New Years resolutions should be banished from our lists of things to do on New Years Eve. It is a tradition that dates back to 153 BC but only 8% of people making resolutions succeed. This means that we are simply setting ourselves up for failure, which can have a lot of self-sabotaging results in the end.
The diet and exercise industry depend highly on your resolutions. They are projecting billions of dollars in profit in the first quarter of every year. Like Christmas in retail, this is the time for them to shine. As I watch the Christmas decoration prices drop to 50% off and Valentines Day items start to arrive, the work out equipment and clothing is front and center of most retail outlets. This is sending messages to every person that their New Years needs to begin with self image. In a recent poll, the top three resolutions tie at 37% of the people polled. They list as Eat Better, Exercise More, and Spend Less Money. These are excellent resolutions if we don’t take them too seriously. If we are to choose fresh, live foods and try to stay away from processed food more, this is obviously a smart, healthy thing to do. If we are to get out for more walks, and do some morning stretches or some Yoga after a stressful day at work, this is a great way to exercise more. If we are to go extreme and buy into the new diet fads of pills and shakes and processed diet food, and then rush down to the local gym and lay down an annual fee, we will definitely fail, not to mention cross off the third resolution on our list of saving money.
The fourth most popular New Years resolution is self care or to enjoy life to the fullest, depending on which poll you read. Excellent resolutions, in my opinion. These should be number one. It should be the only ones. I truly believe that if we are to accomplish any of the resolutions we set for ourselves we only need to concentrate on taking care of ourselves. To focus on what makes us happy and to follow our bliss. The rest will fall into place. If we wake up everyday grateful for the small things in our lives like the sleep we just had, the bed we are trying to get out of, the roof over our head and even the dawn of a new day, we are already setting ourselves up for an amazing year. Throughout the day as we go through our motions of trying to earn a living and tending to the needs of our families, and taking care of our responsibilities, we must look for some moments to be thankful for. Having a job, having a family to care for, having places to go and to be needed are some of the things to be grateful for. We can even focus on the smaller things like the bus driver that got us to work or school, the fellow that held open the door, the lady that said good morning to us, or even the person you noticed smiling at something they were reading, or laughing with a friend on the phone. As we look around us and notice the little gifts in life, it fills our hearts with joy, our souls with love, and our thoughts are always positive. These are the moments that create all the things we are trying to accomplish with our New Years resolutions.
It appears to me that the more we concentrate on finding Joy in those small moments throughout the day, the more we naturally want to take care or ourselves. The more we take care of ourselves, the more we want to eat better, exercise more and save money. So, it would seem, that the number one New Years Resolution, if you must have one, is simply to enjoy life to the fullest by taking care of ourselves.
Best wishes to all in 2018. I know this will be a year to remember.