New Year’s Resolutions
A few thoughts…
It’s New Year’s again, that time when many of us take a good look at ourselves and reflect on the year that’s just passed. Depending on what you see, you may be inspired to make a few New Year’s resolutions, promises to yourself that next year when you’ll do better. It’s a tradition that’s been around for a very long time. The earliest record of New Year’s resolutions goes all the way back to the ancient Babylonians, 4000 years ago. But oddly enough, despite thousands of years of practice, most of us have yet to learn how to keep the resolutions we make. Think about it. Over the years, what percent of resolutions have you succeeded in keeping?
The way I see it there are two distinct types of resolutions, reactionary and proactive. We can promise ourselves that we are going to lose weight because we are angry or feel guilty about having pigged out between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But if we rely on these powerful negative feelings to sustain us our resolve will quickly fade as the anger and guilt inevitably subside. But if our resolution to lose weight springs from an honest desire to improve ourself our resolve will be much stronger.
A few years ago at Christmas time I heard a practitioner say that people make New Year’s resolutions in an attempt to reach their ultimate potential. He said that a persons ability to keep a resolution was a direct result of their willingness to recognize and remove any resistance that may exist between themselves and reaching that potential. He went on to say that if we allow ourselves to get quiet at New Year’s and reflect on where we want to be in in our lives we can actually hear and be guided by an inner voice. But that usually requires coming face-to-face with old fears and resistances that most of us would just as soon avoid. So, according to this preacher, we distract ourselves at New Year’s with noisy, crowded holiday get-togethers that make it impossible to hear that voice.
Maybe that’s a little esoteric, but there is some truth in it. I think the problem with most of us is we’re just too ambitious and make impractical resolutions that are doomed to fail. As I see it, the trick is to start small with something we can accomplish fairly easily. Before making one, we should consider what the logistical consequences of a real resolution are. What will we have to do to keep it? What things will we have to give up? Are we just being reactionary or does this resolution reflect a more positive proactive attitude?
Make a list of all the things you eat or do that don’t serve your good health. Ask yourself which of these you can easily do without and get rid of those. Things that are more difficult to eliminate can be reduced a little at a time. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions you might want to consider. This year I will shop in natural health food stores. This year I will find an enjoyable form of exercise that I can look forward to. This year I will find a balance between work and play. This year I will only eat when I am hungry. This year I will chew.
Sam Rose, CN MS is a Certified Nutritionist practicing in Santa Monica, CA.
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