What holds us back from keeping our New Years Resolutions? Do we base them on what the media and social influences lead us to believe are important or on what we believe to be important in our lives? Are they an expression of our real desires?
Each year I think about the usual resolutions: eating healthy, exercising more, reading more, getting more “me” time. I know that they are all good for me so why is it so hard for me to fulfill them? We make these resolutions at the beginning of a year with the intent that we will do them for the entire year and in fact we want to do it for the rest of our lives. When you think about it, a year long or life long commitment is rather a daunting task. Top it off with the fact that many people are under the influence of alcohol when they make their resolutions!
It wasn’t until I was talking with my 85 year old aunt when I suddenly realized why my resolutions haven’t worked. I asked her what her New Years Resolution was. She told me she never makes them because she has been living her resolution for years. She is “Living each day, one day at a time and making the best of each day!” How simple is that! Take each day as it comes and maximize it to the best it can be for you that day. Yesterday is past and tomorrow is always in the future. One day doesn’t seem as scary as a lifelong commitment.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that I need to make changes for better health and wellness. What I need to do is to see how that fits into making the best of the present day. Taking things in bite sizes pieces seems to make it easier. I like focusing on what I consider to be the “best” for that day instead of what I need to do or should be doing. It no longer seems to be a chore but rather a pleasure as I feel it is for the “best” and I only have to think about one day. If I deem other events or activities are best for me that day then it is ok that I miss taking my walk in the park or doing a workout. Rather than beat myself up over missing something I can feel comfortable with my decision because I know that the other events in my day are the best of me. Being flexible and creative will further help me feel better about making changes throughout the day. I might be able to fit in a walk by leaving my car behind when I run an errand. If the distance is too far or time is limited, I can take a bus one way and walk the other. I just need to define what is the “best” for that day and enjoy the day.
Defining what will make the best of the day will help reduce stress and guilt. Another benefit is that making the best of our day will have a ripple effect on others. How we feel and what we do influences those around us. Being happy about our day and making the best of our day, will help others make the best of their day. Your energy and mood rub off on others. It may be a smile, a kind word or gesture that you share that helps put a smile on someone else’s face. That smile you see reflected back to you is your reminder that you are keeping your New Years Resolution. You are “Living each day, one day at a time and making the best of each day!”