It is, in fact, that time of year again. You know…. the whole, “New Year, New You”…. when you start making a list of everything you’ve been doing ‘wrong’ for the past year and EVERYTHING you would like to improve as the calendar flips from December into January.
We sit, snuggled in our homes, contemplating the new beginning, making lists, making big plans and ignoring the voice in the back of our heads that is quietly reminding us that it was only 365 days ago that we were having this same conversation with ourselves. How quickly we forget.
Before we make an unrealistic Top Ten list, let’s take a look at the resolutions we are most likely to break and why. (and GASP! how you might make it work!)
1) “I’m going to Diet and Eat Healthy”. By the time we finish with the holidays, we are tempted to stop eating all together. We have gorged on our favorite meals, overdosed on holiday parties, eaten our body weight in fudge and cheeseballs (or is that just me?) and are dying to detox. So, we vow to make a change. We commit to changing everything. We decide EVERYTHING will be healthy. Alll meals, all the time. It is simply too much, too fast. Do it in moderation. Cut back on the sweets and sugar. Incorporated more fruits and veggies. Commit to getting rid of high-fructose corn syrup. But start SLOW. Otherwise? You’ll head right back to your decadent ways.
2) “I’m going to Exercise and Get in Shape” This is original, yes? The gym is ALWYAY packed in January. But not so much by March. Why? Same premise as the ‘diet and eat healthy’. No moderation. You can’t go from never-been-to-the-gym to spinning-yoga-weights-and-running. Your body won’t let you. It will rebel and you will stop. Be kind to yourself. Listen to your body. Get moving. But not to the point of exhaustion.
3) “I will Elimiate my Debt and Save Money” Ok – this is a hard one and it isn’t all your fault. Let’s be honest…. the economy isn’t the greatest. So, it may or may not be possible for you to sock away the necessary funds to pay down your debt. You CAN make smart decisions: eat out less, walk slowly away from that Coach bag you are eyeing, and bring your lunch to work. However, if you have been laid off, taken a pay cut OR are suddenly the main source of income for your family, the goal of eliminating debt and saving may have to be tempered.
4) “I Will Quit Smoking” I will confess, I have never smoked. But I am a child of two former smokers and I watched, multiple times, as they tried, and failed to quit. You *SHOULD* want to quit. I don’t need to tell you why… the yellowing teeth, the smelly clothing…not to mention that whole cancer thing. But sadly, it is estimated that only 15% of those who try to quit are still smoke free 6 months later. Despite all of the patches, gum and the like on the market to help. You have your work cut out for you.
5) “I will (fill in the blank with something new… Learn to Scuba Dive, Speak German, Play the Piano)” Now this SOUNDS fine and dandy, and I admire you for the notion, but it takes a lot of work. And committment. Oh….and TIME. So, it must be something you have wanted to do for a very long time. And? You can’t be combining it with ANYTHING above.
Truly friends….if you are resolving in the New Year, be realistic. You simply won’t stick to a new diet and exercise plan while eliminating debt and learning to play the piano. Add to that a committment to ‘be more organized’ and you might as well just flip the calendar back to January 2011.
Pick ONE. And good luck with the New You!