A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on the HealthyWage blog at the end of 2010. Since the information and advice is just as valuable and relevant as it was last year, we wanted to share it again. Enjoy!

“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other”–Anonymous

New Year’s Resolutions often fade into the background by the end of January. It seems diets are the same way.  Lots of excitement week one, and then back to old habits soon thereafter.  I think it’s because they come from “I should” statements instead of “I want to’s”.

Lifestyle changes are different.  They are born out of our values-what’s important to us at the core.   So I have started asking my clients to make a list called the ‘what’s to my advantage list’. Simply put, it’s about stating your intentions, or the vision you have of the life you want to be living.   Intentions are about this very moment…not a goal for the future.

Here’s one list that I hope will inspire you to write your own:

In 2012 it’s to my advantage to…

  • Be healthy in body, mind and soul
  • Eat for enjoyment and fuel; however, not for entertainment, denial, distraction, sadness or because it’s still there
  • Stand and sit straight & tall
  • Have a strong core: physically, mentally and spiritually
  • Choose activity over passivity
  • Develop and choose soothing, healthy ways to relax
  • Pray
  • Meditate
  • Contemplate
  • Get sufficient, restful sleep
  • Have a tidy house; therefore, a workable routine for chores
  • Acknowledge my feelings
  • Be kind in general and especially to myself
  • Be wise
  • Be helpful
  • Be mindful
  • Honor my family
  • Cultivate  and cherish friends
  • Be faithful yet flexible
  • Be a good listener
  • Be patient without acquiescence
  • Speak my mind when it improves the silence; hold my tongue if it doesn’t
  • Have a cat

Add some energy and focus to your intentions by posting your list in places you will look at multiple times per day–on purpose. Just having a list on a piece of paper isn’t enough. Get creative with it–Make a vision board, with pictures of you the way you want to look and feel when you are living your intentions.  Do your best in each and every moment.  At first, you may need to “act as if”.   That’s ok—theater can be fun!

In January, we’ll address more actions to take to keep your intentions alive.

Wake up each day and treat it like New Years!

Wishing you and your families a happy, healthy and visionary 2012!

Ellen is a psychotherapist in private practice in San Francisco and Redwood City, California. She specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and incorporates the use of mindfulness into the treatment of depression, anxiety, and emotional overeating. She runs a holistic weight loss program called Center for Thoughtful Weight Loss, http://www.thoughtfulweightloss.com. You can email Ellen at ellen@thoughtfulweightloss.com

Copyright © 2010 Ellen N. Resnick, LCSW

Reprinted with permission by HealthyWage.

Ellen Resnick, LCSW