New Year’s Resolutions – Sigh – Again

You’re going to exercise an hour a day, cut all fats and sweets from your diet, quit smoking and read Moby Dick straight through.

Actually, what you’ve done is set yourself up for failure and feelings of inadequacy. Far better to pare down your list or scrap it completely. New Year’s is a time for reflection and, perhaps, a resolution to make improvements in small steps, taken separately and not all at once.

Pick one desired change and focus on that instead of on an over-whelming list.

Think small! Exercise more by walking an extra block to and from work (or park farther away). Replace the morning doughnut with a small yogurt.

Enlist the help and support of others. This works especially well for a resolve to lose weight or quit smoking. If you can’t make weekly meetings, choose an on-line or phone based program. Ask friends and family for help.

Forgive yourself for slips. That one brownie is not the beginning of the end of your resolve nor is it the start of a 20 pound weight gain. It’s just one brownie. You’ll do better tomorrow.

Most of all reflect on the fact that you are human. Perhaps instead of resolving to improve yourself, you might find it better to resolve to help others or the planet. Volunteer an hour a week at an elder center or buy re-usable grocery bags.

And not everyone has read Moby Dick. I couldn’t get through it either.

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Mary Lou Bernardo, PhD, MSN

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