The Journey: The challenges of a successful New Year’s Resolution

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By Samantha Brazie, Special to The Paper

And just like that … 2019 is coming to an end. December is a time of the year spent with family and friends, which also includes good times, snuggles, stress and reflection.

As we approach the New Year and think about what we want 2020 to look like, we think about New Year’s resolutions. I just read an article that showed the No. 1 resolution being ‘exercise more to lose weight,’ No. 2 ‘lose weight’ and #3 to ‘eat healthier.’ Every year, people make these goals with great intentions to move forward with them, yet only roughly 20% succeed.

In the last ten years, I have made similar goals every year. Sometimes I stuck to them and sometimes I did not. This year will be a continuance of the same goals for the past four years, but what’s different than before and what keeps me focused regardless of numbers on the scale is that I focus on what I know I can control.

Things I can control:

  • What type of food I put into my body. I can make healthy choices and honestly track everything I eat so there is a diary to refer back to.

  • How often I move. If I miss a day, I can always make it up later that week. No more ‘I’ll start over on Monday.’

  • Being accountable to someone. I have accountability partners in place that know what my goals are and will check in to help me stay on track.

  • Make my goals specific and attainable. Vague goals will get me nowhere. They need to be measurable and revisited often.

Things I cannot control:

  • The number on the scale. Ideally, if I take action, the number on the scale will improve, but I cannot control the number outside of healthy food choices and exercise. I will not let the number derail me because no matter what, my overall health is what matters.

  • Results set with unrealistic deadlines. While it would be nice to drop 10 pounds in 30 days, that may not be what happens. There are more things to consider like muscle and inflammation as well.

Whether your resolution is focused on one of the three areas above, or something else – saving more money, buying your first home, getting more ‘me time’ for example – you can follow the same steps.

I have mentioned this previously, but no matter the goal – hating yourself or feeling negatively will NEVER get you where you need to be. If you can’t look in the mirror and say something positive about yourself every day, that should be addressed first. Otherwise you battle demons that are much harder to overcome than achieving any goal that is set. Although no one would have guessed it, my mindset and how I felt about myself was so bad that it took me a couple of years of counseling to be able to look in the mirror and say anything remotely nice to myself. I don’t regret all the time it took me to get into a good head space. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the best ways I’ve ever taken care of myself.

Just about every successful person has stories of failure. Fall seven times and get up eight … if you want it bad enough, you will find a way to move forward and keep your chin up. Having people on my side that believe in and cheer for me has been one of the best ways I have been able to keep this up. Something you can control above all else: NEVER give up. Happy holidays, friends! See you in 2020.

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