Americans deem January 1st as a magical day to help us kick bad habits. The frenzy of self-improvement begins at the stroke of midnight on December 31st when everyone sings “Auld Lang Syne” though no one knows what the song means. All this partying makes people sick during the festivities, and email me the next morning about what to take for the hangover. Personally, I think the song should be, “Who Let the Dogs Out.”
Fine, call me Scrooge because New Years is no big deal to me. I’m much happier tucked in my jammies at midnight than boozing myself into oblivion and throwing up on my Macbook. Don’t you think it’s ridiculous that people suddenly become resolute and make promises to themselves (or others) while inebriated, hoping to find a designated driver? I mean seriously!
How to lose weight or quit smoking are the two most frequently asked questions that I receive for my syndicated column each year. My answer is always the same, “Choose to.” The idea of staying thin, not smoking, reducing stress, and remaining debt-free are great concepts. Honor these concepts every day, not just January 1st and next 3 weeks until you give up. If you realized that every day was sacred, it would take the pressure off and you would make a firmer commitment rather than procrastinate until January and fail by February.
You have the power to do anything you choose to, at any time. I don’t know anyone that has made a New Years resolution and stuck to it. I do however, know people that made a resolution on some other day and succeeded. For example, a man who quit smoking after a heart attack, and a woman who decided she loved her daughter more than junk food and lost 45 pounds. Years ago, I decided to limit contact with ‘friends’ who constantly complain about their drama but refuse to take solutions or change their circumstances. Resolutions such as these should be made for good reasons, not just because it’s New Years. I am certain that many situations and health matters can be healed. It doesn’t require a prescription, patch or pill – it requires a choice. I’d like to propose my 5 steps to make positive changes in your life:
1. Choose what you want for yourself (this is often different than what your spouse wants for you). It’s okay if you need assistance from a personal trainer, a weight loss center, a physician, dietary supplement, etc.
2. Believe that you deserve it.
3. Consistently make choices that support your new decision. At every meal or every family gathering, you may have to make a choice.
4. Surround yourself with people who support your choice, not sabotage it.
5. Ignore the incessant mind chatter – it’s your primary obstacle. Keep repeating, “My healing is in progress,” or “I can do it.” My research suggests that staying positive like this has one primary side effect – miracles!