In a flurry of champagne tinged kisses, gorging on hors d’oeuvres and the high of a New Years celebration, millions across the country utter one promise that is rarely kept or remembered: resolutions. By the afternoon of the following day, the headache, the aches and pains start blurring the lines of the resolutions. Sometimes people just go overboard with the resolutions. One cannot honestly lose weight, get a new job, quit smoking and stop stressing completely all within one year with a 100 percent success rate. The psychology of change would implode resulting in another failed year of resolutions. There are ways and methods on how to keep them and make resolutions work. Make the madness stop, it is time to address resolutions and ways to keep them.
“I am going to lose weight!”
This writer has been a culprit of this number one resolution echoing throughout the country. Vague promises more than likely will not be kept, let alone work. Steps to success works – start by something simple that has not been completed before previously in the list of previous attempts. Speaking personally, there is a fantastic friend who developed her own blog to share her journey of a healthy lifestyle. It has done incredible things for her health. Become creative.
Start a digital journal and set weekly goals. Start with cutting out soda pop for the first week for a total weight loss of 0.5 pound for the first week. Habits develop and something will happen – weight will be lost. Keep the fact-o-meter on cheating open to oneself, the world does not need to know. Instead, develop another journal for those cheating moments and in a week, go back and review the calories consumed during those moments. It may just illicit a motivational factor to get moving and eat clean.
Just because the local gyms are going to be rolling out their red carpet of discounts does not mean to jump at enrollment. Sometimes, it is better to begin at home to understand routine or start with a friend, to keep one another motivated. Think about the commitment before making the leap. The pizza does not need to go into the trash – think baby steps. Instead of three slices of pizza, try two. Next time try one with a large green salad. Changes do not need horns and announcements, the silent and noticeable resolutions attack is best.
“I am going to get a new job!”
Tired of the job? Endless hours of hatred staring back when the computer is flickered on? Yes, it sounds like it is time to move on. There are ways to determine how to handle this change. Consider opening the job search across the country (if possible) and review the opportunities beyond the state border. If tired of the same position and doing the same thing over and over – the same position in another company is not going to work. Develop a list of skills, experience and education – and review it thoroughly. Is there something from that list that demonstrates a need to explore more? It takes time to make this change, perform it with calculated risk, assessment and finally, execution.
“I am going to quit smoking!”
Oh really? How about that cig lit up in the car on the way home? Oh it does not count? Sure it does. This, with weight loss, are massive changes. Like weight loss, having an accountability partner, digital journal or app would be beneficial. Smoking is an integral part for many who need a stress release to avoid weight gain and massive stress. Start by counting out cigarettes and leave the pack home. Instead of smoking 10, take five in a baggie and understand that is it for the day. During downtime, write out a list of other activities to complete during the empty smoke breaks. How about a quick workout like a walk, squats or even calling a friend. Refill the moment with constructive activities, to avoid destructive thoughts. There are apps like QuitSTART which are amazing for celebrating milestones and understanding smoking triggers. Consulting with the family doctor is always a suggested preference to acquire and learn monitoring tools.
“Seriously, I am going to stop stressing!”
Resolutions can be a funny thing. They can result in raising the stress flag, resulting in an immediate failed resolution. Understand that control of things desired, may not be attainable. Let it go. Stressing about the bills, the kids and the car sounding funny does nothing to ease the situation. So, how to manage it? Sometimes, it is best to just walk away. Correct. Walk away. This writer would not recommend this, if not attempted, but it has been attempted and it has been successful.
Bringing home the groceries, the kids screaming and nerves stretched to the point of breaking, as the phone rings because work or a client is calling? Yes, been there. Take the milk, meat and ice-cream from the trunk, leave the rest there – herd the kids upstairs. All without saying a word. Put those items away, give the kids a snack and TV time (yes this is where TV works!) and walk away. Walk away to a favorite room in the house, walk away to the garage or into the bathroom and lock the door. Cry, pray, meditate or grab the tablet or phone and call or message a friend. Breathe. While not a fix-all it is a great starting point to avoid stressing out to the max.
Pick up a class: yoga, kettle bells, zumba or hip-hop dancing. Commit to this, regardless it is a DVD in a spare bedroom to a local YMCA. Make this the scheduled time for alone time, no kids, no interruptions. Pencil it in and commit to a moment of developing oneself to be stronger and less stressed. Another suggestion for immediate stress relief? WebMD states to breathe deeply, in a room alone for just five minutes to relax the body. Sit up straight, hand on the stomach and breath deeply through the nose and exhale out of the month. Set a time if necessary to allow the full five minutes to work.
News Years Resolutions
Of course, the easiest remedy is to stop making resolutions to stop becoming aggravated and frustrated. Or learn a step process. Attack one item on the list and even if it takes two years, stay committed and learn to develop habits for one resolution at a time. As one resolution is concentrated upon, one may be surprised on how the others may fall in line. How to keep resolutions and make them work requires the process of accountability and being present. Happy New Year!