Health · Wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Those pesky New Year’s Resolutions 

January 4, 2017 I posted my resolutions for the year.  Writing them down is supposed to make them stronger somehow.  I revisited my progress in March and now I’m checking back in.  In a nutshell this is the condensed version of them.

Resolution #1

January 4, 2017:   Try to cut back on processed foods and find exercises that I can do even with my feet in the terrible condition they are in. Walking, running, and any type of exercise that puts pressure on my feet are out so some research is going to be necessary. Weight loss would be great but my goal is a stronger, healthier body.

March:  I have lengthened my yoga routine and perform it at least 5 times a week (sometimes more). My body complains whenever I skip it. My feet and ankles are getting stronger and I’ve found some cardio moves that I can do that don’t put too much pressure on my feet. I must confess that I am still eating unhealthy snacks after dinner and am trying desperately to stop. I am so mad at myself afterwards, but can’t seem to keep myself from doing it. Needless to say, no weight loss has occurred.

September:  It is now September and I can honestly say that I feel like I have fulfilled this resolution. Although not to the extent that I would have liked. Our garden has provided a bounty of fresh vegetables this season and I’m proud to say that we eat one meatless meal almost every week. I don’t think it’s helped us cut back on junk food consumption as much I would have liked, but there’s always next year’s resolutions. I’m sure we eat a lot less processed foods than other families, but I haven’t been able to reduce my portions enough to lose even a pound of weight. My late night snacking is still a problem as well. I keep trying though. My yoga routine went out the window as soon as school was out for the summer. Unless I got up at 6am and performed my routine in the cramped quarters of my bedroom, someone always walked in and disturbed me. I tried to get my girls to practice yoga with me and they pretty much put an end to my yoga routine as well as resolution number 2 (no yelling). All they wanted to do was talk, giggle, or complain that it was too hard. Near the end of June however I realized that while I wasn’t really strong enough to swim enough laps in our pool for it to make much difference, I could tread water. I have been doing this almost daily and can now easily tread for over 30 minutes without getting out of breath. This is great exercise for me since it puts no pressure on those painful feet of mine. I even manage to swim a few laps during my time in the water. While I haven’t lost any weight I have toned up my legs considerably. Alas all good things must come to an end, the weather is getting colder and our schedules are getting busier and I’m already having trouble finding time (or high enough temperatures) for my swim. Maybe I can get back to yoga with the kids in school? Or maybe I’m strong enough to try bicycling.

Resolution #2

January:  This one is for the entire family. We need to yell less and listen more. Our new mantra is going to be: STOP, LISTEN, BREATHE, THINK, and then ACT. No yelling, I’ve learned it doesn’t do any good anyway. 

March:  I must say that I was doing great until the end of January (3 whole weeks) when I exploded over my eldest daughter’s lack of concern about practicing for her speech and song for the impending Jr. Beta Convention. I was so frustrated with her indifferent attitude that I didn’t even realize I was yelling until it was over.  Time to start over again.

September:  Somehow I don’t think my family will ever fulfill this resolution.  We’re loud and emotional and unfortunately that leads to yelling especially when we’re frustrated by other family members actions (or lack their of).  Back to January’s mantra, “STOP, LISTEN, BREATHE, THINK, and then ACT.”  Maybe I can have it tattooed on everyone’s foreheads so we’ll see it before we speak.  I’m afraid it’s going to take something that drastic to force a change in this behavior.

Resolution #3:

January:  I resolve to create a “Happiness Journal” to record the things I’m thankful for that make me happy every day, and I will try to live in the moment and appreciate every minute whether difficult or joyous.”

March:  I started off great (not exactly). I purchased a journal and titled it. Then one month later (February 4th, to be exact) I made my first entry in it. It was two pages long and consisted of me venting my frustrations about my entire family. In the end I finally managed to find two tiny things to be grateful for. One week later I managed a list of three things that I was happy about. I haven’t touched it since. It’s time for a re-boot on Resolution 3 as well.
September:  In preparation for this post, I spent 30 minutes searching for my “Happiness Journal,” that should tell you how well I’m doing with this resolution.  After March’s post I dutifully tried (for 2 days) to list things that made me happy, but I found that what I really wanted to do was vent about all the things that had made me mad that day.  I wasn’t sure how healthy that would be (now I’m thinking maybe it would be a good idea, at least I wouldn’t keep things bottled up inside me until I explode thereby breaking Resolution #2).  Needless to say nothing else was written until I dug out the journal for this post.  The first day of the “re-boot” I managed to list 2 things I was happy about.  Imagine that, after 6 months you’d think the list would be longer than that.  The next night when I couldn’t sleep I used the journal to vent about all the changes I want to make in my life so maybe then I’d have something to write in a “Happiness Journal.”  Maybe I should just rename this journal “Things I Think Would Make me Happy” or “Journal for Venting my Frustrations so I don’t Break Resolution #2.”  

I’m writing all this to give you a little hope, not to discourage you from making resolutions.  We may not stick to the letter of our January resolutions, but some part of our proposed positive changes usually stick.  And any positive change in our lives is a win in my book, no matter how small.  What I have learned is that your resolutions should be small (think baby steps) and realistic.