How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

     I have often heard people start this week naming their list of things to do, or for their resolutions for the New Year. The biggest downfall is they do just that. The “top of the list method” in which we all use at some point during the day. You tell yourself to “remind yourself” to mail a letter or stop by the bank. The next morning you end up having to resort to Plan B, as the mail didn’t get mailed, or the deposit didn’t get to the bank.

       Plan B with your typical list of things to do, is also how your New Year’s Resolutions function as well.  If you are serious about making changes in your life; at making resolutions from last year to this year, you have to write it down, and you have to write it down so that it is a positive and affirmative statement. For instance, don’t write a statement that says: I am going to start exercising. You would not go to the store to pick up a few things, without having a list of what those things are. The same goes for your resolutions. If you are going to make a resolution to exercise, then state what you are going to do, “I am going to walk on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for thirty minutes each day.” The goal becomes specific.

     Plan C concerns the types of goals compared to the realism of the places in which you are part of the crowd. If New Year’s Eve is awakening, then do not go to the New Year’s Eve Party with a written goal to not have another drink. Same thing if your goal is to quit smoking, you would not want to go to a party where you know people will be smoking. Plan C is about making realistic goals that reinforce your goals.

 Most people I know make the same goals every year. Better health, exercise to lose weight, and get on a budget to save money.  However, I have never seen a written diet showing exchanges, or heard a friend ask to order the salad instead of the burger, or even to just have something light, because of a run after work.

     In all actuality, Bill Petro is a historian who researched resolutions advised the month of January or “Janus” was known for being the first month of the year, having two heads, one looking forward, and the other that looks back. The various religions did not agree, some even considered it paganism. The bottom line being, January is the month of looking forward after reflecting on accomplishments and failures from the year before, and making a plan to make positive affirmations for the upcoming year. This allows the New Year to begin on a positive note. The statue dates back to Julius Caesar and even today, if you go to the bridge that crosses the Tiber River in Rome, and rub the head of Janus when you cross the bridge, it will bring you good fortune.

                      Published January 3, 2013, by Ruston Daily Leader, The Park Bench.

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