New Year’s Resolutions

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:

  1. Lose weight/healthier eating  (on my list)
  2. Life/self-improvements (on my list)
  3. Better financial decisions (on my list)
  4. Quit smoking  (whew, don’t need that one!)
  5. 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…

Be well!

Continue Reading

2016

Even though I look back every year with amazement, gratitude, some sadness, and lots of smiles, this year seems more significant than some.  A lot happened to everyone this year.  People lost loved ones, celebrated births, reached personal and professional milestones, celebrated and mourned losses in life, and wins and losses in politics.  Yep, it’s been a full 2016, hasn’t it?

For me, it has been a year of rich personal growth and peace.  The mundane parts of life, such as moving again, the loss of my father, adjusting to a retired life that is busier than when I was working, working on my book, Navigating Your Hospital Stay, has been approached with mostly calm and positivity, thanks in part to the support of loving family and friends.

I also attribute a great deal of the profound abundance I was able to experience this past year to a program I undertook called “YQ” (for “you quotient”).  As you all know I still consider myself a “new” widow, with Bruce being gone 2 years now.  I still grieve his passing every day – and probably always will – but his passing left me with a blank canvas on which to paint this next stage of my life.  How cool is this?

Yes, it is cool, but it was also daunting.  In many ways, being a nurse, caregiver, friend, and wife had focused me so “outward”, that I had lost my own voice.  I needed to find again the things that filled me with passion and brought me joy – to add color to my canvas.  I doubled my prayer efforts and Michael Cavotta and Jen Margolis appeared on my path.  Michael is the creator of YQ, and Jen (beautiful Jen), is his co-facilitator.  They took me back to my core, the me that was the best and most true.  They supported my spiritual beliefs, they helped me clear away years of debris that accumulated and obscured that “authentic” self.  Jen and Michael worked with me to find ways to incorporate those things that made me feel joyful and alive into my daily life so I could always (well, almost always) stay and interact with the world as the authentic me.  I cannot thank Michael and Jen and YQ enough.  As you can tell, YQ factored heavily in my 2016!  I would encourage anyone who wants clarity, richness, and authenticity to be a part of their daily life to check out this program!  Google Michael.

I know a part of our nation’s citizens have allowed politics to rob them of their hope for the future of our country.  Our current First Lady said that after the election, people knew what it felt like to not have hope.  While that may be true for some, it is certainly not true for me.  I have hope.  I always have hope.

My wish for you all in 2017 is that you review your values, that you act on what you believe in a peaceful, meaningful way.  That you seek to care for those needy in your community.  This is where change starts.  That you worship in whatever way you choose.  That you realize you are a small part of something much larger.  That you embrace tolerance and not divisiveness, and that you seek out the many ways divisiveness is disguised.  I wish for peace in your hearts, so you can spread that peace outward.  I love you all.   Happy 2017 – 365 new opportunities for change!

Love, Robin

Continue Reading