New Year’s Day has come and gone. Yet, many people are still at the tip of the iceberg with sticking to (or breaking) New Year’s Resolutions. A few years ago, I decided no more New Year’s resolutions.
If you still need inspiration, I’d like to share my article adapted from Tribeca Citizen.
Happy New Year! Here’s to a healthy, prosperous 2010!
No More New Year’s Resolutions
In 2007, I made a New Year’s resolution never to make another New Year’s resolution. And, it’s the only resolution I’ve ever kept. I suspect I’m not alone in distrusting resolutions. Still, every year, we vow to better ourselves for the coming year, as if last year we weren’t good enough.
According to researchers, 97 percent of New Year’s resolutions are unsuccessful. However, it’s not because we’re lazy, unmotivated, or even masochists. But, resolving in a blanket way to change behaviors that are likely habitual dooms us to failure.
Resolutions vs. Intentions
While resolutions themselves can be troublesome, the desire for self-improvement isn’t. Thus, the key to change is to give yourself a fair chance at achieving your goals. To do this, you can crowd out old, unhealthy habits with newer, healthier ones. So this year, set a simple intention to be your best self just for today. Then, support that intention with longer-term, achievable goals.
Patricia Moreno is the founder of IntenSati Life, a workout movement that fuses aerobics, dance and strength conditioning with spoken affirmations. She considers New Year’s resolutions a “powerful commitment” to becoming your best self. Additionally, Moreno advises her students to stop giving energy to a past they want to change. Furthermore, she offers this affirmation: “I accept the present, I intend the future, I am now becoming who I really want to be.”
How to Set Intentions
The most popular New Year’s resolutions revolve around health and wellness: weight loss, fitness, smoking cessation and stress reduction. Therefore, if you set intentions and make small lifestyle changes instead of declaring resolutions, you can accomplish not one, but many of these goals in a year.
• Work on small, daily right actions instead of blanket resolutions
• Set small, achievable goals aligned with a bigger desire
• Reward yourself at reasonable intervals and milestones
• Get support from friends, family, and a health and wellness coach who will hold you accountable for your goals
• Journal about your journey and include responses to these prompts
- What’s working and not working?
- How do you feel today?
- List what you’re thankful for
- Acknowledge what you’ve done well
Intentions at Work
Here’s how it works. Set an intention to eat more greens or whole grains. In doing so, you will automatically crowd out processed foods and may lose weight. In my opinion, this is a better weight loss plan than a diet. Most markets carry lots of fresh, organic greens like kale, collards, and spinach. Some have bulk bins for whole grains like brown rice and quinoa. If you’re new to cooking or feel uneasy in the kitchen, a health and wellness coach can help with quick and easy ways to prepare these foods.
Resolving to get fit? Make an intention to move your body in a way you love. That intention will ensure consistency. For example, choose something you enjoy like running, dancing, walking your dog, yoga, or pilates to motivate you to be consistent.
Moreover, smokers who want to quit can replace one afternoon smoke break per day with a walk around the block. Or, plan a weekend getaway to the mountains or try meditation to kick the habit. Diamond Way Buddhist Center offers events like lectures, retreats and guided and individual meditation practices (55-59 Chrystie; diamondway.org).
The Importance of Self-care
Around the holidays, we’re so busy giving to others, it’s easy to forget ourselves. It’s important to make time for self-care. For example, get a relaxing manicure and pedicure, soak in a hot tub, sip a soothing cup of tea in a quiet café, or indulge in a massage. At Kula Yoga Project’s new treatment space, you can find many bodywork options like therapeutic and Thai massage and acupuncture (28 Warren; kulayoga.com).
Replacing unhealthy habits with healthier lifestyle choices will create long-lasting changes. In turn, those long-term changes can promote a better sense of overall balance and well-being. This year, I challenge you to set an intention to be your best in 2010 and guarantee you’ll find yourself reaching your goals and making this your best year ever.
About the author
A certified health and wellness coach, Marissa Vicario (left) is the founder of Tribeca-based Marissa’s Well-being and Health (MWAH!). She works with clients one-on-one and in groups to help them set and achieve goals for a happier healthier more balanced life.Marissa can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or via her website, mwahonline.com.