Revisiting New Year’s Resolutions: Tips to Make Them Stick
If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to believe we are starring down February already.
Many of us faced the new year with gusto, determined to make this the year to lose that extra weight, reconnect with our spouse, get out of debt, get more organized, — as the calendar turned to 2012.
Takes more than gusto
Those with even the best of intentions though, find the road to better health and fitness, or crawling out from under mounds of debt, requires more than gusto and the promise of a fresh, new year.
In my private practice, as February breaths down our necks, I’m starting to hear a familiar theme with my clients. Many are sniffing failure, only 30 some days into 2012.
So, how can you set yourself up for success and salvage any lingering enthusiasm to get ‘er done this year?
Tips for success
Start by reframing the idea of “resolutions,” and instead, set an intention for the year. Make this the year of living a healthier lifestyle, or the year you liberate yourself from debt. “Intentions” don’t carry the same weight—pun intended, that “resolutions” do.
Next, once you’ve set your intention, set goals that are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
Keep in mind, to experience lasting change, go slowly.
Slow and steady
The success of small victories will fan the flames you’ll need to reach your ultimate goal. Embrace the adage, slow and steady wins the race. Clients that sprint out of New Year’s Eve often peter out before its time to find a Valentine.
For example, let’s take the popular goal of losing weight. Clients drenched in enthusiasm tell themselves things like, “Every day after work, I’m going to go to the gym,” or “I’m going to eat healthy from now on.” Sounds terrific—but if you haven’t graced the insides of a locker room since high school, or, have dined at the local hamburger joint, noshing on cheeseburgers and fries for the last ten years, the likelihood you’ll stick to either goal is slimmer than Dolly Parton’s waist.
Instead, tell yourself you will go to the gym twice a week, and feed off of the success of doing so before you add a third day. Or, tell yourself you will eat a healthy breakfast for two weeks and see how that goes. Once you’ve grown accustomed to a healthy protein shake, egg whites and fruit, set a goal for lunch.
Set yourself up for success by thinking big but setting small, specific, realistic, measurable, attainable and timely goals.
Before you know it, frost will be on the pumpkins and Santa Claus will be coming back to town and you—will be debt free or fitting back into your favorite pair of jeans.
We can no longer ignore that there is a host of reality television stars who are educating our kids.
I don’t like it and I’d prefer to bury my head in the sand like an ostrich. That tact however, will leave me starved for air and my nieces and nephews without the benefit of a moral and cultural counterpoint to the “GTL” (gym, tan, laundry) lifestyle.
I’m an aunt to forty nieces and nephews all by relation and many of them they love the “Jersey Shore.” Their facination with these pop-culture nitwits finds me reaching for my rosary beads. It’s gonna be a cold day in hell before I sit back and let these morally devoid characters corrupt my little darlings. So, what’s an auntie to do?
Here’s what I came up with. Read more
Several years ago, I made the difficult decision to leave my work at hospice as the coordinator of the children’s grief and loss program to go back into private practice and pursue some of my own life-long dreams. It was not a decision I made lightly.
My days were spent counseling and supporting families and their children who were dealing with life’s cruelest and most crushing blow–the death of a loved one. I listened as families shared their stories of crossing things off their bucket lists while time graciously offered them the opportunity.
The work changed my life but after several years of companioning grieving children and their families, I got to thinking: What are my own dreams? What if the end of my own life is approaching faster than I know?
For months and months I pondered, “What would I do?”
What I came up with is that I would go back into private practice and pursue my dream to be a… Read more
Happy New Year!
The end of January is fast approaching and for me, it can’t come soon enough.
While February is more attractive than January — it’s May, June and July I’m PINING away for.
As I write this post it is only seven degrees outside. Seven. Here on the east coast, that’s darn freezing. We can do temperatures in the twenties with moderate complaining but seven degrees brings out the Debbie Dower in just about everyone.
I hope your holidays were full of mason jar moments.Spending time with my family ranks numero uno on my list of things that make my heart burst with love and thank God, I got to do lots of it over the holidays.
Speaking of family, this year’s first post comes from my brother-in-law who is working in Afghanistan for a year. We were lucky he was able to make it home for the holidays and God willing he will be home safe and sound permanently July 1. Please remember him, our troops and all those working overseas in your thoughts and prayers.
After almost 48 hours of traveling and a week back on his base, my brother-in-law sent out an email and shared some beautiful insights about what this experience has taught him. With his permission, I’m sharing it here with you.
I hope your new year is off to a wonderful start. And now, What I’ve Learned from my brother-in-law.
I’ve learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. In time, all things must pass.
I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things: a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
I’ve learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.
I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life..’
I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back sometimes.
I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
I’ve learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch — holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
What have YOU learned?