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Treating yourself to Resolutions

An article from Yahoo regarding New Years resolutions.

Treat yourself to doable resolutions

Most people start the New Year making a resolution or two. It's symbolic of a fresh start and a new beginning toward self-improvement.
The day after the New Year, I will arrive at the gym and find dozens of new people. Where these folks come from is a mystery to me. But, you can be sure by mid to late February they will disappear and the gym will return to its regulars. It happens every year at this time.

This group of mysterious strangers made a New Year's resolution to exercise. Exercise is not the only resolution that challenges the ego; there are many others as well.

Year after year we make both verbal and written resolutions to lose weight, to stop smoking, to be more organized, to save more money, to eat healthily, to exercise regularly and we set other goals that fall by the wayside.

According to a survey, only about 30% of those who make a resolution even make it to mid-February.

Entrepreneurs don't take defeat well, and we will invest valuable energy in beating ourselves up because we failed to keep a resolution.

I had that experience once. And once was plenty. About 25 years ago, all in one breath, I resolved to give up smoking, eat healthier foods, exercise three days a week and practice feeling love, compassion and kindness to all that I came in contact with.

That last resolution did me in. All was fine when I found myself with pets. However, trying to feel love and compassion for some of the people who came in and out of my office and my life was driving me to smoke more and eat like there was no tomorrow. The increased smoking and eating made me to sluggish to exercise. After six weeks I felt beaten but not defeated, and decided I had to make a few adjustments in making New Year's resolutions.

I managed to construct a pretty good system. If you have been unable to maintain your resolutions, perhaps you might want to consider my method.

Mine is a two-part system. Part one is the short-term version. Part two is the yearlong version.

For those difficult resolutions like ridding yourself of bad habits, exercising regularly or eating for health, I use the New Moon (short term) resolution system. It works wonderfully well. You resolve to do a particular thing from one New Moon to the next. A day or two before the upcoming New Moon evaluate how things have progressed and if all looks well re-instate it for another cycle. Otherwise pitch it. It's a lot easier to deal with a tough situation one month at a time.

This system allowed me to establish a healthy eating pattern, exercise six days a week and not smoke. Additionally, feeling love and compassion has come a lot easier.

Now let's look at the traditional annual resolution which is the long version. Anything that I resolve to do for an entire year must be fun, enjoyable and as exciting as a 5-year-old anticipating Christmas morning. Now, that's a great resolution! It makes those short-term resolutions easier to do.

Each year I resolve to do one wonderful thing for myself each week.

One day each week I take myself (alone, no company allowed) on a date. This annual resolution has opened a whole new world for me. I have taken myself to movies, zoos, museums, art galleries, amusement parks, plays, etc. I have experienced rock climbing, hiking, bird watching, pottery classes, acting lessons, cooking lessons, ridden in a hot air balloon and even taken part in a mid-air jet refueling. In addition, I have met many interesting people, from a nun who reads tarot cards to a man who claims to be the reincarnation of Greek philosopher Heraclitus.

These outings bring joy to my living and enhancement of my mind, body and spirit. I don't allow any interference with these weekly outings.

I once read "The great essentials of happiness are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." Those sound like the ingredients for what a New Year's resolution should be about.

So, if you decide to make resolutions this year, make the kind that bring you joy and happiness and create a system that will allow you to see them through.