Category Archives: New Year

The Best Way To Make New Year’s Resolutions

I was asked the other day what New Year’s resolutions I’m making.  I couldn’t come up with any, not because I’m in denial about having to change anything about my life, but because it’s just that I live each week, much less each day, already making those changes that I choose. 

I like the idea of frequent “small course changes,” rather than abrupt, major alterations in one’s life.  I find that the latter kinds of changes are harder to keep, since they are such a divergence from normal reality and routine.

So, I’m not trying to talk you out of losing that 100 pounds, or finishing the roof on your house all by yourself.  I just believe that it’s unrealistic to put yourself in front of a 100-foot-tall pile of whatever with a spoon and told to “go at it.”

If it’s weight that you want to lose, forget about that, and just decide not to have salad dressing loaded with fat calories, and just decide to walk 1 mile with music in your ear – iPod-style.  When that gets too familiar (or starts to feel “old”), then decide that you have to eat smaller portions and ride your bike for 1 mile each day (but I recommend doing that without the iPod, in order for you to hear traffic). 

Get it?  Small things are easier to stay with, because you get instant gratification, which we all love.

The weight?  Don’t get on the scale more than twice a month.  Just revel in those small changes.  The weight will take care of itself.  And then, you can go shopping for new clothes (yay)!

Don’t Let Holiday Stress Take Over

Normally on my radio program, we try to vary the subject matter of the calls I take so that each hour has a wide range of issues, philosophies, ideas, information, insight and dilemmas.  However, during the holiday season, this becomes almost impossible.  It seems that family dynamics (especially the negative ones) just take over people’s lives.  This includes everything from having to buy gifts for (or people (or deal with family members) you don’t like, having to go to dinner and parties you don’t really want to go to, to having to travel to four different sets of divorced parents’ houses and have to deal with their new spouses.  And on and on and on….

One of the main problems causing you stress at this time is your unwillingness to accept what “is,” and just hum your way through some unpleasant moments and unpleasant people, and your unwillingness to accept responsibility for making choices that will annoy some others, but will save yourself.

For example:

1. If you have four divorced parents or four sets of in-laws, just have the dinner at YOUR house.  Invite everyone, and let them sort themselves out.
2. If you’re at a family gathering with one or two bad apples, just steer yourself toward the people you do like and immerse yourself in pleasant conversation, virtually ignoring the troublemakers after a cordial “hello.”  If the troublemakers start arguments or get drunk or unruly, excuse yourself and leave.  Do what it takes to keep your blood pressure down and enjoy the holiday time.
3. If relatives are visiting, put them up at a local inn.  They and you will then have the necessary privacy to keep tensions to a minimum.  Pay for the hotel yourself.  It’s a small price to pay for serenity.
4. If you’re invited out of town, and you don’t really want to go, don’t travel. Start new traditions in your own home.

As for accepting what “is,” if there are some situations and people you’d rather avoid, but this would bring pain to others who would miss you terribly, go with good humor, become the life of the party, enjoy what there is to appreciate, and know that in your heart, you did a good deed and the right thing. 

Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions

According to About.com:Pittsburgh, (http://pittsburgh.about.com/) the following are the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions – and I don’t think anybody is going to be surprised by the subjects.  And the nasty little truth about resolutions is that people often identify the “trouble” spots, but generally don’t come up with a plan to deal with them.  Nonetheless:

1.  Spend More Time with Family and Friends…meaning work shouldn’t always usurp all your time, attention, and importance.  About 50% of folks make this resolution.
2.  Lose weight: since two-thirds of American adults are fat or obese, this is a major issue.  Unfortunately, the fat level rises each year, in spite of this ubiquitous resolution.
3.  Get Fit: getting regular exercise is probably the #1 means to a better life; it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, improves arthritis, and makes you feel sexier.  What more can one say? Continue reading