Turn Resolutions into Possibilities
As the New Year approaches and everyone looks at their personal version of “out with the old and in with the new” we naturally begin to consider resolutions. I can’t explain the craving for change at this time of the year, but concepts like Father Time being replaced with the New Year’s baby are symbolic of our desire to start something fresh. It can be as simple as “eat less, exercise more” or a complex collection of plans and directions on re-creating the life you want to live.
Different things work for different people, but in my experience a new and improved you, or at least a perception of what makes a new and improved you, is often temporary change that leads to frustration and even a bit of self-dislike. Yuk to that. So what is the answer? A little bad news here — there isn’t one. At least not a “one that works for everyone” answer. But in my humble opinion, I can at least offer some tips that set the stage for my past resolution yipees:
Accept your imperfections: See the beauty and vitality in the body that you reside in. Let me reiterate that one: Love thyself, my friend. This is my most important point. Only after we find peace with things we cannot change can we focus on the ones we have the power to change. Don’t set your sights on super skinny thighs if your German genetics gave some beautiful depth in the hips. Heck, we can always find some great Athleta gear that flatters our figure. Instead, choose to love what you are born with and enrich it with the best food and yoga possible. Sashay that German beauty with pride.
Don’t record a list, record your catalyst: Change is temporary unless you have a catalyst. You need to understand the desire behind the change. My resolutions prior to 2009 were frivolous and therefore never achieved. There was very little inspiration behind them. Then in August of that year I got cancer. Suddenly I was catapulted into a world of crazy. Talk about a motivation for healthy living! I developed a new found passion for yoga, juicing, kale, and quinoa. I stopped drinking coffee. The good news? You don’t have to have a cancer catalyst. Just have a “Dang, I feel better when I eat kale” catalyst. “I like to feel better. I’ll eat more kale.”
It’s not set in stone: Over the years I always recorded my resolutions. At the end of the year when I would flip back to my New Year’s journal entry I would almost always be either disappointed or at least have a pretty good “what was I thinking” laugh. One year it was “Learn to Golf.” The clubs my husband subsequently bought me for the following Mother’s Day are very nice, but to this day tucked away in a corner of our garage collecting several years’ worth of dust. It’s become a bit of a joke in our family home. Two years ago I changed the word resolutions to possibilities. Since then it’s more about what is really important to me. (I never really wanted to learn how to golf anyway, so what is the point of that being a possibility?) And the idea of something as possible conjures up so much more positivity in my word-loving brain. Just a small concept, but it really worked for me. The possibilities that don’t morph into reality throughout the course of the year are possibilities to be re-evaluated for the next. Which brings me to my next point…
If at first you don’t succeed… Mama was right when she said it. The beauty of a new year, a new you, is that it is OK to slip. Give yourself lots of second chances. If you wanted to cut back on sugar and you indulged on a few too many Christmas cookies, write down your plan of action for the next week so that you can stay on track. Experts say it takes seven days for your body to stop craving something. Prepare yourself with seven days of healthy foods in the fridge that take the place of sugary snacks. You have armed yourself for the fight! Stay strong sister!
Bottom line: Make this work for you. Are you a visionary? Create a vision board. A writer? Write it down with a really pretty colored pen that makes you happy. Heck, I think you artists out there can even sculpt your resolutions. Record your motivation and re-set your mindset. You can make it happen.