New Year: Why it is way ahead of your health resolution passé
Alright! So today, 2019 has braced you with lots of hopes, vows of being a better person/parent, smoking-quitter or not being that fat/skinny person anymore. Oops! Or did I mean it the other way round? Let’s contemplate that a few minutes later.
SO, here I go; before you welcome yourself into the new year with a barrage of resolutions. HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2021, peeps!
Second of all, I’m dying to thank you for choosing to read this post, though it felt like giving off cynical vibes for the year. NO! It’s not. Absolutely NOT. I promise by the time you finish reading, you’ll have a strong foothold over your plans & vision for 2021. Noticed the words, ‘plan‘ & ‘vision‘?
So just sit back & relax like me as I sip my tea of the year. Cheers! (Tea is to me, what coffee, Red Bull, Pina Colada or beer might be to you!)
Well, there’s this impressive, yet stereotyped new year resolution culture that began ages ago with the Romans, & is still reverently cherished by every human till the 2nd or 3rd of January. EVERY SINGLE YEAR.
This is some fresh data I came across online about the popular new year resolutions in the U.S.A for 2018.
And, here’s one about the U.K (not sure about the year, though!)
And, despite not really tauting resolutions as the very juice of the new year ritual, we Indians still have a popularly ‘infamous’ share of resolution list too. Take a look at the most common ones (I couldn’t get my hands on the graphical stat right now!)
We see a majority of these resolutions spring up from intentions to change lifestyles. Or more distinctly, those of losing weight, being more active & quitting smoking/alcohol. The other equally significant ones on the list are saving more money & finding a great love partner/spouse. Our money goals, however, largely catch the breeze of the economical stance of the place we live in, or changes in fiscal policies by the government. No matter what, these never seem to budge from the top 5 in the resolutions’ list. I’ve actually known folks who’ve unveiled their mind-blowing BEFORE & AFTER pictures all over the social media. And all I have is massive respect for them. Physical transformations never cease to inspire me.
Well, I did ask when I started with a question whether it’s we who welcome the new year or the new year welcoming us. Because, I seriously have something into it.
Do resolutions work?
I don’t even think I need to dig through your past resolutions being kept or not. You know them better. Don’t you? Actually, even my husband marks every 1st of January as a new, blank chapter of his life book where he chooses to write nice stuff & perhaps unpublish a few excerpts when he starts finding them a bit too surreal. And I, really am, all appreciation for every goal he (or anybody), manages to meet towards the end of that year.
But still, not many of the times, you or I, have been able to pull off our resolutions in style to boast about on December 31st that year. Have we? Oh come on, I’ve been there, seen all of that! Exactly 2 years ago from now, I took this as a cue to speculate on my psychology behind resolving to every new year.
Why have we been failing?
I guess, these questions will help us realize better:
- Are new year resolutions the only measure of your self-control?
- Keeping the resolutions or not – Is it the only way to gauge your success for the year?
- Are they self-inspired?
- Is building that enormous list of resolutions the only way to ‘plan’ about how to keep them?
- Aren’t you making too many at a time, to start the year with?
- Do you see only the new year as an opportunity to undo all the long years of guilt?
I’m sure you’ve begun pondering already.
The evasive answer is:
Because you never ENVISION your goal with a PLAN to achieve it.
Every damn surreal goal can be achieved as long as you don’t let your focus astray.
|Resolution FOCUS||Resolution PLAN|
|Quit smoking/alcohol||Initially avoiding company that induces peer pressure or. temptation (until some self-control is attained)|
|Lose weight||Start with walking, warm up exercises, eating moderately.(Doesn’t call for gym on day 1!)|
|Sleep better||Sign off from smartphone at least an hour before bedtime. Turn off notification sounds.|
|Yell less at my child||Spend more time talking & explaining daily-goals to him/her.|
|Argue less with my partner/spouse||Try to understand his/her situation before you react.|
|Eat less of junk/restaurant food||Learn to cook new healthy & tasty stuff at home.|
|Reduce TV/screen time of my kid||Buy a story/activity book, painting board or anything similar. Take him/her out to a favorite place. Ask him/her to play with friends near you or let him/her assist you with an easy chore if he/she volunteers to do so.|
|Ask your child to eat healthy||Be an example. Cook & eat healthy homemade food yourself. Explain why the common junkies are so unhealthy.|
|Minimize your screen-time||Do not spend meal times at the dining table swiping continuously on your phone. Your kids learn from you.|
|Save more money||Spend from what you’ve saved. Not the other way round. Stop impulsive shopping. Carry a pre-defined shopping list always. The same approach applies to online purchases. Choose to use public/pool transport wherever possible. Save water & electricity. Iron many clothes at a time instead of ironing one every morning. (Damn, that really worked for me!).|
|Kick stress out||Hug your wife/husband/parent/children as soon as you get back home. Meet your best buddy.|
|Feel confident||Ask yourself, “Am I gonna do better than yesterday?”|
So, how should I make them work?
- Focus clear enough &,
- Start the year with tiny yet grippy steps.
Now, here’s the mantra:
Resolution = Goal – Focus
Therefore, resolutions will continue to remain unkept promises, if you don’t focus on your plans to achieve & keep them forever.
Take it from me, goals turn out to be realistic only when you have enough focus on them. For instance, if losing weight is your take on the new year, like they say, choosing the ‘hard’ between “Exercising is HARD.” or “Being fat is HARD.” should be your focus. Trust me, in that domain, losing 13.5kgs straight never seemed my cup of tea until I kept focusing on the fact that I just didn’t want to be in that unhealthy frame anymore. Never EVER. It took me 4 months. And till date, that very thing keeps me from letting myself go off the discipline that gets into trying to be fit.
And if you’re a mommy reading this right now, here’s another solid motivation for us. Nothing feels better than your child idolizing you for matters of healthy lifestyle. Doesn’t it?
Having discussed elaborately about these fancy-sounding resolutions, shall we vow to a few more this 2018?
Not letting the Internet intrude into your personal life.
Although you reading this post now, is really going to light my face up, I’d never advocate for anything from the net creeping into your personal space. There are times, when we refuse to listen to our spouse,parents or children while we’re ‘busy’ scrolling through insignificant messages or videos.
Ping less, call/meet often
Nothing could hurt your friend more than you typing out an ugly “HBD” on his/her birthday, or tagging him/her in a meme. Catch up personally, if possible; or, maybe, plan a surprise. Or at least care to call the special person.
Be less narcissistic from this New Year
Oh, come on! We can look pretty even without the filters, honey. Try not to snap each & every food that you’re about to devour to upload on your Instagram or Facebook profile. Comments will not fill you up; the food will.
Live every moment with your child
There might have been times when your little munchkin said the most cutest & funniest thing ever & he/she refused to repeat that while you tried to capture that on a video. Please do not fret then. You guys are making memories. Those words will remain etched in your mind forever. Memories need not always stay in an SD card or a hard disk, just to show your child on growing up. Don’t stop enjoying the moment for that sake.
Say SORRY without much ado
Nothing can ruin your days, weeks, months or even years like the resentment from an argument with any loved one. Apologize, if it were your mistake. Or, even if it weren’t. Let your ego sound like gibberish this time. If saying “Sorry” still hurts, be the first to break the ice. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.
Don’t let food go to the trash
Don’t shove leftover food into your dustbin ever again. The worms & germs that it would produce, will never thank or pray for you. You just make the scavengers’ task much more difficult & disgusting. Instead pack the leftovers up & share with your domestic help or the underprivileged people around. And, guilt will never scoff at you again.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, striving for a better self every year is always better than resorting to new year resolutions.
P.S.: I’d love to revisit this post on June 30, 2019 for an exciting half-yearly review session with your experiences until then!
Here’s lots of love & wishes to you for 2019!
Do share your resolutions & plans for the new year in the comments section.