October 18, 2017

Be smart about your resolutions

Posted

With the new year comes the inevitable flurry of New Year’s resolutions. With the noblest intentions, many set what prove to be the loftiest goals. This year, let’s be smart about our goals.

Change can be good, and the fact that we recognize that our lives needs some sort of tweaking is laudable. Each of us, if we examined ourselves, could find something to improve upon.

But it may not be enough to put these ambitions into resolutions. It may not even be enough to physically write down a list.

Change for the better is a daily struggle, something we have to stay on top of constantly, throughout the year. And there will be days when we just don’t want to care, or when we’ll want to “cheat.” It may be OK to treat yourself and have that doughnut, but if you are cheating six days out of seven, things may not be going so well.

We have to care. Many of us cared enough to make resolutions, so let’s care enough to do something about them. There’s a reason we wanted to make this change in our lives. Let’s keep that reason with us.

Because we’re going to get distracted and discouraged. A goal to save money may be thrown off course by a huge, unexpected car repair or medical bill. That’s OK. Dust yourself off and keep going. If you get busy and those sit-ups go by the wayside, be creative and find a way to remind yourself daily. Chances are you can find time, if you look for it.

And don’t be afraid to ask for help. It may be that someone else wants to make the same change as you. A “resolution buddy” can keep you more accountable, work together with you and encourage you along the way.

Remember, change is not going to happen overnight, and the best goal may be a small one. Work in increments. Many fail at their goals because they are too dramatic and life-altering. Setting forward to improve your diet is always a wise decision. However, the complete removal of carbohydrates, sugars or fats may not be.

Moderation is essential in life, and almost anything becomes unhealthy when it is pushed to excess. A bowl of oatmeal is healthy, but changing every meal to a bowl of oatmeal is unwise and will leave your body nutritionally starved. Volunteering is an important and noble cause. However, quitting your job to become a volunteer would likely end with losing your home unless you have a substantial amount of money tucked away.

Don’t set yourself up for failure. Set a small goal and reach it. It will give you a boost of self-confidence and encouragement, enough to start reaching for the next goal.

Making improvements in our lives is something we should all set out to do, but it isn’t necessary to only do so as we close the book on the previous year. If you find yourself struggling with a problem midyear, set a goal for change then.

When it comes to becoming a better person, no time is better than the present.

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