With the New Year comes a fresh start, a new you; a peculiar tradition if you think about it. We pick characteristics we don’t like about ourselvs or bad habits we’ve been doing for years and we become hell-bent on changing.
You tell yourself this is the year you finally kick that smoking habit to the curb. You will throw away the excuses for not going to the gym. You WILL ignore the Oreos and Twinkies. You WILL become more organized. Never again will you waste time.
We are now a couple weeks into 2012, have you already resorted back to smoking? Are you eating ice cream out of the tub with the scooper and telling yourself you will go to the gym tomorrow? Hmm that’s interesting.
Let’s recap. The New Year comes and resolutions are created. You follow your resolutions for a week or so, maybe even a month, then go back to old habits and finally you forget that you even made a resolution.
It’s time to right the ship. Get the little engine that could back on track. I think I can, I think I can.
And here’s how you will.
Create short-term, specific and attainable resolutions.
A common New Year’s resolution is losing weight; so that will be used as our example. This is a long-term goal. Although it is a good start, it is too general and not entirely in your control. You can’t wake up in the morning and decide you will lose your gut. But you can decide to go to the gym for 45 minutes today. So your New Year’s Resolution is going to the gym for 45 minutes a day for five days a week. Reasonable, specific and short term.
Tell people that you are around often what your New Year’s Resolution is.
If they catch you stuffing your face with junk or taking a nap instead of your mile-long walk, they can push you along. This way, you’re not only answering to yourself, but your peers as well. Make sure they hold you accountable.
You will make mistakes.
A third tip, a tip that is not to be abused, is to accept you’re human. We will always make mistakes. Forget the bump in the road and keep driving. Plan a “cheat day.” That chocolate cake is calling your name you simply cannot ignore the lonely sugar bread. Eat a piece, enjoy it and be disciplined the next day. You are not dieting; you are developing good habits for a healthy lifestyle. (An extra tip, your metabolism is working faster after strenuous exercise; so cheat after a workout).
And finally, I recommend an app called iDoneThis. It can help you develop healthy habits for yourself.
A statement on iDoneThis.com says, “The ever-helpful Zen Habits has great tips on building habits: make it enjoyable, commit to one habit at a time, and harness the power of a social network.”
Don’t forget this year’s resolutions and become the new you.
[box] Chris Eberhart is the Associate Editor of the Kaleidoscope Literary and Visual Arts Magazine for Iona College. He is freelance writer for the New Rochelle Patch and other publications, and is a double major in Mass Communications-Journalism and Criminal Justice at Iona, class of 2013.[/box]