WHAT’S A RESOLUTION, ANYWAY?
A resolution, a commitment, a promise to do something better, to improve oneself, of to improve the lives of others.
Typically, we spend more time reflecting upon them, pondering our goals, and declaring our vows, than we do in keeping them. According to some studies, we are terrible at keeping our resolutions. Exercising our willpower is doggone difficult! Training our brain to follow a list (often long) which is foreign to our nature and our current stasis – is uncomfortable.
Nonetheless, people around the world take the plunge and make the pledge. We announce our resolve to change our ways on January 1 of every year!
The TOP TEN RESOLUTIONS made every year:
10. Learn something new.
9. Get organized.
8. Volunteer to help others.
7. Get out of debt.
6. Spend more time with family.
5. Learn to relax.
4. Quit drinking.
3. Quit smoking.
2. Get fit.
1. Lose weight.
Many researchers suggest that sharing your resolutions with another helps your success rate. Peer support – whether a partnership with a spouse or a friend, or participating in a group – not only is more fun but offers accountability when working toward your goals. Programs such as The Biggest Loser, Alcoholics Anonymous, Weight Watchers, etc., have proven success rates for people who share their stories, their struggles, and their successes.
The main thing to keep in mind when you engage in the setting of goals is to make sure that they are attainable. Set small, measurable goals and design a method of charting your progress. Use a chart, or an app, to keep track of your successes!
This year I vow to focus less on what I resolve to QUIT, and more on what I pledge to START! Some years ago, I started a BUCKET LIST. I found it this morning. And although I can check a few things off that I have done, there are still some great ideas for a new PLAN of RESOLVE. So instead of the typical “New Year’s Resolutions”, I am drawing from my BUCKET LIST.
MY TOP FIVE GOALS for 2014
5. I resolve to relax more – to read, play, and enjoy my family, friends and blessings. (I will pledge to read a book a week. And I will carve out time to just play and have fun! I will call my family more often and show the people in my life how much that they are appreciated.)
4. I pledge more loving kindness and generosity toward others. (I will spend more time sharing and volunteering)
3. I resolve to seek peace in all situations. (That, admittedly, will be tough for me. But I vow to adopt some meditation techniques and pull from my own bag of counseling and behavior management methods and give real effort for this one!)
2. Create more art. (I will write, paint and make music – I might even join a band!)
1. Focus on God’s will and purpose for my life. (I will learn to be still and listen to the voice of God!)
Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions this year? Share some in the comments below! Happy Resolving!
Equilibrium: the condition of a system in which competing influences are balanced.
Achieving a sense of balance is not easy. Just defining balance is difficult. In science and mathematics, we tend to view balance as a weighing out, a measuring, a calculation – as in using physics to determine weight.
In our personal lives, we may view the balance as the remainder, the weighing, the tally – like in our checkbook.
Balance also has to do with steadiness, equilibrium, stability, poise.
Balance also means to juggle between the personal and professional aspects of our lives.
For some of us, the hardest day to day balancing that we do involves our inner peace. It’s often in this arena that balance most likely resembles a game of tug-a-war. We are undecided. Conflicted. Overwhelmed. We become impatient with ourselves, our family, our friends and co-workers. We get angry, aggravated, and annoyed. We are discontented, dissatisfied, disappointed. We have lost our sense of inner balance.
When we are “out of balance” we do not have the inner peace that we need to achieve the things that we want to achieve. We are indecisive, emotional, and distracted. We fall prey to our own loss of control. This often results not only in lack of productivity, but destructive chaos. We become immobilized, powerless, and ineffective. The daily “to do” lists hover over us like a lead balloon. Piles of work, laundry, dirty dishes taunt us. We are prone to giving in to laziness, unhealthy habits, depression. Often these prolonged feelings of helplessness and powerlessness create in us a sense of fear to move forward.
Balance is just as vital to our sense of well being as it is our checkbook, our physics problem, our teeter-totter. Below are 7 ways to bring some inner peace to your life:
- Eat Well – there are many viewpoints on diet and nutrition, but they all have a common thread running through them: eat well and you will feel well. Most of these common elements emphasize eating whole grains, meat, poultry, fish, nuts and eggs, dairy, fruits and vegetables and staying clear of processed and fried foods.
- Exercise – most experts agree that we need to exercise vigorously 4 or 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes. Exercise increases blood flow, which is vital for the proper operation of our organs and body systems.
- Rest – studies still tout the 8 or more hours of sleep every night. This is necessary for proper brain function as well as to replenish our body with the relaxation it needs. Try to go to bed and get up at the same times each day.
- Relax – aside from the sleep that our physical bodies need to function properly, our minds need the relaxation provided by meditation, reflection, and prayer. You may do this sitting on a beach staring at the sunset, practicing the ancient arts of yoga and tai chi, or reading a book, listening to music, or painting a picture.
- Rethink your life – what are your dreams and goals? Your vision for your life? Have they changed? Are you clinging to past ideas and values? As we grow, we change and often those ideals we established in the past no longer are applicable. It’s okay to reevaluate, reassess and redesign. Get rid of the clutter – physical, mental and emotional. Hold on to the dreams and goals that are still true, but discard the ones that act as roadblocks to your forward moving progress.
- Visualize your success – Make positive choices. That includes choosing to be around people who are positive. Don’t let discouraging people or distractions knock you out of balance.
- Develop an attitude of peace – Think positive thoughts – courage, hope, health, peace. Surround yourself with positive, encouraging, loving and supportive people. Try to see the other side – the good stuff – the way up and out. Count your blessings. Practice thankfulness. Laugh. Smile. Breathe.