(Editor's Note:?This is a two-part editorial. The second half will appear in the Tuesday, Jan. 3, Reporter.)
After all the hurry and flurry of Christmas there's a brief period before we are thrust into a new year. During that time people make their New Year Resolutions. I've already been thinking about mine and trying to decide which to choose based on my goals for 2012. According to Health.com, "One in three Americans make resolutions at the start of the year. After one week 75% are still hanging in there. At the six-month mark only 46% are still resolute." Actually I was surprised that so many were still working on their resolutions in July as, honestly, I've usually forgotten by then what they even were.
The dictionary tells me that a resolution is a 'formal expression of intent'. Maybe that's part of they key to success... the formal expression. I think this year I will write my resolutions on my ever-present calendar so that the information is always in front of me and I know where to go to remind myself if I do get off track.
My research taught me that resolutions are best attained when they are 'measurable' and that men and women have a different means to reaching success. If, for example, you want to lose weight you are better off setting a goal of 'one pound a week' than the ambiguous 'lose weight'. That way you have a true means to measure your success rate and men especially make progress with this method. Women, on the other hand, find more success in achieving their goals when they have the support of their friends.
The 'Top Ten Resolutions for 2012' have already been announced... and frankly they sound much like they do every year. I guess the importance is to choose the ones that you want/need to work on and tailor them to your real honest needs.
1. Stop Smoking. Your doctor and/or insurance company can be helpful with this as well as the support of those who love you. Statistics have been evident for years about the health benefits of being a quitter in this arena.
2. Stop Drinking. There are service agencies in our area as well as meetings and the help of professionals if you find you're unable to do this on your own. There's no shame in seeking help!
3. Get into the Habit of Being Fit. This is a broad goal that you should adapt to your needs. Maybe it means drinking more water or making better food choices. The options abound so if this is one of your resolutions you really need to hone in one what you specifically want to achieve.
4. Lose Weight. Remember the strategies mentioned above. Perhaps this means you walk more, begin to exercise, exercise more, or go for the triathlon! There are endless programs and groups that can help motivate you and teach you methods to lose weight. The real basic key of this resolution is that we must Eat Less and Move More and only you can know what that means for you based on how much weight you are seeking to lose. I think that losing weight is one of the hardest things to do because we're always faced with commercials, fast food places, and the 'three squares a day' or 'meat & potatoes' mentality. A dear friend of mine lost a good deal of weight by remembering to eat only when she was actually hungry--it's an amazingly simple concept that worked wonders for her.
5. Organize Yourself. I live by my calendar and am always amazed at those people who don't have one hanging prominently in their home with scribbling all over it. When my kids were home we had a large family calendar and each person was assigned a different color of ink in which to write their various activities. Now my life is much simpler and days go by with nothing scribbled in. Perhaps some can manage without it but I consider a calendar to be a necessity. Others may need goals like placing their keys by the door each time they come in so they can save all that time they later expend searching for their keys. Still others may need/wish to go much deeper on this Resolution but remember, detail your goal... it's not just clean out the basement, instead choose dates to start sorting and make piles such as 'Keep', 'Store', 'Donate', 'Recycle', 'Trash'. While you're down there, be sure to label things. And if your basement gets wet (or may EVER get wet) consider plastic storage bins for your belongings. Another basement cleaning tip: don't just rearrange the stuff, and don't forget to actually clean (sweep, mop, dust, etc.) You get the idea!