Thursday, December 22, 2011

Don't Make Resolutions

It's that time of year again folks, when the diet commercials run, and skinny actresses and models tell us to sign up for this, that or the other program that will help us look like them, and the time when people vow to quit smoking, get active, or lower their cholesterol, or even quit drinking. It's when we rethink our bad habits and what's missing in our life, and reevaulate what's important to us, and then, we make them. The List of Resolutions. Things we will do differently in the New Year.

Here's a novel concept though, this year, don't. Don't make resolutions that will be forgotten in a months's time, or with the first bite of a piece of cheesecake, or the first sip of a guilty pleasure beer, or puff of a "I'm not ready to quit cold turkey" cigarette. Don't make resolutions that you'll come across by mistake in 6 month's time and put a guilt trip on yourself because you got off track. I suggest instead, that you make changes.

It's tempting to look at your life and see what's missing, and then resolve to do more of it, or less of it as the case may be, but the problem probably isn't your desire to make that change, it's how you go about doing it. Whatever you want to change, you need to incorporate into your life so that it's as cemented in your brain that it's a part of your life, like the morning coffee, or feeding your child breakfast. And whatever you want out of your life, you need to do the same thing, but restructuring things so that it's no longer part of it.

This time last year, I was all about the resolutions, and trying to make sure that I lost the baby weight, got my body back, and that I would go on that inevitable search for "balance" (whatever that is, anyways), and after I had my appendix out and was not able to work out for months, and I ended up being a little more busy with the new baby than I had ever imagined, well, the guilt got laid on pretty thick, and those resolutions were out the door. My biggest mistake? That I thought I had to keep everything as it already was, PLUS incorporate the changes into my life. Days still lasted 24 hours though, and my responsibilities and hobbies were still there, so something had to give, and of course, it was going to be the new thing that I hadn't yet learned to incorporate into my life in something else's place.

So this year, I've got only two things on my list that I want to do differently in my life, and that's make more time for yoga, and time for writing. Something has to give though, right? So I examined my day, really examined it, and what did I find? The television. That was my culprit. It's on almost all the time, and it was sucking my attention away. When I could have been writing, or doing some yoga, the tv would almost always suck me in. So, I made a change. During meal times and Andrew's nap times I keep the tv on, but I switch the channel to a music channel, Galaxy it's called, and I pick something that will not distract - classical, opera, whatever suits my mood. It keeps up the background noise that I love having in the house (and that's so beneficial to making sure Andrew learns to sleep through noise) but it allows my attention to be focused elsewhere, mainly, on my writing, and my yoga.

In fact, it worked so well that before I knew it, I had gotten two full hours of writing in today, and I hadn't even looked at my blog. Love it! So remember, don't make resolutions, make changes. Take the time to reflect on your life and how you spend your day. Think about what you want more of, or less of, and then find a way to restructure your life so you can make that change. If you have to, schedule it in in your daytimer, and make sure you make it a priority, as much as eating, drinking, and sleeping.

Hope everyone's holidays are merry and bright, no matter what you celebrate!

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