No Resolutions This Year!!!!!
But, 5 Things You Can Do Today for a Better Life
Each January, magazines, newspapers and websites publish their usual article on how to keep your New Year’s resolutions. We always seem to forget that while our intentions are good, our resolutions are often forgotten by the end of February.
So this year, we thought we’d try and do something a little different. Instead of offering you different things you can do to help keep your resolutions, we’re going to recommend five things from John Grohol, PhD, you can do differently today that will make your life just a little better. None of these are impossible and, who knows, maybe they will become second nature and begin to improve your everyday life style.
- Have a real conversation. So much of our everyday activities are driven by things outside of our perceived control, e.g., going to work, taking care of the kids, the economy, etc. We sometimes seem to be pawns in a life not of our own making. One way to regain a little sense of control is to stop and have a real conversation with someone about something meaningful. Not every day. Not every conversation but maybe just once a week, with a friend, a coworker, or your spouse. Talk about something important to you, something meaningful. You’ll be surprised at how such regular, real conversations can help better ground you in your life and give it more meaning.
- Eat better. While not exactly a revolutionary suggestion, eating just a little better than you have in the past can have a significant impact in your life. We’re not saying do away with fast food altogether or switch to eating nothing but bran flakes for the rest of your life, but make a commitment to everyday choices that are just a little healthier for you. For instance, opt for a smaller cheeseburger instead of the Big Mac. Eat two cookies instead of five. Eat one day at Subway instead of Burger King or McDonald’s. Don’t deny yourself the pleasures of eating, just try and make healthier decisions everyday when it comes to your food choices.
- Exercise. Yeah, yeah, we all know we should exercise more (unless you’re already hitting the gym 5 times a week!), and we all vow we will. But did you know a simple 15 minute walk every day will significantly help improve your long-term health? You don’t need a gym membership to stay a little more fit than you are today. Sometimes people feel the only way they can do something is if they do it 110%. You are more likely to find the time and stick to a routine if you spend only 15 minutes a day doing some type of simple exercise.
- Enjoy the journey. Many of us are so focused on getting to where we’re going, or where we think we should be going, that we forget the journey is often just as important (and fun!). Life is a full-time, 100% learning experience. Even when we think we’re in the midst of the most mind-numbing, repetitive and boring experience, life is trying to teach us something. The problem is that a lot of the time we don’t realize this. We negate the experience and in the process negate a part of our lives. Embrace the journey, even if it’s just once in awhile, and understand that everything is a part of living a full and meaningful life.
- Learn a new stress reliever. Like all patterns of behavior, we often adopt behaviors over time without giving them much thought. If it comes naturally, it must be okay. How we deal with stress is one of those things that we learn by watching others in our life – on TV, our parents, our loved ones, and our friends. We learn to do positive things, such as exercise, as well as negative stress relievers, such as drinking too much, overeating, or bottling stressors up inside ourselves. Look at how others around you deal with stress and pick just one different, positive way of dealing with stress and try it out. It may feel a little unnatural at first, but give it a week or two. You may find it is another helpful alternative to place in your stress-relief arsenal.
If your efforts to effectively deal with the stress in your life don’t seem to be working, maybe a LIFELINE counselor might be able to help. Remember, LIFELINE is free and confidential, 1-800-284-7575.