Ahhhhhhh…. Another January 1st. Another year passed. Another year passed of failed resolutions and an opportunity to try again. I never make resolutions because, like many of you, I can never seem to keep them. I admire people who try. I am a firm believer that people should never stop challenging and believing in themselves, but I can’t help but wonder: why are resolutions so hard to keep?
Most of the time, people make resolutions to improve a part of their lives. Whether it is to eat better, exercise more, forgive and forget, be more positive, be a better friend, or maintain less stress. Why are the things that are meant to help us lead healthier and more fulfilling lives difficult to do? In my opinion, it has to do with how full most of our lives already are. We are living in a time where many of us will never have the option to not work. We are full time employees, parents, students, we have full time jobs at our actual jobs and then full time jobs at home. Our society and economy are demanding. For those of us who are raising children, their health and needs will come before our own, and many of us forget how important it is to set aside time for ourselves.
So what can be done about this? How can we stick to our resolutions beyond the first few weeks of January? Keep It Simple Stupid! Instead of a vague and easy to fail resolution, why not set small and achievable goals for ourselves? If your resolution is to get healthier for 2017 – lose weight or just feel better – set goals that you know you can reach. Start small and work your way up. If you want to lose weight, set a goal of two home-cooked and healthy meals a week. Start a Pinterest board of healthy and easy recipes. I don’t know about you all – but if it isn’t easy and quick, it isn’t happening. I am all about getting the most bang for my buck – and I mean both money and time. What about exercise? Who has time for that!? Well we do, my friend, we honestly do. Start small, what about a 20 minute walk a few times a week? I mean really, I know that I can speak for most of you when I say we probably spend more than 20 minutes a day scrolling through our Facebook news feed, right? Let’s be honest. I am guilty of the “no time” excuse too.
Moving beyond physical health. What if we are looking for more positivity in our lives? This one is technically one of the easiest things to achieve but for some reason it is the one that most people struggle with. Maintaining positivity is completely within our control but it can take some discipline. It also takes recognizing our own flaws in thinking. For some reason, it is easier to be negative than to be positive. It seems to be easier to blame fate or luck for misfortune instead of choosing to accept it and move on. Life is only as bad as you choose to see it! Some misfortunes in life are worse than others, but how we choose to react to them will in turn have a direct effect on how they affect us. CHOOSE to be positive, my friends! Life is better lived with a smile than a frown. So how do you start? Change your thoughts. Change the way you look at every day things. One of the things that made a big impact on my mental health was to choose to stop judging others. Don’t get me wrong, this takes time and a lot of practice, believe it or not. I also chose to stop letting the actions of strangers affect my mood. I do this when I am at the grocery store. Quick little background about me – I am not a fan of shopping. In fact I loathe it. It was easy for me to feel my stress levels rise when the check out lines are long or someone bumps into me without saying excuse me or apologizing. I chose to start seeing these things as less of a negative. Maybe the cashiers are training and that’s why the lines are long. I can always relate to what it is like to be new at a job. Maybe that person who stepped on my foot was in a hurry to get home and see their children. I can also relate to that because I am doing the same thing. Make little changes in your thoughts, but first learn to recognize negative thoughts and stop them in their tracks!
So do me a favor. If you made a big, bold, extravagant resolution for 2017 – join me in ditching it! Instead, set some small personal goals that you know you can reach, then watch how good it feels to reach them. Then, make those small goals into slightly larger goals. Increase the frequency, not because you have to for your resolution, because it truly feels good. Set time aside for you, because it is good for the soul and because you deserve it. All of you out there are heroes to someone, so treat yourselves as such,
Join me on my journey to health and wellness. This is my first of MANY entries. What is my intention here? I have just blabbed for paragraphs! I want to help you better yourself! I am on this journey as well, and as I find things that help me to achieve my small goals, I will share them here so that you can also reach yours. Let’s hack our lives and make them healthier, happier, and better-lived!