Guest Author - Kathie LoMonaco
Yes, most of us want to turn over a new leaf when the New Year rolls around. It's a renewal - a new beginning - it makes you feel good. What we should keep in mind is that we can start small and build on our commitment (to ourselves). My resolution for the new year is to avoid throwing away leftovers or food that I have bought and never gotten around to cooking. In the past I have wasted way too much food and it does bother me - as it should. It's not only a waste of good food, but of money as well. As our parents have told us, "there are millions of hungry children in the world....." (and you are wasting good food).
This might seem like a small issue to some - but to me it's something that I should have tackled long before now.
It really is great for your morale to give yourself an incentive, something to motivate you. A goal is something you work towards - and once you reach it, it is a great confidence booster. Then, you can take another step and tackle the next item that's been bothering you - one that you've been avoiding.
The way I intend to stick with my plan is pretty simple - just by not buying as much food as I have in the past. I am only going to buy what I know I will use/cook within a few days. When that is gone, only then will l go out to the supermarket for more food. It's kind of like self-disciplining myself.
What is your plan? do you need some ideas or suggestions?
Keeping focused and on-track
Cleaning up clutter
Taking care of long-overdue chores around the house
Spending more time with children/loved ones
Eating / cooking healthy
Taking time to de-stress, relax (centering, meditation)
Allotting a certain amount of private time for yourself (pampering)
Renewing (old) friendships; making time for new ones
Get financial house in order
Why not start by making a list of what's been gnawing at you that you would like to tackle. Keep it handy/visible - maybe on the refrigerator door. You can use it as a reminder every day or as your journal. Check off things as you take care of them. Don't beat yourself up if it takes you longer to get each thing done than you would like. The positive approach is always the best one. Stay focused towards your goals, and pretty soon you will have all of them checked off as being done. It's such a good feeling!
If, for example, your resolution calls for 'spending more time with loved ones' - then, perhaps the best thing to do would be, if at all possible within your schedule, to set aside a certain time and day each week when it is earmarked especially for that purpose. Let's say Wednesday is a good day for you. As a rule of thumb, why not make it known that Wednesday afternoons is 'cheeseburger and a movie' time with your kids; or, if it's for your hubby - and you are able to hire a sitter - set aside Friday evenings when just you and your hubby go somewhere - a cozy cafe for a cappuccino; a movie, bowling, whatever you both agree would soothe your spirits and de-stress you. Make it a permanent part of your week. Or, if you prefer to stay at home - post a sign on the refrigerator that says "Friday night - Family night - Spaghetti Dinner - be here".
I would have loved to see something like that when I lived at home instead of each of my family always going in different directions all the time. I never remember my brother being home - and, when he was, it was gulp and run off with his friends as we got into our mid to late teens. There was no 'family' structure. Psychotherapists agree that when there is structure and discipline in families, it gives children a sense of security.
I used to play a game with myself as soon as I awoke each Saturday morning - which was usually cleaning day for me. I would tell myself - to go start the coffee pot - then, I would make a secret pact with myself that I would immediately vacuum the house - which would then earn me the right to sit down for my first cup of coffee and the morning newspaper. I would reward myself - which, in turn, gave me the impetus to tackle the next chore, and so on.
Staying motivated is the key to your success.
Make It Happen
You know yourself better than anyone else. You know what motivates you to do things - whether you want to do them, or not. Give yourself the gift of putting that carrot on a stick in front of you - keep moving, keep focused. It will reap such rewards for you - such a sense of accomplishment. You will find a strategy that works - and when you do, you will be able to apply that strategy to whatever your goal is - over and over again.
Once you find out through trial and error what works for you, there will be no stopping you!
I wish you good health, great joy and wonderful surprises in the coming year! Please feel free to drop me a line and let me know what your resolution is and how your game plan is going!