Thursday, December 29, 2011
Tips for formulating resolutions
By: Marissa Anteby
When it comes to New Year's resolutions, scribbling down a list of habits to change is relatively simple, the hard part is sticking to it. Perhaps if you set your sights around the feelings you'd like to have in the coming year, instead of achieving some specific goal, you may be more apt to follow through.
After all, a habit is simply something you do often enough, that it becomes an involuntary 'response.' The trick to kicking a negative behavior is delving deep under the layers of distractions to view the root of what you are 'responding' to. It boils down to self-awareness. If you are conscious of your thoughts, you will begin to realize certain prominent patterns. This acknowledgement leads to a shift that in turn makes an imprint on your sub-conscious.
For example, if you wish to lose weight, it's not your body that needs modification, it's your mind. Once you alter your perspective, your physique will glide into a place where it is naturally meant to be. Until then, your ego will continue to get in the way and sabotage your efforts.
Trust that you intuitively know a harmonious balanced state. At times, your psyche can use a gentle reminder that you already are perfect. For your natural state to emerge, you don't have to add anything, but rather peel off unnecessary masks. No matter how much you work out or how many calories you burn, you won't see a difference until you change your attitude about eating and exercising. Once you release expectations and pay attention to making healthy choices, a total transformation will be yours!
Any mindful practice will help on your quest; psychotherapy, meditation, Yoga, painting, even washing dishes can be a vehicle for introspection. By carving out time in your schedule for yourself, you are proclaiming to yourself and everyone around you, that you are important. This belief will carry you to a new appreciation of caring for yourself and taking responsibility for your decisions. Climbing into your own head and exploring how and what you think, brings about a realization that you can no longer fall back to the crutch of blaming others or external circumstances for what happens to you.
It becomes apparent that merely going through the motions won't cut it anymore. Just because you are doing something, doesn't mean you are accomplishing anything! Sometimes, it's better to do nothing, without falling prey to mistaking busyness for action. Then, when you are truly ready, you can map out your moves wisely. All your resolutions will stem from positive intentions.
Here's steps to take for a well devised strategy:
1 - Set aside time. Make an appointment with yourself to contemplate the changes you seek, so you are not rushed. You give your attention to an abundance of people in your life, don't you deserve undivided quality time, too?
2 - Write it down. Words are powerful. They are even more powerful when written. When you write something, there is a copy of it stored in your brain. This helps with solidifying and aligning your conscious and sub-conscious desires. Start your list with the feelings and emotions you want to experience more of. Then branch out into activities that will illicit them.
3 - Be accountable. Keep a log of your progress. Or better yet, tell a friend about your plan and let them track it. Hearing your own words will make the verbiage more real... like an affirmation. Plus, when your willpower dissolves, you will carry on anyway because you won't want to appear like a quitter!
4 - Incorporate rewards. Set periodic benchmarks and once you've reached them make sure to reward yourself. For example, if you aim to go speed walking for an hour every day, at the end of one week, buy yourself a new pair of sneakers. Plot increments and rewards in advance so you have something to look forward to.
5 - Allow for guffaws. You are human, after all. When you make a mistake or goof up, take it in stride. Don't ditch your whole routine because you missed a day of exercise or whatever it is you blundered. Learn from what you do and from what you don't do!
6 - Enjoy time with you. This is all about spending time with yourself to get to know who you are, and how to be the best you. None of this should be punishment, but rather a gift to yourself. Find ways to make life more of what you want it to be.
Good luck. Even the shortest of lists when done with dedication, is sure to keep you occupied until next New Year's!