couch potato known to man. As soon as I have specified a frequency and length I can assure you I will start finding reasons why I can’t do it as often or for as long…most likely both.
Revamped Resolution #1: I will commit to increasing my activity because I love how it makes me feel.
Sound too generic? Nahhh…why? Well, because as soon as I remind myself how it makes me feel, I’m motivated to get going…and since I’m pretty competitive with myself, I tend to keep pushing myself to do a little more each time, whether it be a few more reps, hold the plank a couple more seconds or try a new exercise. When I’ve completed the workout I feel accomplished, centered, relaxed and ready to conquer the day…again reminding me why I want to do it again tomorrow. However, to say I HAVE to do it EVERYDAY, because that is the commitment…yeah, well somehow it feels daunting to me.
Resolution #2: I will eat only lean meat, fruits and vegetables/be a vegetarian/follow Paleo/go vegan
Translation…bring on the whoopie pies. Yes, I prefer whole foods and try my best to cut down on processed foods…and most people I know categorize me as a “health nut”. But as soon as I attempt to catagorize my nutritional habits, it goes to pot. My husband and I decided we would start cutting out more meat from our diet. Right, that week I craved meat more than I ever have…we had a pot roast, chicken sausage and turkey burgers. But as soon as I stopped embracing a certain nutritional lifestyle we went back to eating meat about once a week.
Revamped Resolution #2: I am going to make nutritional choices that TRULY work for me.
Okay, this comes with a little bit about knowing yourself. Some people feel great with a low carb diet, while others feel absolutely horrible if they don’t eat a moderate amount of carbs. Some wither away just thinking about living a vegetarian diet, while others thrive without meat. Once you have figured this out, the next step is making choices that enhance your well being…and take it once choice at a time. (Oh, and for the sarcastic readers, no I have not heard of anyone thriving on a processed, fast food diet)
Okay, now I become a hypocrite. Sometimes I need a specific game plan.
Resolution #3: I am going to lead a stress free life.
Uh huh…and I think I just saw a pig fly by. C’mon folks, if any of you actually check this off your list you either need to get started on your NY Times Best Seller or you’re full of it. I’m hedging my bets with the latter. I’m not trying to be pessimistic…just realistic. Even good things occurring in our lives can be stressful…new baby, new family pet, new business, new blog :O). It’s called eustress or positive stress. Whether it is eustress or distress it can wear on us.
Revamped Resolution #3: I will become more aware of my stress, causes of my stress and take steps to reduce it.
Self awareness can be a tough one. Many of us really do not want to face our character flaws…we all want to believe we are doing it right. I am no exception to that. But it is crucial for our own mental and physical well being to understand what our stresses are and explore measures to manage them. For me it is a good workout…preferably solo. Maybe for others it is a cup of tea and good book, a walk or meditation/prayer.
And finally, if I was making a New Year’s Resolution list, it would be kept short. Hey, I’m trying to set myself up for success here…why make a list too long to keep.
Happy New Year! Here’s to 2014!