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mymindisfine

What's on YOUR mind?

Rejoice! At long last, a new year has almost arrived. It’s time to kick old habits to the curb and open the door with welcoming open arms to the newer, refined lifestyle that you’ve been just dying to start. Oh, please.

Every year it seems that people are ready to start anew. Here are some of the most popular baseless, misleading self-promises that people make:

1. I’m going to lose weight this year.
2. I’m going to start eating better.
3. I’m going to put in more effort at my job or school.
4. I’m going to quit smoking or drinking.
5. I’m going to stop complaining.

What people forget to tell themselves is in the fine print. Each of these “resolutions” should come with a disclaimer that says something along the lines of *for until I stop believing I can do this.

Make no mistake, these are all great ideas. But what I think is that if someone really wanted to accomplish any of these things, it wouldn’t take the turning of a new calendar year to make this change. Prove that you want to lose weight and start today! Why wait until January 1, when you’ll be too hung over from the night before to start that day anyway? Join a gym and make a long term monetary commitment there. It will deter you from cancelling your membership and being a an overweight sloth like you were in 2011.

Deny the leftover Christmas baking that you may or may not admit to have baked more than was necessary just so you could revel in the fattening sugar rushes that only come with Christmas shortbread. Eat fruit instead. Drink water instead of coffee. Just because these holiday treats exist doesn’t mean you have to go crazy. If you must have some, have another person who cares about you make sure you limit yourself. Instead of eating 10 shortbread cookies, have 2. And let the other person staple your fingers together if you eat more than that.

The third resolution on my list is one that is maybe the least likely of all to change. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that problems that existed in 2011 won’t carry over to 2012. The same stupid customers are still going to frequent wherever it is that you work, and the same ignorant coworkers will be there with questions and remarks for you the first day you step into the office in 2012. Chances are that if you had trouble handling all these inconveniences before, the new year will not be that much different.

Stopping a habit like smoking or drinking will not happen overnight, even if that night happens to be New Years Eve. It’s something that takes a lot of time and integration into your lifestyle to see a change. While it is an admirable idea to begin to slow down these things, it is impractical to expect them to come to a complete halt, altogether. You’re only leading yourself to be let down, something for which you might need a cigarette or a case of beer to cope with. Don’t listen to that.

The fifth resolution is one that I am setting out for myself. I really need to learn to stop complaining. I need to accept that I’ll never be perfect, no matter how much I may try or believe I’m getting close. I’m prepared to make the same resolution around this time next year, because I know I probably won’t accomplish this for a long, long time.

The biggest thing about keeping a resolution is to set out a plan about how you will achieve it. Value practicality over ambition. Set small-term goals that will lead to the grand accomplishment of the resolution. Instead of saying you want to lose 30 lbs this year, break that down into weeks. Say you want to lose 1lb every two weeks. That is something attainable, and that is the kind of rate of weight loss that will be easier to maintain in the longterm. Who knows, you might even reach your goal by October! But even beyond that, map out the ways that you plan to achieve this. Set personal deadlines that must be met, and have someone to motivate you. This kind of planning can be implemented on any of the resolutions I listed above and probably most of the unique things that you will set out to do in the upcoming year.

At the end of the day, you never know which year might be your last. Make sure every day you do something that you enjoy. That should be one of the most popular resolutions, but it probably isn’t. Be with your family. Call up your friends. Get fresh air. Read a book, watch that movie that you’ve been nagging yourself to get around to. Try not to sweat the small things in your life. Don’t take your work home with you, unless it’s good news. Record your progress. This year is the one where you will prove yourself wrong.

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