New Year Resolutions, and How to Break Them
Many people, and who could blame them, have sworn off making any resolutions this year. We made a few last year, and well, we all know how that turned out.
Before we begin though, I’d like to congratulate you on making it through 2020. Happy new year! It was challenging to say the least, and for that you deserve recognition and well wishes.
Now, let’s make, or break some resolutions already.
New year resolution typically fall into three categories; health, wealth, and love. As a healthcare professional myself, I’m a little biased on the importance of the first, but I can relate to the other two all too well. When it comes to health, we resolve to lose weight, improve our eating habits, or as anyone who’s walked into a gym on January 2nd knows all too well, exercise more. On the financial front, some promise to spend less, others to save more, and many vie for a promotion, career change, or to start a new venture.
Then there’s the most challenging resolution of them all, relationships. Unless you’re resolving to love yourself more, (excluding narcissists, we all should) this is an all too complicated promise, or wishful thinking altogether. Why? Well, because it involves another person. We can barely control how we feel, let alone how someone else feels about us. So, let’s consider that resolution broken, focus on ourselves for now, and find love further down.
Lose weight, run a marathon, and look great
I always found it odd, going to a party, drinking and eating the night away, counting down the new year and sleeping in the early am hours, all while resolving to loose weight and eat better. Seems counterproductive, sure; this year might be an exception, with many choosing to stay home. Nonetheless, if you were drinking and dinning well into the new year, all is not lost, read on.
Goals are great, and by that logic, concrete goals might sound even better. Weight is something measurable and easy to track. But here’s a hypothetical scenario for you, what if, you’re improving your health, but the number on the scale isn’t moving? Would you become discouraged by that? What if you haven’t ran two miles in years, think you can run 26.22 miles in one shot?
Why not simplify all of this and resolve to improve your health? That’s it. Just one simple all encompassing goal, to become healthier. Sure, you’ll most likely lose weight, and probably look better, for yourself though, not because someone else is looking. You may even build enough stamina and endurance to consider a marathon. It all starts with improving health, increasingly achievable with small, simple steps. Here are two articles, one on diet, and another on running, I wrote in 2020 if you’re interested.
Make more money
Another common resolution has to do with increasing how much we earn, our overall wealth, or eliminating debt. You likely dropped some serious coin over the holidays, and now, you plan on making a complete 180 and righting course. Again, don’t let a bad week, or even month derail you. Here’s a different way to frame this goal, and some ideas to get you started.
Money is the end product, a reward for providing others with goods or services they deem valuable. Let’s start there, resolve to create value, and the money will inevitably come. Whether working in the corporate world, for yourself, or freelancing, focus on becoming more valuable. Do this by adding to your skillsets, cultivate relationships, increasing your knowledge, and share what you’ve learned. Doing this will inevitably increase your fortunes in the long run.
But, I need love!
I told you we’d get there and here we are. We can only control and be responsible for our own actions, feelings and emotions. And doing that is difficult enough. Unless you’ve cracked a code none of us have, or can channel the skills of Svengali, manipulating others, is a nonstarter. We have providence over ourselves, and that’s enough. We can listen and empathize. We can comfort and not pass judgement. We can be better friends or partners, improving ourselves, enhancing our connections with others.
Just as I mentioned in the previous resolution on making more money; by focusing on the fundamental, yourself, the peripheral, money, love, will be easier to attain.
You’ll have bad days or weeks, we all do, we’re human after all. Focus on the victories and build on them. One minute of exercise is better than none. Substitute fruits, nuts, or a serving of vegetables instead of potato chips or a candy bar as much as possible.
A marathon starts with one step, a retirement account with a few dollars, and great relationships with good friendships.
Here’s to a great 2021 and wishing you realize all those ambitious, or small resolutions you’ve set.