2014 is here and many of you have set new year’s resolutions. For the most part, I am not a fan of resolutions, because they are usually completely unrealistic OR they are ineffective because they are not specific enough.
Examples of unrealistic resolutions:
- I will not eat ______ this year. (“I’m not eating any more chips… ever”!).
- I will go to the gym everyday before work. (“I hate working out in that place… but I’m going to MAKE MYSELF!”).
- I will spend less money and get out of debt this year. (“I’m going to quit buying so much stuff”).
There is danger in setting unrealistic resolutions. These resolutions aren’t achievable. I take that back; they could be achieved, but would require a LOT of time and energy and expertise in order to succeed. Most people are not willing to put those kinds of resources into their resolutions and end up failing.
When resolutions aren’t met, the emotional consequences of failure are remembered and guilt builds up. Often, this failure can be the biggest barrier to reaching future goals.
By failing repeatedly, we begin to think that there’s something wrong with us. In reality, it’s REALLY HARD to change behaviors. It’s not that there’s something wrong with us, it’s that we have not put enough thought into choosing resolutions that are realistic.
Examples of ineffective resolutions:
- I will exercise more this year. (“I didn’t really exercise before, so that shouldn’t be too hard!”)
- I’m going to start cooking this year. (“I don’t really know how, but I guess I’ll figure it out.”)
- This year I will be more organized. (“I’ve got to get this place cleaned up… the house, the yard, the mail, my office…”.)
The problem with these resolutions is that they are far too vague! They won’t be achieved because there’s no way to measure if you’ve done it or not. This will leave you distracted and not focused on the things that you really want to achieve this coming year.
5 Healthy New Year Tips:
Since coming back to work this year, I have been sharing healthy lifestyle tips daily on facebook. Here are the tips shared to date:
- With a New Year brings new energy for a healthy life. Remember that
trying to make big changes all at once is not as successful as making
small changes over time. Here’s a small change to start with: Include 1 cup of fruit/veggie with your breakfast.
- Green tea is one of the best sources of catechins, a cancer fighting phytonutrient. There are 3 times more catechins in green tea than black tea. Brew a good quality green tea bag for 3 minutes and enjoy the warmth!
- Don’t waste your money on ‘energy drinks’ that leave you tired, sodas or ‘vitamin drinks’ that just fill you up with empty calories and added ingredients. Drink Water! It’s simple, it’s healthy and it’s cheap! [For a twist on your water, have hot tea or add some lemon or lime to it. Now THAT’s refreshing!! Take the challenge to only drink water for 2 weeks. You’ll be surprised with the difference it can make!]
- Take time to enjoy your food. You can accomplish this by not being distracted at mealtimes (no TV or driving). Enjoy each bite and take it slow!
- Research shows that the less amount of time you spend sitting, the healthier your body is. Set an alarm for remind you to get up and move every hour that you’re awake. Even a simple walk around the office, your house, or up and down a flight of stairs will help your muscles and brain to stay in shape and alert!
The Year of 2014
I am told that in Chinese, 2014 means ‘love you forever’. I hope you
find many ways to give and receive love to yourself and others this
Next time I will discuss how to set a realistic
resolution. Before doing that, it’s important to pick your priorities.
You cannot change everything at once, so pick no more than 3 specific
areas that you want to work on.
Happy New Year!