3…2…1 Happy New Year! Can you believe that it is 2017? I feel like I blinked and 2016 was over! Did you set your New Year’s Resolutions? I am still working on mine, but I am determined to have them finalized by the end of the day. A few years ago, my Aunt changed the way that I think about New Year’s Resolutions. While having a conversation with her, I asked her what her New Year’s Resolution was and she smiled and said that she didn’t make “resolutions.” I was surprised that one of the most interesting people that I know didn’t bother with resolutions. I had to know more. Upon further inquiry, she explained that most people fail at keeping their resolutions because they try to “take things away from themselves.” “For example,” she said, “A diet…A diet just sounds like deprivation, and who is going to stick with that?” She then explained that she changed her mind set to think of her “yearly change” as a fun new expansion of her comfort zone. She would decide on a change and keep it for the entire year and if she still liked the change at the end of the year, she would stick with it and if she did not like it at the end of the year, she would leave it behind the next year. I asked her for some examples and she explained that one year she decided to start painting her fingernails a funky color, another year she decided to wear a thumb ring for the entire year and yet another year she decided to eat “English Style” (with the knife in one hand and the fork in the other-which she said proved more troublesome than it was worth, so she ditched the trait at the end of the year).
As I listened to her, I realized that the idea of adding something new to yourself for the new year was not new or novel, but I hadn’t thought about the difference between the mindset of “taking something away” from yourself as a resolution versus “adding something to yourself” before she said this. The difference might seem small, but it is a big difference. It is the difference between setting a positive or negative resolution for yourself.
Ever since that conversation, I have set my “yearly change” goals for the new year with this mindset in mind. I usually choose fitness and health oriented goals unlike the zany and fun goals that my Aunt sets for herself (besides, everyone knows that I lack the coordination to ever attempt eating English-Style), but I keep them positive and realistic. I wish you success in setting forth on the positive changes you will make to yourself in 2017! May 2017 be your healthiest year yet.