Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First You Make It, Then You Break It: The Reality (and Myth) of New Year's Resolutions

New_Year_2012“I will make no New Year's resolution” is the only New Year's resolution I’ve made.
In the past, I’ve taken the turn of the calendar year quite seriously. I’ve opened a brand new journal and written down my plans and hopes for a year filled with thin thighs and heavenly habits.

Well-intentioned? Sure.
But too often, those resolutions did little more than pave the road to disappointment once the year was no longer so new. My front hall closet is full of reminders –- those exercise tapes (you know, the ones on VHS), course catalogs, gardening books, etc.

Perhaps it’s human nature to want to start anew come Jan. 1. Here are some of the most popular resolutions we make.

But can anything help increase the odds of success? I’ve gathered a few tips that make perfect sense – so I may just break my resolution and give them a try:

Chunk your goals. Break them into smaller pieces. Instead of saying “I will lose 40 pounds this year” say “I will lose 1-2 pounds per week until I reach my desired weight.”

Be realistic. Maybe you can’t afford that new boat (substitute any major purchase), but what steps can you take toward that goal? Perhaps you can research prices, look into gently used options, attend a boat show or open a designated “boat” account to save a bit from every paycheck.

Be specific. Making a goal measurable will help you know when you’ve reached it. So quantify. Instead of saying “I will get more serious about my photography” say “I will complete one online course in Photoshop” or “I will create holiday greeting cards with an original photograph.”

Track it. A goal charted is more likely to be achieved. Start a journal, keep a calendar or create an Excel graph to help you track your progress. There are plenty of handy online tracking tools, such as the federal government’s SuperTracker for foods, fitness and health.

And, from where I sit, I would enthusiastically add one more:

Watch WNED-TV! To make change happen, learning is the first step. Public television can’t get you on the treadmill or make you tear up a credit card, but it can get you thinking and give you some reliable, expert advice to help you move forward.

WNED’s New Year’s Resolution Weekend (January 7 and 8) features programming designed to help you with health, money management, memory and more. If nothing else, you’ll learn something. In my book, that in itself is a worthy goal for the new year!

Here’s the line-up:

Saturday, January 7

11:30 a.m. Amen Solution - Thinner, Smarter, Happier with Dr. Daniel Amen
Learn to boost your brain to improve your health. Award winning psychiatrist and bestselling author Dr. Daniel Amen shares 10 very simple steps that will help you lose weight, boost your memory and improve your mood. He shares the secrets he’s discovered through brain-imaging work with tens of thousands of patients over the last 20 years.

1:30 p.m. Road to Perfect Health with Brenda Watson
With over 20 years experience helping people overcome health challenges, digestive care expert Brenda Watson demonstrates how all health ailments can be linked to an imbalance in the digestive system. She shares her clear, concise plan for maintaining a healthy, well-balanced "Gut Protection System" (GPS).



New Years_Fuhrman

3:30 p.m. 3 Steps to Incredible Health! with Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman's health plan is healthy, effective and scientifically proven to help shed weight quickly and reclaim vitality and good health.

5:30 p.m. Financial Fitness After 50! with Paul MerrimanNew Years_paul.merriman
Noted educator, best-selling author and money manager Paul Merriman shares five life-changing choices that help boomers grow and manage their money in retirement.


Sunday, January 8

3 p.m. Qi Gong: Deeper Flow with Lee Holden

Take a deeper journey into the time-honored healing practice of Qi Gong with a master instructor. This ancient Chinese tradition combines powerful principles from medicine, philosophy and martial arts. The movements and breathing techniques demonstrated are designed to relax, invigorate and rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit.

4 p.m. Brain Fitness Frontiers
The human brain is a wondrous thing and scientists are discovering its powers are greater than we once thought. In this program, the impact of virtual reality in changing memories and dealing with pain is tested on cab drivers.

5:30 p.m. Magnificent Mind at Any Age with Dr. Daniel Amen
Learn about natural ways to not only keep your brain healthy, but improve and enhance your brain power. An improved brain allows us to be more effective, more successful and happier.

7 p.m. Easy Yoga for Arthritis with Peggy Cappy
Gentle exercise eases arthritis pain and generally helps joints which have stiffened with age or become less mobile from injury or inactivity.

So, 2012 awaits, like a shiny new penny. You just have to decide how to spend it.

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for 2012? Has public broadcasting inspired you to make positive change? Share your success stories!

1 comment:

  1. My New Year's Resolution was to no eat restaurant food for a month. I wanted to see what a difference it would make in my overall sense of how I feel, as well as my pocketbook. While it takes some planning and commitment, it wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. It helps to spend sunday cooking meals for the week. Today was my first time eating out, mainly because I didn't pack my lunch. While the month isn't over, I still plan to keep away from restaurant and prepared foods, and have an occasional treat. Happy New Year's resolutions, all!