Every year I follow the tradition of setting a New Year Resolution. Every year I try to stick to that resolution. Every year I blow it within a month or so.
I don’t like that I very rarely stick to my resolutions. This year I’ve been thinking about it and really trying to figure out why they don’t work out. I’ve come to the idea that when I (and most other people) think of a resolution we think of it in a big picture. “What’s one really big thing I want to accomplish/change/fix this year?” and then we try to make this huge change in one fell swoop.
No wonder it fails!
So, how do I approach this resolution in a way that is bound to work?
How about if I have one big idea and then break it down into 12 small steps to accomplishment?
Start with one big idea, then break it down into 12 smaller goals, one per month. This way you have one month to establish a new habit that works toward your big goal. Then the next month you, of course, keep set in the new habit while you start work on your next goal/habit.
This is what I came up with:
Big Idea: Make enough changes to my lifestyle to help me be healthier overall.
January: Work harder on, and stick with, my yoga. I really need to get more fit and flexible, I have become so very stiff these past couple of years. I love yoga but haven’t been able to stick with it as well as I should. I plan to set 3 times a week as my routine.
February: Weight training. Lifting weights is very good for fitness, and to help with lessening insulin resistance. I haven’t been doing hardly any weight lifting these past couple of years. I need to work it into my daily workout routine. 3 times a week.
March: Aerobics/dancing. I’ve been slacking a lot on this as well. I walk a lot on the treadmill and ride my bike to get my heart rate and lungs going, but I need to mix it up a bit. Walking and bike riding is good, but I need to do more. At least twice a week sounds good for some kind of heart pumping workout.
April: Make up a food calendar and have set meal plans for the month with weekly (or even twice a week) shopping lists for the freshest foods. I always have dinners planned, but never breakfasts or lunches. If I plan everything out I will be more likely to actually eat meals instead of nibbling here and there for “breakfast” and “lunch”.
May: Walk outdoors. I walk on my treadmill for two main reasons. 1) I have much more control over gait, consistency, and incline. 2) I can stop when I need to and not have to worry about walking home. I have excruciating neuropathy pain so being able to stop and sit down when I need to is important. But I have become a hermit and rarely go outside and get fresh air anymore. I need to. May is usually nice weather around here, so it should be a good time to start outdoors.
June: Massage. My husband pointed out that physical health is not the only thing in “overall health”. Mental, emotional, and physical are all linked. One thing that impacts them all is stress. Massage is very good for relieving stress. Establishing a good massage routine will be very helpful in relieving stress…and strengthening hubby’s and my relationship! 🙂
July: Meditation. Another stress reliever and overall health benefit is meditation. People of all faiths and non-faiths use meditation in some form. The idea is to relax the mind, heart, and body. To become in tuned with yourself. And to melt away the stress and regroup, etc.
August: Reading. I love to read. I read all kinds of genres of books from fiction to educational. Reading is good for you no matter what you like to read. It teaches, it relaxes, it entertains, it inspires. I do not have a set reading routine, however. I go from reading multiple times a day, to not cracking a book for weeks. I need to get into a daily routine.
September: Writing. I love to write. It is therapy as well as entertainment for me. I write this blog as well as fictional stories. I have been in the process of writing a trilogy for years. My problem is that I do not have a daily writing routine. I write when the fancy strikes and that means I can go weeks without writing anything at all. I need more discipline.
October: Flossing/dental care. I have a good routine for brushing and mouthwash, but I can never seem to keep up with the flossing. And I definitely do not go to the dentist often enough!
November: Foot care. I’ve been slacking on the foot care. I’ve allowed my skin to get too dry and I’ve developed callouses on my heels. Also, I tend to let my toenails get too long before I clip them. It is important for diabetics to take good care of their feet. Especially diabetics like me who have neuropathy and a tendency to get infections like staph easily.
December: Herbs and spices. I love to cook and a part of that is knowing how to use herbs and spices. Tradition has dictated what foods tend to go with what herbs and spices. Amounts tend to be based on personal preference. But the thing a lot of people don’t realize is that herbs and spices do more than just add or enhance flavor. Herbs and spices have health benefits. Some aid in digestion, some fight infection, some can relieve pain, and so on and so forth. Learning what does what can help to ease symptoms or ward off illness. My goal is to study up and make use!
Of course I will need to change the order of what month is what goal in order to make it more likely to work out. Maybe have a more involved and difficult goal one month and then a lesser involved and more simple goal the following month, etc.. But you get the idea, right?
I hope this works out. 😀