Resolutions That Fit Your Life Rather Than Upend It

New Year ResolutionsResolutions are often no more than this: re-solving the same problem we can’t seem to get rid of. “This year” you say with emphasis, “this is THE year it gets handled.”

Why? Why will this year be different?

If you insist on making resolutions, here are a few things to consider.

Resolutions start with a declaration. They are a great first step but often come in the form of absolutes; all-or-nothings.

What doesn’t follow is the Decision to burn the bridges and make shit happen. How shit happens is we make it happen by following a plan.

But first, must take stock of who we are and what our life looks like. Where will this declared intent fit in?

Yes, the New Year is a good time to start fresh, to create new habits, and to make plans for all aspects of our lives, starting with our health and business. And I’m all for plans, but with a caveat. Plan in a way that makes sense for your life. Then leave your attachment to that plan at the door because life does not fall perfectly in line with our plans, does it?

This year prepare for that.

People and animals will get sick and need us. We will be forced to eat airport food when our plane is delayed, or hospital food when siting with a sick friend or child. Our plans to walk every day will be stolen from us by bad weather, creaky joints, a bad night’s sleep, or any number of other real life situations.

This year, how about you set some goals and plan some new habits within the context of your life?

If you are an all-or-nothing person, this will be hard for you.

Have you ever noticed that “all or nothing” often leads to nothing, more often than to all?

What if — and I know this is a big IF — your resolution is to prioritize say, your health, your strength, and your self care in and around your real life?

What if you didn’t need another all-or-nothing program?

What if you could achieve your health goals and enjoy your food rather than declaring “No more sugar?”

What if moving your body throughout the day and making the most of what you already do — like bending, walking, carrying stuff — could add strength to your muscles, rather than declaring “I will work out for 60 minutes 5 times per week?”

Maybe removing all sugar and going for superwoman workouts is the best way for you to achieve what you want. Then do that, but have an awareness of what your saboteurs are, then plan for them.

Either approach will work. What makes the difference are the following 5 keys:

  1. Be here next year. 14-day detoxes or 3-month programs are fine, but then what? A commitment to prioritize you and your health goals means now and forevermore, day in and day out.
  1. Be flexible. If you can’t get out to exercise, what can you do in the house? And before you say “I don’t have any equipment,” equipment isn’t needed if you can dance, bounce, squat, jump with an imaginary rope, and more.
  1. Eat clean, make protein and plants your best friends. This includes adjusting portions and kinds of plants and protein to give you exactly what you need — no more, no less — for the kind of life you lead. And knowing how to adjust for those days that are not like the others; travel, hospital visits, recovery from an injury, training for a race, and so on.
  1. Don’t know where to begin? Begin with what hurts the most. Not literally gives you pain — although that might be the starting place for you — but mentally bugs you the most, emotionally robs you of loving yourself the most.
  1. Start there, where it hurts or aggrieves you. Learn what will alleviate that and take action on that one thing. We most always get benefits in all areas of life/health when we take on one.

There is more to this story, but it’s the concept I want you to grasp. Resolve to make you a priority, come what may. Yes, take a class, buy a book, join a group of like-minded changers lead by an expert you trust. Your choice should stretch you but not feel like a burden, or you will quit.

This year, choose the things that add health to your messy, busy, exciting, exhausting, unpredictable life while it’s all happening. You don’t achieve health, weight loss, or any goal by going on and off a program.

The only program is life. And the only resolution worth making is one that starts now and ends never: “I commit to my health, self-love, and my experience of life on my terms.”

That’s a resolution I can get behind.

Comment 1

  1. Susan
    January 26, 2017

    Hello! I just found your blog. This article is so thoughtful! For me, all-or-nothing thinking has usually meant “nothing.” Working on doing a few things differently this year – small-mini challenges instead of big, looming Resolutions. For instance, switching from drinking sugary chai tea to green tea on weekday mornings – saving calories and cents. Saving chai tea for Saturday coffee dates with my husband. Thanks for your encouragement!

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