The New Year is a time of renewal and change, but what, exactly, ARE New Year’s Resolutions?
Dictonary.com defines “resolution” as: the mental state or quality of being resolute; firmness of purpose. Resolute alludes to making a decision; a popular one being losing weight. However, the difference between a decision and a resolution is significant. It’s easy to say, “I’m going to the gym three times per week this year.” It is also easy to NOT go to the gym three times per week. So, unless you stick with a plan (or resolution), you have not made a decision.
So, what makes a good New Year’s Resolution?
Number one: it has to be realistic. You cannot expect yourself to go from exercising only when you go up the stairs to getting to the gym 5 days per week! Number two: you have to know it’s attainable: if there’s no gym in your town and you would have to drive 25 miles to get there, then how attainable is that, really? Number three: it has to be important. If you make a resolution to lose 10 pounds and you really don’t care if it happens, then its not important to you.
Here are some ideas for Self-Care New Year’s Resolutions:
• Take 15 minutes every day for “me” time
• Set aside 30 minutes to 2 hours per week to be completely lazy (do nothing
productive during this time)
• Say “no” more often
• Visualize yourself in your “Happy Place” five minutes per day
Each year I try to come up with “new” New Year’s resolutions, but most of the time I return to the same ones. Those haunting “life issues” that persist in spite of my best intentions. Two of my finest are: 1) Don’t take things personally; and 2) Don’t make assumptions.
This year, I decided to get ahead by listening to one of my favorite audiobooks about changing these habits, The Four Agreements. In it, Don Miguel Ruiz maps out a detailed plan of how to stop taking things personally and making assumptions. Usually, I listen to these inspirational messages on the way to and from work. It helps strengthen my commitment to change and persistence.
I’ve been doing this for several years and it’s a strategy I think most of us can benefit from. However, here comes the perspiration part. There is no way I (or anyone else) can change our thoughts or actions without choosing different ones. Like Nike says, “Just Do It.” Throughout the day, I have abundant opportunities (as most of us do) to be aware of these thoughts and to challenge my “stinking thinking.”
Last week, I heard from a friend I’d phoned 2 weeks ago forgetting she’d gone out of town. In the meantime, I’d decided that I’d offended her and that’s why she hadn’t called. My #2 “Don’t make assumptions.” Clearly, I haven’t practiced this enough.
I’m committed to my inspiration-perspiration workout for 2012. What are you resolved to change? What inspires/strengthens your resolve? Let us know.
As many of you may know, 2012 is supposed to be a year of great change. According to the Mayan calendar, it will be a time when institutions/habits which are not serving us dissolve and new ones emerge. Like a caterpillar that dissolves to become a butterfly, something entirely new will be emerge in its place.
It is an opportunity for each of us to tap into the energy of transcendence-to discover our full selves, healthy and whole. But, how? Often we get so stuck in the familiar that whether it’s best for us or not, we stop ourselves from exploring the new and unknown. We are frightened to lose the security of the the status quo in hopes of preventing bad things from happening.
But, this is a myth. The only constant is that life changes. So, let’s be bold, dream big and live large. Let’s allow old fear-based habits to dissolve and embrace the opportunity each day brings to discover all we were meant to be.
At livingselfcare, we’ll be changing too. Stacey Glaesman, LPC will be joining me to provide her insights on self-care, health and happiness. We’ll present more resources and recommendations to help you on your self-care journey, and as always, we welcome your guest posts, comments and suggestions.
Let’s make 2012 our best year ever! Let us know what you’d like to talk about. This is your community. Let us hear from you.