Do you make new year’s resolutions? If so, you are not alone. According to Dr. John Norcross, a clinical psychologist, about 40% of adults make resolutions. The success rates were as follows: 71 percent for two weeks, 64 percent for one month, and 46 percent for six months. Dr. Norcross has been studying behavior relating to resolutions for over 30 years and has now written a book: Changeology – 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions. I resolve to read this book before the end of 2013 (yes, I really do plan to get this book.).
The truth is, I don’t make new year’s resolutions anymore. I used to and they sounded like this:
- I will lose weight
- I will go to the gym 5 days a week
- I won’t buy any more bulk candy
- I will go to sleep by 11p every night
- …and so on, and so on.
Essentially, I tried to create a “perfect” me. I was going to be thin, feel great and achieve the work-life balance that I thought everyone else but me enjoyed. This didn’t last, of course, and then I’d feel sorry for myself and feel like a failure. Now I understand that it’s more about believing in my dreams, setting attainable, yet stretch, goals and then determining a plan of action.
I didn’t plan to write about making new year’s resolutions but then I read my friend and colleague Beatrice Johnston‘s blog and found a list of resolutions I liked.
This list reads as follows:
- Incorporate a healthy meal plan; try to eat more food that is real and lesser things that are processed.
- Try to read more books.
- Keep yourself organized.
- Try to spend some time doing some form of physical activity.
- Try watching lesser TV, or rather those entertainment programs which have no educational value.
- Try to manage your budget.
- Try to be more Eco-conscious and incorporate some Eco-friendly habits in your lifestyle.
- Organize your computer.
- Try to become more involved in cultural activities.
- Try to volunteer for causes.
When I first saw the above list, No. 1 caught my attention because it said ‘incorporate a healthy meal plan’ and not words about starting a diet. Eating nutritious food is the cornerstone of our health and well-being. Going on a diet implies restriction and deprivation. Eating healthily and the right foods for your body means you won’t need a diet.
What I didn’t like about these resolutions is the use of the word try. To me, trying means you are giving yourself an out to not take committed action. I prefer to use the term “working on” as in I’m working on spending time engaged in physical activity. “Working on” means you are involved in the activity. You may not be getting to the gym seven days a week, but you are probably working out more than in the past. If you are working on managing your budget, you are taking steps to organize your finances more thoroughly than you have previously.
Here’s to a healthy, happy, fulfilled and abundant 2013! What will you work on this year?