Be Fit For Life

with Ellen Cohen-Kaplan

A different way to think of New Year’s resolutions

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elegant happy new year text for 2017 with pink flower background effect

happy-new-year-2017-memes

Many of us make the same resolutions at the beginning of every year, only to see them fade and become less achievable with each passing month. I like NPR’s take on how to view this inevitable rite of passage that haunts us every January 1st. Some of the things we can do to better ourselves takes only resolve, effort and awareness, and all are free.  This is one of my favorites from the article below:

GRATITUDE – Taken once a day, “GRATITUDE” TM puts everything in perspective; one dose and you see across the plains, valleys and summits, to your real life.Studies have shown that brain function improves, heart health rejuvenates, muscles recover their youthful energy — and the soul, quietly, sings. Now available in a time-release capsule.

I’ll let you read the last one on your own, which I think is one of the funniest. See http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/01/506740370/in-the-market-for-a-new-years-resolution-let-us-sell-you-some-ideashttp://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/01/506740370/in-the-market-for-a-new-years-resolution-let-us-sell-you-some-ideas

The most popular New Year’s resolutions are, you guessed it, to lose weight and begin a regular exercise program. In my industry, we have one response- Thank you, holiday season!   All kidding aside, what if you reframed it by learning to accept where you are at the moment, either body-wise or fitness-wise and just decide you’ll build on it in a non-punishing, viable way?  For example, rather than joining a gym and trying to go 5 out of 7 days a week, you can begin a walking program with a friend twice a week. If you are already exercising and want to lose those extra few pounds, think of what it takes to motivate yourself. Would a picture of you, looking your best, posted on the refrigerator work?  How about weighing yourself daily as long as it doesn’t throw you into a funk?

I appreciate New Year’s resolutions that are outside the box. Below is a link to some innovative ideas that aren’t necessarily exercise related. One which I find really interesting is to take a picture of yourself in 5 places you’ve never been before. How about learning a new party trick, making a new friend, or learning a different skill.  How about attending an event at which no one, including yourself, would ever expect to find you. See more atypical resolutions at https://www.realbuzz.com/articles/10-unusual-new-year-s-resolutions/

One common area for improvement is getting help from others.  Often, we think we can do everything by ourselves. It may have to do with our egos, our perceived abilities, and the (sometimes false) satisfaction that comes with feeling totally self-sufficient. Not too long ago, whenever anyone asked if I needed help carrying anything, I’d always refuse. “I got it!” and I often did. But I realized that accepting help is not only useful, but has both parties feeling better about the interaction. I no longer feel a need to do everything myself, and it’s actually liberating! I’ve conditioned myself to ask for and receive help in many other areas of my life.   

Chris Myers, an entrepreneur and author has a resolution that may resonate for many of us. He wants to focus on humility, authenticity, and faith. He writes “When it comes to personal struggles, I am my own worst enemy and the architect of my suffering. When I look back on the root causes and my self-sabotage, I find that there is a common theme: hubris. I have a tendency to think that I can do everything on my own and swoop in to save the day when things get rough. This, of course, is a fallacy. I’m as flawed as the next person, and when I let hubris get the best of me, I fail spectacularly. In 2017, I’m going to recommit myself to humility, authenticity, and faith in something greater than myself. I cannot do everything on my own. I need my family, friends, and team members to survive and thrive. By staying centered, mindful, and aware of my failings, I’m going to avoid the pitfalls that have stymied me in the past.”

Last, but definitely not least, many of us are saddled with the feeling that we could and should do so much more than we do. What if we deliberately decide to be satisfied with what we do each day, and get rid of the “shoulds”.

Happy New Year to all. May 2017 bring you peace, happiness and motivation to achieve whatever moves you!

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