Happy New Year!
It’s that time of year, again. If you’ve had trouble reaching your New Year’s resolutions in the past (and who hasn’t), here are two suggestions that some other people have found helpful.
The first is one that was discussed on a bit on NPR recently. A study found that those who were trying to lose weight (ah – that old bugaboo again), while taking mindfulness classes, or were practicing mindfulness, lost 5 pounds more than those who didn’t. Mindfulness makes you more aware, and helps you live in the present. You become more aware of what you’re doing and feeling. It also makes you more aware of what you’re putting in your mouth as well, but in an accepting way, rather than a guilt-ridden way.
If you’re trying to quit smoking, try adding a healthy mind-body practice, or even just a healthy body exercise, like jogging or working out. As it turns out, becoming more aware of your body habits also reinforces your awareness of your body when you smoke. Both are health related, and reinforce one another.
The second suggestion is to be aware of what it is that you’re actually trying to do. A woman recently wrote an article in the NY Times saying she wanted to cure her habit of procrastinating when she had an article to write. She was always leaving it until the last minute. However, when she tried sitting down at the computer sooner, she discovered she couldn’t wrap her head around the article, and could only hunt and peck her way through it. Ultimately, it took her much longer to write the piece than if she had written it at the last minute. What she discovered was that she needed to be up against that deadline, as a motivator. The moral of the story is that you need to know your own internal workings – what works for you and what doesn’t inside, before you jump in and set goals for yourself that you may not really want or like. If that’s the case, then modify your goal so that it takes into account all your personal preferences, and adjust it accordingly. If you’re still having trouble, drill down and find out what the underlying issue might be.
Both of these suggestions can increase your chances of success, and keep you from getting into the guilt-trap that so often accompanies our New Year resolutions. Good luck and Happy New Year to all!