New Year’s resolutions may as well be called next year’s punishments. It’s one of the reasons we all binge eat and drink over the holidays. We try to squeeze in as many treats as we can before the ball drops. Then– we wake up the next morning, hungover from days of eggnog, meat, cheese and cookies. We dread our first bowl of Fiber One cereal in the new year.I tried to make New Year’s resolutions work for many years, but let’s face it: New Year’s resolutions just make all the bad stuff you hope to leave behind that much more prominent in your mind. While your holding your nose, swallowing your fiber, all you can think about is those left over Christmas cookies on top of your microwave. No, you haven’t thrown them out, because deep down inside you’ve always known that New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken.
What if resolutions became enrichments rather than self-defeating punishments? If these new year’s promises were promises we want to keep, perhaps we would be more likely to keep them.
5 New Year’s Resolutions You Will Want to Keep (and Have Nothing to Do with Your Weight)
1. Reward yourself more. Instead of constantly battling against the habit you wish to eliminate like emotional eating or losing your temper too quickly, resolve to reward yourself when you don’t partake in the habit. In other words, promise to practice positive reinforcement on your own development rather than negative reinforcement.
2. Do more of what you love. If you love biking through the neighborhood or gardening or even playing video games, prioritize these activities more. By doing more of what you love rather than focusing on what you should or shouldn’t do, you automatically increase your happiness and naturally distract yourself from those self-defeating thoughts and challenges.
3. Focus more on others. Yes, you, me, we all have our own problems to figure out, however, by focusing on how to help others problem solve, you step out of your victim-hood and into the self-fulfilling role of being useful and appreciated (which is always great for your self esteem!).
4. Count your blessings with every cup of coffee you drink in the morning. I recommend actually writing them down too. By recognizing the many small and large things to be thankful for in your life, such as having a cozy bed, a steady job or ripe strawberries in the fridge, the day becomes positive, and you become stronger.
5. Explore more. We all (myself included) tend to love our lifestyle bubbles. However, this can sometimes lead to feeling like you’re in a rut, or perhaps forgetting how lucky you really are to have a stable job or a nosey, loving family. Step out into another area of town you’ve never visited. Learn a new skill you thought you never could master. Join a volunteer group. Explore your own self, discover more.
Now go and have a happy new year!
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