What is a Resolution?

What is a resolution?

A firm decision to do or not to do something

We all know how hard that can be! Our emotions really hinge on whether we are able to stand firm to stick to a resolution, we must re-confirm our resolve every day in order for the habit to stick. So here is a New Year's resolution anyone can keep: resolve not to make any... 

If you're trying to quit smoking, shed a few pounds, exercise more, drink more water, abandoning New Year's resolutions won't get you off the hook.  By setting more realistic goals for yourself and not limiting yourself to a once-a-year, do or die, all out assault on those flabby thighs, you may find that the finish line isn't so far away after all.  

Or as the Rolling Stones put it "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might get what you need."

So when the holiday decorations are packed up and stored away, the frustration of an unused gym membership or other reminders of failed resolutions can make the later winter months feel hopeless.

However, it is important to remember that New Years isn't meant to serve as a catalyst for sweeping character changes.  It is time for people to reflect on their past year's behavior and promise to make positive lifestyle changes.  Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on January 1st. can help you reach whatever it is you strive for. Recognizing that a lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.

By making your resolutions realistic, there is a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year,incorporating healthy behavior into your everyday life.  Here are some tips when thinking about a New Year's resolution.

START SMALL

Make resolutions that you think you can keep, if for example, your aim is to exercise more frequently, schedule three or four days a week at the studio instead of seven.  If you would like to eat healthier, try replacing dessert with something else you enjoy, like fruit or yogurt, instead of seeing your choices as a form of punishment.

CHANGE ONE BEHAVIOR AT A TIME

Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Thus, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires  time. Don't get overwhelmed and think that you  have to reassess everything in your life. Instead, work toward changing one thing at a time.

DON'T  BEAT YOURSELF UP

Perfection is unattainable.  Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and OK.  Don't give up completely because you ate a brownie and broke your diet, or skipped the gym for a week because you were busy.  Everyone has ups and downs; resolve to recover from  your mistakes and get back on track.

Develop Excellent habits!

As another year draws to a close, many of us are already thinking of the ways we can improve our lives in 2017.  Whether it to be to eat healthier, exercise more, spend less time online or save more money,there's a little fire that seems to ignite in each of us as we near the New Year,promising to kick old habits to the curb.

But the likely story is that most of us won't stick to our resolutions much past January.  The reason? We haven't made way for sustainable lifestyle changes that we actually enjoy! 

Instead, we end up working out for three weeks straight, buying expensive organic groceries we don't know what to do with, and deleting all social apps from out phones until that one great party that needed to be posted.  We over-commit without being prepared.

Instead we should be looking to these hobbies that will help rid us of bad habits.

1.  Eat healthier by learning to cook

If your goal is to eat healthier, you should pick up a cookbook and learn about food.  Cooking for yourself isn't about buying frozen chicken fingers and ramen noodles; if you learn about food and how to make it you'll end up making healthier choices at the grocery store.

And once you have some knowledge about cooking healthier meals, you could end up saving a lot of money, as well as your waistline!

2.  Exercise more: Don't go to a gym

Exercising at a gym requires an incredible amount of self-motivation, and it's the reason why many of us will get a membership that goes mostly unused.

The solution:  join a local studio instead.  Cycling, personal training, bootcamp, yoga- these often cost as much as a gym membership and are significantly more motivating to go to.  Why? For starters you don't have to be responsible for the workout - you just have to show up .  You instructor, trainer will push you from start to finish, and you don't have to wonder how long to run, how many reps to do, or it's your turn on the rower yet.

An even better benefit of a studio is that you could pick up a hobby you end up becoming very good at or interested in, like practicing yoga or distance cycling.

3.  Use social media less: read a book

The time we spend on the internet is often during our down time- moments that seem to be empty of things to do that we fill with mindless scroling. 

Sure we can go and unistall that one super distracting app, but chances are we'll sign up thumbing our way through the next best distraction on the internet - and we all know there's no shortage of those.  Instead research a good book you want to read, get it, and then commit to reading it.

4.  All of the above: Spend time outside

There is nothing quite like a brisk stroll through the city, by the waterside, or down a hiking trail.  Bad habits are often the result of laziness - that we do things because they're easy and accessibile.  But of we want to eat healthier, get more exercise, and spend less time online, finding something we like to do outdoors is a great way to achieve these goals.  

Whatever hobby you choose to adopt, adding an element of the outdoors is a great way to increase motivation and appreciation.  

Namaste Susan Moran