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It Seems To Me: Making positive resolutions

Posted: Thursday, Dec 27th, 2012

Yes, I am one of those annoying people who makes New Yearís resolutions. I like to think about the events of the last year, evaluate where I am in my life compared to where I want to be, and then decide what changes I want to make.

Thatís an important thing to keep in mind when making resolutions, by the way. It can be difficult to recognize what changes I actually want to make, and what changes I just like to talk about making. Too many times I would swear to give up things that I really didnít want to give up, or to do things I really didnít want to do.

Making positive resolutions works a lot better for me. If my goal is to lose weight, I donít say, ďIím going to give up sweets.Ē Instead Iíll say, ďIím going to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.Ē The fact of the matter is, if Iím eating healthier, I eat fewer sweets. But by turning it into a positive change, I donít feel like Iím giving anything up. Instead, I feel like Iím adding something to my life that I enjoy.

You might notice that I didnít say Iím going to exercise. I donít like exercising, and saying that Iím going to start doing something I donít want to do is simply setting myself up to fail. Instead, I think of activities that I enjoy enough that they donít feel like exercise.

I love the beauty of this area, and so I might say Iím going to take a little walk along the river each day because itís something I enjoy. I also enjoy riding my horses, so that might be another resolution I make. I feel like Iím giving myself time to do the things that I truly enjoy Ė and if they happen to actually be forms of exercise, so be it.

Itís funny how well this has worked for me. Last year I was struggling with a lot of inner turmoil, and I knew that I needed to find a way to deal with it. I decided that I was going to take the time to enjoy at least one sunset every week. I enjoy a feeling of peace when I stop to enjoy the beauty around me. Before long, I found myself watching the sunset almost every day. In doing so, I enjoy a few moments of tranquility.

And before you say, ďWell, itís silly to promise to do something you enjoy,Ē ask yourself how much time you actually give yourself to do the things you enjoy. Too many of us get so caught up in the day-to-day problems we face that we donít take the time to do the things we enjoy.

It also helps to keep the list short. Instead of trying to change my life completely, Iíll pick a couple of major things I want to change, and then Iíll think about the short steps that it will take to accomplish them. That usually gives me enough to do, and sometimes it leads to changes that I would have never imagined making when I made the resolutions.

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