Happy New Year!

I thought it might be fun to think about some New Years’ resolutions that might be a little bit more unique and quirky. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of the same old same old : lose weight, change jobs, stop smoking, exercise, be more assertive and on and on. Let’s face it, if we were really interested in any of the aforementioned, we wouldn’t have to wait for January first to start. But hey, many of us like to procrastinate so the first of January has become a great target date for those who can seduce themselves into believing that the first of the year contains a magical catalyst for change. Good for you if it works, but the greatest challenge is sustainability. How about trying the following instead:  1.Try to avoid the “ignorantly self-important”, many of whom have realty shows and add nothing to our lives.  2. Stop trying to love yourself, it’s exhausting. Maybe just liking parts of yourself will do! 3. Don’t become obsessive about anything! It will only make you feel like a dart that’s always trying to hit the bull’s eye. 4. Try to accept that not getting what you want may just be a grand stroke of luck.  5. Don’t kid yourself into believing that just because something is liquid, it’s similar to drinking water. Frappuccinos, and mocha lattes have as many calories as a 16-ounce rib eye. 6. Stop suffering in advance. Wait until something really bad happens, and then suffer—instead of planning on it. 7. Get rid of the energy vampires. If somebody drains the life out of you whenever you talk to them…wear garlic around your neck and move on. 8. Don’t you think we should stop sharing so much information? Getting your teeth cleaned is a great thing, but we don’t need to share what they found in the process. 9. Make sure you choose comfortable clothing. Life is difficult enough without spending the day feeling like your clothes are out to kill you. 10. And finally don’t wait to have fun. Your chores will never be done. Instead of putting off the fun try to make it a part of whatever you’re doing. No one ever lay on their death bed lamenting the fact that they didn’t finish their “to do” list. Happy New Year!

Changing behaviors for the New Year

Every year at this time I am asked about what resolutions I intend to make for the new year.

I, like many of you, have promised myself that I “Must” change certain behaviors that are not indigenous to a happy, healthy life many times over the years. Unfortunately the word “must” imposes a boot camp mentality that feels like a forced march.

Changing our behavior is one of the hardest things we can choose to do. Our patterns are so ingrained that it takes a jackhammer to loosen them. Personal transformation isn’t concrete; rather, it’s a culmination of many smaller changes. You didn’t gain weight , become unfit, or get stressed out overnight. You did it over a period of time. Take that into consideration, and try to reverse the process in the same way you created the problem.

The 21st century has produced a plethora of marketing tools that promise the consumer fast and easy ways to change behaviors, and a lot of people have bought into it. But in order to have lasting results,” slow and easy” wins the race. One of the wisest ways to transition from where you are to where you want to be is to do it in baby steps. Every small step you take towards becoming healthier and more fit is one that leads you towards your goal. When you follow this mind-set, you’ll have a much greater chance of reaching your goals.

Here are five benefits to taking baby steps:

1. Make gradual changes to allow your underlying beliefs to shift with you. Remember everyone lives with thinking models that oppose one another. I call it “twisted Sister and the Fairy Godmother.” Your fairy godmother wants the best for you, but your twisted sister is always there to give you a good dose of fear and reasons why you shouldn’t rock the boat. But every small action you take encourages you to become stronger.

2. Take small steps to give the people around you a chance to adjust.

3. Don’t say too much about what your plans are for change. You don’t want people saying, “Oh I’ve heard that before”.

4. Make it a game. Becoming healthy and happy doesn’t have to become an internal war. Try to make it fun.

5. Don’t focus on past failures and what might not happen. It only creates more of the same. Write down what you want and how it will manifest a better life; see it in your mind’s eye; and practice, practice, practice. Eventually your behavior will catch up.
Most importantly enjoy the process.