Every year around December we all start thinking about the New Yearís Resolutions we will be making on January 1st. At the top of the list are dieting, exercising, quitting smoking and organizing. Then we also remember the resolutions we didnít keep: Dieting, exercising, quitting smoking and organizing. Every year we get another chance and most importantly we can postpone the latest version of our transformation until the actual New Year - usually about a month away. Donít we all realize by now that we wonít keep these resolutions either?
The analogy comes to mind that so many diet books have lined the shelves throughout the years, yet Americans, both adults and children, are more obese than ever. Deprivation never works. We all want a quick fix, an easy tip, a genie in a bottle - in short immediate gratification. Making New Yearís Resolutions fits this easy mindset.
Why do we then make promises we donít keep and why canít we keep them?
- We set too many lofty goals. Besides, who can deal with a long to do list?
- We give our goals a time limit. This time frame contributes pressure and anxiety, so we avoid initiation. After all, if I donít try, I canít fail!
- Most resolutions are about discovering why we act the way we do; according to Carl Jung the hardest person to confront is the self.
- Most resolutions relate to our personal needs and usually we take care of others first and donít make time for ourselves.
- We think in terms of a rigid plan and if an obstacle comes our way, we canít change our initial plan and regroup; we just give up.
We need to find our own delicate balance about ridding ourselves of stress. Everyone has a personal, private and effective method. The key is motivation here and now not tomorrow. Let us make it easy on ourselves to shed stress in an easy, liquid way. Cut the shackles that bind us to doubt, negativity and perfection. Emerge into the company of positive people, positive writing and positive thinking. Here are some suggestions to help:
- Feel intuitive and act on your feelings. Feelings are more honest than thoughts.
- Live outside the box; come out of the cocoon. Cultivate and express your creativity. Rejoice in it.
- Live your authentic life even if you are a caregiver. Everyone has a right to live.
- Reinterpret a negative to a positive with compassion and love. Who knows what the truth is anyway. Feel free to use humor to reinterpret your life as a sitcom. Laughter is still the best medicine.
- Honor your physical being - exercise away stress and eat balanced meals. No deprivation, please! Forbidden foods caused us to be evicted from Paradise in the first place. Adam and Eve did a lot of walking in and out of Eden.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer at Southampton College. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WLIE 540AM in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com