Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

I can remember being at a New Year's Eve party when I was in high school. I had my New Year's resolution all ready to go when the last gong struck at midnight. It was the one I always made: I was going to lose weight. Diet, strictly, until I finally looked good. No goofing off: this was my year to do it. But, I still had time before the ball on Times Square fell. Until then, I stuffed my face with Lays chips and sour cream and onion dip. I mean, after midnight, that stuff would be no more. I ate crackers, cheese-- all sorts of nibblies that would soon be forbidden. Then, it happened. The last gong sounded. The diet was on! But the party was still going on, and I was so tired, and other people were still eating. I did it. I ate another chip. It was all over. I destroyed my entire resolution for that whole year. That fresh, new opportunity was gone. I was a failure once again. So, what the heck? I kept on eating...until next year...

Every year I
tried to set a New Year's resolution: I resolved to lose weight. I always failed. In retrospect, I know I was trying to lose weight because it was the time I was supposed to do it: everyone made New Year's resolutions. I think I may have been resolving to lose weight for the calendar, in a way, but certainly not starting then because I was ready to do it for me.

As you face the new year tomorrow, think before you make a resolution to make those big, dramatic health change promises to yourself. If you can make the resolution with the understanding that becoming healthier is a goal that requires traveling a path with lots of bumps along the way, and you know in your heart that this is goal is for you, not for the calendar, that's great! Set up your resolution and reach for it! Accept slips as you learn your new healthier habits.

But, if you know that your idea of a resolution is an all-or-nothing/do or die approach, or you know you are doing it solely because of the calendar, don't even go there. You are setting yourself up for failure. Love yourself enough to know what your real intentions are. To succeed in reaching any health goal, you have to be willing to endure ups and downs in changing your behavior: learning to forgive yourself is a critical part of this process. You aren't ready yet for a big sweeping goal. Just start, one day at at time, making small changes in your behaviors that will result in changing your long term health habits. One small step at a time. Keep on kicking, don't every give up! (See the Frog blog post :) I, unfortunately, took many, many years to learn this key to my own healthy success.

To Your Health in the New Year and Always!


  1. Hi Friend - This post is so helpful, because I am ready to start Monday to get my healthy eating and exercising back on track. I just heard something on the radio that immediately helped me out. Someone was talking about turning schoolwork in, if it was only going to get a B or C, they wouldn't turn it in. I realized that I need to commit to my plan regardless if it means I wouldn't get an "A" - I just need to keep at it!! Happy New Year!!

  2. This is great advice as we start a New Year and I am so ready to start this New Year for a new me! This year 2010 I'll didicate myself to my weight loss journey. Thanks for all your help.
    I C C F!! I'm writting this on my tracker. I remember when you shared this with us.
    Happy New Year!!

  3. I love the analogy with school work, Linda! We absolutely have to keep working at it even if we are doing B, C or even D work. Don't worry about ever getting an F because when we keep on trying, failure is not an option. We can still aim for the A's--doing our best with healthy eating and exercise--but we have to keep working and turning in all our work. That's what it's really all about. Great stuff!

    ICCF, for those of you who may want to know, stands for I Can Control Food. It's one of those wonderful affirmations that can help those of us who tend to lose it at times. Good reminder, Pat! ICCF, and so can you!


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