Well, it’s been a month. Thirty-one days have passed since you woke eagerly to face the New Year with great hope and determination (or tired and hungover). If you are like many, you probably made some sort of self-help promise in an attempt to reform an unsavory habit or to incite a change, be it physical or otherwise.
That’s all fine and good, well-intentioned and healthy-seeming. But now that a month’s passed, what have you actually done? Did your New Year’s resolutions instigate a momentum toward a positive change? Or have you left your resolutions by the wayside and slipped back into your old ways?
I am no different than the masses. My resolutions don’t have staying power beyond the first week or two. I think that we set ourselves up for failure by aiming high without much resolve. So this year I decided to think small, to aim low. It might seem slothful to set easy-to-achieve goals. But this year I thought I should make my goals about what really matters; and to me, the little things matter more than the big stuff.
1)Breathe deeply and smile before reacting to anything. I tend to be hotheaded and often regret my first reaction. A deep breath gives me perspective. The smile immediately changes my mood.
2) Look for the positive when speaking to my children. There is always a positive way to phrase every comment. Looking for the positive makes me think about how I am wording my message, which ultimately makes it far more effective.
3) Exercise before anything. Even if it’s just 8 minutes of power yoga or a 15-minute brisk walk, I know that if I start my day with physical activity I have more energy and am happier, which spills over to those around me. I make my workout time a priority, scheduling it like I would any important appointment. My health and my sanity make me a much better wife, mother, and professional.
4) Eat more vegetables. Eating more of the good stuff helps me eat less of the not-so-good stuff, gives me more energy, and keeps my weight in check.
Now entering the second month of the year, this is the most successful I have been in sticking to my promises to myself. My low-achiever resolutions will likely be the biggest impetus to a meaningful change that I have yet experienced. Go figure… Perhaps it’s the small resolutions that lead to personal evolution.