HALF-PAST NEW YEAR’S Whatever Happened to Those Resolutions?

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Whether you followed my suggestions in the January issue for accomplishing goals or stuck to the traditional resolutions, how are you doing with that? At the halfway point – July – it’s time for mid-course corrections and a fresh start.

If you’re like most people, you made resolutions on January 1 regarding how you were going to change, how you were going to improve yourself, in the new year. And, again if you’re like most people, it didn’t take long at all before you gave up — stopped going to the gym, started smoking again, drank too much.

The three most common resolutions are usually:

  • I will stop smoking.
  • I will lose weight. I will go to the gym (or work out at home) regularly.
  • Other popular resolutions include: I will stop biting my nails.
  • I will stop eating junk food (or I will stop eating so much junk food).
  • I will be more helpful around the house (for men).
  • I will try to be gentler with my husband/wife.
  • I will try to spend more time with my kids.
  • I will drink less (or I will drink only on weekends).

But whether any of these were among your resolutions, or whether yours were different ones entirely, now that we’ve passed the halfway mark, how are you doing?

Many people who fail to keep up with their resolutions slough it off for another year. But that’s unfortunate. There is really nothing magical about January 1. There is no reason that new resolutions—or a renewed resolve of a failed resolution— can’t be made on February 5, October 12, or March 23—in other words, any random date.

Now, at the halfway point of the year, is as good a time as any. But let me ask you this: Do you really want to change—to stop the bad habit or start the good new habit—or is it only a case of your feeling you should? There is more motivation in the former than in the latter. If you really want to change, and you’re looking for that kick in the pants to spur you into doing it, consider that now, the “half-past New Year’s” point, is as good a time as any and perhaps a better time than most.

It will resonate with people who want a “meaningful” or auspicious start date…although, as I said earlier, there is no real reason to have to start on a particular date, whether that is January 1, July 1, or some other date. Now here are some helpful hints to aid you in sticking to your resolution(s). Don’t make too many resolutions. It’s easier to make one life change, or a couple, than to stick to a myriad of changes. Leave yourself visual encouragement, negative or positive or both. You can tape pictures to the fridge, the bathroom mirror, or any other place that works for you. For someone who wants to start running, a picture of a gold medal. For someone who wants to lose weight, a picture of you at your heaviest, next to a picture of that bathing suit you want to fit into.

For someone who needs to lower their cholesterol count, perhaps a print-out of a lab report or, if your doctor offers this as mine does, a print-out of the summary of your last office visit. Repeat your resolutions out loud daily, 10 times, in affirmation style, while looking into a mirror: “I will never have another cigarette.” “I will become a more thoughtful person.” “I will never drink and drive again.” Remember, the most powerful motivator is wanting to see this change in yourself. Doing it because you feel you ought to or, even worse, doing it to please someone else is not helpful


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