New year’s Resolutions – Making them Mindful
Unfortunately, New Year’s Resolutions are often made flippantly – maybe we really do have
the best intentions, but no plan goes into integrating them into our busy lifestyle. Let’s face it – we are all masters of resistance to change. Change can very often be good. Personal growth comes from change.
Now is the accepted time to make your annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. ~ Mark Twain
We all know what a new year’s resolution is – but let’s first talk about mindfulness – I think its become more of a cliche – rather than appreciating it for its full worth – kind of an oxymoron.
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. Focusing on this moment or topic, pushing aside other distractive thoughts. When we’re mindful, we observe our thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting our life pass us by, mindfulness means living in that moment learning and awakening to experience. In our world of priding ourselves on multitasking – mindfulness, focus and most of all planning are tossed aside.
Only 8% of people who make resolutions attain their goal and 24% of people who make resolutions year after year never reach their goals. So this year – let’s be our own anomaly – impress ourselves – and come up with a systematic plan – rather than flying by the seat of our pants.
For that decision to become a reality, it requires us to develop a series of habits, activities and supporting behaviors that become second nature to us, and that will keep us moving in the direction of the goal.
1) Reality: we need to make them realistic – please no “I will learn to hate eating chocolate” or “I will lose 30 pounds by March.” So please make new year’s resolutions realistic, sustainable goals. No setting ourselves up for failure. Write out your plan – make sure it is realistic.
2) Choosing Our Best Support System: I believe one of the most important of all is choosing carefully who we invest our time with. Example: Say we are really serious about quitting smoking this year. We know being around those who smoke is going to make it more difficult – for many reasons. Very often those people will try and talk us out of our resolution, as it makes them feel less guilty. Don’t go there. But share your new year’s resolution with people you know will support you, not lecture you, and cheer on your successes.
3) Ritualize: Psychology tells us on average it takes 2 months to form a new habit – of course this will fluctuate. Example: Let’s say we want to be physically active every day.. OK fine – we might not make it to that run, or the gym every day – but on those days we do not have a “workout” find something else to keep you in the activity mindset. March in place standing at your desk, work with a resistance band while sitting down – pay respect to that resolution in some way every day, even if the activity isn’t for as long or as intense.
4) Expect to Hone Your New Year’s Resolutions: No my way or the highway – you might have to hone and modify your goal. In the modification – add a timeline – how each month we can add a little something to fully reach or exceed the goal.
5) Inventory your Life: Take a good hard look at your life – what time zappers we can eliminate. No hoarding – clean up any clutter – emotional or material in your life.
6) Track and measure progress: It is well known and accepted that people who keep food and/or exercise journals have far more success with their goals. If the behaviour is worthy of a mindful resolution – it is worth tracking. Adding a section to your daily calendar – an app – whatever will be the most accessible for you to commit to.
7) Word Your New Year’s resolutions is a positive way: Design it as something you really want to achieve – not another miserable task you know you should do.
8) Add a Monetary Commitment: aka put your money where your mouth is. If you want to get in shape – hire a trainer – don’t just get a gym membership or an exercise machine at home. You know what the number one use of the home treadmill is? Hanging laundry. A trainer will keep you dedicated to your resolution, hopefully be fun and help you really love your resolution and want to continue.
9) Make New Year’s Resolutions You Actually Want to Achieve: Only commit to a New Year’s resolution if it is something you want to do – not because you should do it. If it is something you should do – you first need to analyze it – and turn it into something that you mindfully – feel the worth and value outcome of the commitment. Change your mindset.
10) Identify Rewards: How do you know – how will you recognize you are achieving this goal? Will you feel physiological rewards? Example: Quitting smoking: focus on the reward of getting rid of the smoker’s cough, the self pride, visualize your lungs healing. Get those pictures of the smokers vs. non smokers lungs. Look up all those steps about how your body recovers from 1 day without a cigarette to 1 year and beyond. Add the mindfulness – know the rewards, track them, pat yourself on the back.
A healthy, happy 2017 all of us. Let’s remember, keeping healthy requires a mindful commitment, it does not just happen. May we become more mindful about ourselves, and the world around us. May we achieve all of our mindful New Year’s resolutions.
Shira Litwack – founder Best In Health Radio & proudly speaker at the International Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Summit December 2016:
Corporate Health Programs – What an Incredible Way to Make the World A Healthier Happier Place…..so we make them affordable to EVERYONE……Shira@BestInHealthRadio.com
Shira Litwack, Medical fitness professional |Cancer Exercise Specialist|Personal & Corporate Health Coach | Fitness For Disease Recovery| Industry Expert Cancer Exercise| Health and Fitness Professionals’ Educator
Director of International Relations Cancer Exercise Training Institute Master Trainer
Radio talk show host/Guest/Producer Health & Fitness Radio
BSc Psychology & Chemistry| Medical Exercise Specialist|Holistic Nutrition| Addiction Recovery|Total of 18 exercise designations
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