To the Rezzies (Resolution crowd)
Today is January 21st. How are your resolutions going?
If you have a track record of sticking with your New Year’s resolutions and are STILL committed now, GREAT JOB!! You can quickly glance through the next few paragraphs. I don’t want to beat up on the rezzies who are doing well!
Let me give some insight into why I think most resolutions are garbage. I say “most” because some resolutions mean life or death. For instance, quitting smoking or entering substance abuse treatment are serious resolutions and they deserve a better label, in my opinion.
When I hear people say they make resolutions every New Year and usually don’t stick with them, I wonder what they look like around October and November. So are you a messy, junk-food eating, inactive, chain smoking mess? Making a lifestyle change once a year tells me you probably suck 6-8 months down the road. Who only changes ONCE a year? How do you survive the holiday season? (Don’t worry it gets easier as you keep reading)
Think of the last 5-10 years. Were you forced or motivated to change any other time than New Years? Did your doctor advise you to change your diet or reduce the amount of stress in your life? Were you physically active and an injury sidelined you? Maybe you learned new ways of getting activity despite your injury? Did family budgeting force you to spend less on Starbucks or online shopping?
People may blame fate, accidents or their Higher Power (Ouch) for forcing them to change their lifestyle. So when you consciously choose to make improvements and then slip backwards, do you ever choose to improve again? Or do you have to wait until you’re putting Christmas ornaments away? When addicts relapse on drugs or alcohol they are advised to return to their recovery as soon as possible. Of course, some addicts run with their relapse and they won’t stop until the courts or doctors intervene. How much damage can an addict or alcoholic create in their life if they only challenge themselves to sober up every January 1st? How much damage and wasted time do you create when you limit your improvements to ONCE a year?
We have a choice to change everyday. Isn’t that why parents place kids on time-out? Misbehaving children are asked to sit and think about making better choices. Be careful about asking others, even children, to do something you aren’t willing to do.
Basically, I’m asking you to take more time-outs throughout the year.
Fibromyalgia sometimes forces me into time-outs. If I make conscious changes to monitor my stress, physical health and FOCUS ON THESE then I won’t need a slap in the face from the Fibro monster (it’s a cute term but it’s really Godzilla-sized). I have to under-commit to activities or responsibilities outside of work or else I’d be cancelling all the time.
Consider dropping the word resolution. (I promise not to call you a rezzie anymore).
- Say that you’re making better choices now. Less pressure. Do what works.
- If your “resolution” doesn’t work then commit to revising this and making realistic, more manageable changes. Do what works. (I’ll keep repeating myself until it sticks).
- Do this throughout the year. I’m guessing that the holidays and New Years may be easier to navigate if you have been reviewing your work yearlong.
Use the word “improvements” instead of resolution, if that sounds more convincing.
How many time-outs did you need last year? How could you have benefitted from those? Would it have made a difference in setting this year’s “resolution”?
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