The start of the New Year is a time for reflection on our lives, decisions, choices, and how we can improve in the future. This can spark the dreaded pressure of making and keeping “New Year’s Resolutions.” For some, this resolution process is a motivator. Let me know if you ever bump into that person. I would like to meet him or her! But for most us it is a set-up for failure. I think this is likely due to the way we view our “resolutions” or “change,” as I like to call it.
Every year millions of people resolve to “QUIT” something, usually unhealthy: smoking, drinking, losing weight…. However, very few ever fully commit, and they end up feeling discouraged and giving up.
There’s a quote that I love. I have written it on my bathroom mirror from time to time. It says,
“Do the same thing you’ve always done, and get the same result you’ve always gotten.”
This works for both the good things and the bad.
There are some things you want to continue doing if you’re getting the results you want. One reason I have my clients keep a daily food journal is so we can see what works, but the number one reason we keep these journals is so we can also see what does NOT work. If you seem to be struggling with the same resolution year after year, it may be your approach and not the resolution.
Change can be a scary thing causing stress, anxiety, moodiness, fear, doubt, depression…. However, it can also be exhilarating, exciting, new, fun, adventurous, and the best thing that ever happened in your life. It’s all in your attitude. How you decide to tackle the challenge you face (forced upon you or created by you) will determine your experience, success, and the outcome of your life.
There are two types of people: those who welcome change and those who avoid it like the stinky guy at the gym (we all have one!). I have always been the latter (not the stinky person), reveling in the routine and planning of life. As many of us do, I find comfort in the monotony of the day. However, I eventually find myself in a rut. Change is inevitable.
This was the case with me a year ago, I found myself in a massive rut; a rut in my relationships, work, fitness, and life in general it seemed. I was bored, exhausted, and unfulfilled. I knew I needed to spice things up and chase after a dream that I had been too scared to pursue. As I wrote my New Year’s Resolutions, I forced myself deep into the belly of change. It has been a welcomed and amazing journey, and it has been life changing. I got my spunk back as well as realizing one dream was not for me while another has come to fruition!
Now, I have a newfound attitude regarding change; embracing it head on when presented to me because I know what amazing and rewarding things can come from it. I may still fight a little at first, but then I take a deep breath and jump off into the challenge with both feet.
I challenge you to make this year’s resolution a positive one and set fear aside. Instead of quitting something, resolve to begin something new. For example; Take up a new sport or exercise class. Buy yourself a bicycle instead of a gym membership – you already know how to ride a bike, and it’s less intimidating for some than the gym at first. Take a cooking class. Not only are they fun, but you will learn the skills you need to help you with your nutrition goals. Join a book club, learn a language, or take a photography class. Not everything needs to be “health” related. As I’ve written in previous articles; “A truly healthy person is balanced in mind, body, and spirit.” By rewarding yourself, not only will you be more likely to keep your resolution, but you will also be an inspiration to others in their journey through change.
Work through your resolutions in your own way; just try to have a positive spin on it this year. See if the monster isn’t quite so scary, but actually fun! Have a happy and healthy New Year!