2012 Resolutions versus 2013 Objectives
by Irwin Lengel
What will I do differently in 2013 as compared to 2012?
Summing up my New Years’ resolutions for 2012, they were as follows: Exercise – incorporate weight training along with cardio and stretching exercises
Lifestyle change(s) – eat healthier snacks, portion control and drink more water
Make time to write every day – 750 word daily minimum
Complete various home projects
Become more knowledgeable of my computer and the various applications on it
Incorporate line dancing back into our daily routine
Did I accomplish them? No, I did not.
Do I still want to and has anything changed? Yes, and no. Actually not much has changed.
The above list still indicates those items I feel are very important to me – but the real question is, how versus listing them as resolutions, can I make them work?
Let me ask you this: What is wrong with the way I have listed these so-called resolutions?
Let’s take them one at a time.
Exercise – incorporate weight training with cardio and stretching exercises. First off, there is no specific goal. It is too generic, especially since the goal here is to become more physically fit both from a cardio standpoint as well as from a muscular standpoint. According to a recent article By Brent Agin, MD and Sharon Perkins from Healthy Aging For Dummies
we all lose muscle mass at a rate of 1 percent of our lean muscle mass per year after age 40 (Refer to the following website for more information on this point: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/what-happens-to-aging-muscles.html
The stretching will address the balance issue we must also face as we get older. Making it a point to do each of these various types of exercises at least three times a week should be the goal. Saying you want to do this for the next year since you did not do anything in 2012, is too vague. Start small. Walk for 15 – 30 minutes three times a week, or stretch for 10 minutes every morning for one week. At the end of that week, record your progress or better yet begin a daily log.
After a few weeks, you should start seeing some progress, thus spurring one on to continue. In this manner, after a month or two has passed and after recording the progress being made, we should be seeing results which would be the indicator that – hey – it works, and thus, I am going to continue doing this.
Changes, if any, should only take place at this time but keep them reasonable. Attempting too much or putting too long a time limit on something is what defeats the whole concept. By taking it in small bites, results eventually come and what we have hated to do (because we were looking at the overall results versus the minor ones that eventually get you to the bigger goal) become lifestyle changes and not the big monster we had made it out to be. In this manner we are becoming programmed to continue on our quest to change our life style as it pertains to exercise.
Lifestyle changes – eat healthier snacks, portion control, and drink more water. Saying we are going to do this is a surefire way to fail. Since I depend on lists to accomplish even the smallest of tasks I want to accomplish – a similar procedure needs to be instigated if we intend to change from our current behavior to that of the desired behavior we are seeking.
Without writing it down so as to remind us what it is we are attempting to do, any change that does, by chance, take place will only be a temporary one. Keeping a food journal will enable us to look back and realize what it is we are eating. Eventually, we will see that we ate too many sweets or ate one too many rolls with dinner.
We all know how busy our lives get not to mention how easily it is to become distracted. Enter the excuses. Take the time to write down everything we eat each day for at least one week will show us exactly what may be causing us to gain weight. Try it – you will find it works.
Reminding ourselves when we reach for that candy bar or soda that we do not need it but instead should settle for say a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit will be more beneficial and keep us on the straight and narrow thus helping us reach our objective/goal.
Make time to write every day – 750 words daily as a minimum. Only when something becomes as habitual as brushing your teeth every morning and evening, will we be able to say that we are in the habit of writing daily or exercising daily and so forth.
It will become automatic. As automatic as the process we find ourselves doing, say when we first enter our car. First thing we do is buckle up. When we feel like saying to ourselves – oh, I can skip that today and not do it – think about those things you do automatically (seat belt and brushing your teeth) and say to yourself, I don’t have a choice in this matter. It is something I must do. Make it an automatic function of a daily nature.
Since I find journal writing so therapeutic, for the past week now, I have made it a point to go to my computer first thing in the morning and enter something about either what I accomplished the day before, what I hope to accomplish today, or whatever else pleases my fancy. It is part of my early morning ritual, if you will, and has become an assist as to how well my day will go. Usually on days that I follow this routine, I succeed in getting more accomplished and also feel good about myself for doing so.
What can I say about home projects? It was so easy to push them off and say to myself that I do not have time to do them. I will get to them eventually. But, adding them to my “to do” list, creates a daily reminder (remember not everything on that list gets done each day – some items always get carried over to the next to do list), keeps the item uppermost in my mind, and causes me to recognize that hey – you better get that done so that you can remove it from the list. The sheer joy of being able to scratch off an item that I have addressed and completed makes me feel so much better at the end of the day. Case in point is our master bathroom. Of all the rooms in our house that were to be, sort of, overhauled after we bought the house, the master bathroom kept being put aside and not worked on. Finally, upon returning from our recent 50 day trip, we said to ourselves - OK no more making excuses – it is not OK to keep saying we will eventually get to it. One day we just decided – no more – today is the day we at least start. I am happy to say that within the next week or so, we should be pretty close to done and hopefully will enjoy the resulting make-over. With regards future projects for 2013, what we need to do is visualize an image that corresponds with what the attainment of whatever our goal/project would look like and then keep that thought uppermost in our mind until the job is done. In doing so, we are continually reminding ourselves that we need to tackle the project and complete it versus procrastinating and never accomplishing that particular goal.
Become more knowledgeable of my computer and the various applications on it. This is an area that is actually hard for me to address. What with all the things I do on my computer, finding time to become more knowledgeable of the various applications available on my computer presents a unique challenge. In reality, what I find I must do is treat the learning of the various applications as though I have signed up for a computer course. By treating it this way, I will be forced to set up a schedule and follow the schedule such as go to computer training class every Wednesday from say 10 – 11 AM (or whatever time is more suitable) and then sit down at the computer and proceed to do nothing but learn the various applications and the knowledge gained from studying the applicability of these applications could benefit me. Leastways, that is my plan of attack for this particular objective. The jury may still be out on this one. I will let you know.
Incorporate line dancing back into our daily routine. Apparently this one is a no brainer and probably because of all the items listed as resolutions for 2012, this one doesn’t require much in the way of pushing to get us dancing. While this isn’t a resolution for 2013, I am happy to say that if it were, it would definitely be one that would be accomplished. As it stands right now, our schedule for 2013 is that we will be dancing a minimum of four days a week both teaching and practicing/learning other routines. In addition to the teaching and practicing of line dancing we intend to do some social dancing at least once a week. Plus there are always the monthly dances we have here in our community, such as our recent New Year’s Eve dance, an upcoming Sock Hop, Valentine Day Dance, to mention a few. So continuing with our dancing should be one commitment we will be able to keep in 2013.
If there is one thing we are noticing as we get older, habits as we tend to call them are much harder to break. I have found that when I exercise regularly – I feel better and actually look forward to doing it. But when I break for vacation and drop the habit for whatever reason, it is much harder to get back in the habit once vacation is over. Such was the case in 2012 and thus, my thought process has changed.
I am now looking at the relationship between my thinking and my actions differently so that I have the power to stay focused on my objectives for 2013 making it more likely that I will attain my goals for 2013. As you can see, my goals have not changed – merely my plan of attack.
What about you? What are your resolutions (objectives and goals) for 2013?
Hope you enjoyed my two cents... read on!