New Year’s Resolutions… It is normal to want the new year to bring positive change. I keep referring to the “fresh canvas”, but it is appropriate. Ringing in a new year is brand new. It brings new hope, new opportunities, fresh starts. We almost can’t help but make resolutions, but we also almost can’t help breaking them. It’s always worked that way for me, so I think I can safely say that has been most everyone’s experience too.
Why do you think that is? Are the goals we set for ourselves too high? “I’m going to lose 60 lbs this year”. Are our goals too broad? “I’m going to get fit this year.” Are they the wrong kind of goals? Turning our perceived negatives into positives?
Statistic Brain Institute (http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/) names the top 5 2017 resolutions as:
- Lose weight/healthier eating (on my list)
- Life/self-improvements (on my list)
- Better financial decisions (on my list)
- Quit smoking (whew, don’t need that one!)
- Do more exciting things (on my list)
The site also says that 9.2% feel they were successful in achieving a 2016 resolution.
Only half the people who made resolutions in 2017 will keep them past the first month, while only 45% will make it past 6 months. (Those statistics are more favorable than I would have imagined.)
Finally, their survey shows that only 17% of the older adults (over 50) who make resolutions keep them, while 38% of those in their 20’s will reach their goals.
Why is this? I can’t begin to imagine. I know that we get set in our ways as we get older – does this reinforce the adage that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? I certainly hope not.
While I have admitted to incorporating some of the most popular goals into my intentions for 2017, they are part and parcel of other goals that are broader and more important.
I intent to make lifestyle changes. These are changes that I have thoughtfully considered. I have developed strategies in how to incorporate them into my daily life, and methods of measuring their success. They are positive goals rather than negative or punitive goals. I am not going to lose the 15 lbs I would love to lose, but I am going to improve my self-care by listening to my body and eating those things that make me feel physically better. I am redefining my coping mechanisms – praying, meditating, drinking really good tea (http://vicesandspices.net), and “golden milk”(http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/golden-milk.html ) instead of eating the refined foods that makes me feel truly terrible. Adapting to these small changes have been easy and have changed my relationship to food and diet. Pounds are already starting to drop off.
Ok, I will admit that this is still early on in the new year. I will keep you posted on my progress.
The whole point of this post is to encourage you – as I have encouraged myself – to not try to recreate myself. I am wonderful just the way I am, and you really are too! For me to continue to age with grace (and that IS my goal), I need to take care of myself. I need to make small, manageable changes to my lifestyle. I find that as the progress brings me small successes, more pleasure, and a whole lot less feelings of deprivation and really, just plain torture, I look forward to continuing on the path.
Let’s focus on cultivating happiness in our lives, joy in our surroundings, gratitude for what we have, and take care of the only physical body we are ever going to be given…