I love New Year. Not New Year’s Eve, I outgrew that long ago, and now struggle to stay awake until the Times Square ball drops, one time zone ahead of me. No, I like the sense of renewal that New Year’s brings. I make resolutions, and like nearly everyone, find them very difficult to keep. I’ve been reading about this phenomenon, and have discovered that keeping commitments is more about your state of mind than your willpower. Anything that points you in the direction of wellness—physical, mental, emotional, spiritual—is likely to help you do the things you want to do.
We all want to improve our wellness, whether that means losing weight, eating better, being kinder and more compassionate, whatever. In the past, I would have chosen one or two or three of these and struggled to achieve any. Nevertheless, my goal is to improve my wellness. So, this year I got smart (at least temporarily) and thought hard about how best to maximize my chance of success at improving wellness, and minimize the risk of becoming discouraged by failure. Here it is:
My resolution is to journal daily about my efforts to improve wellness. Note that there is no specific wellness activity identified, no standards to be set, no measure of success or failure other than writing a page a day about this. I plan to record my weight, my meals, my exercise, my reading, my kindness, my gratitude. Regardless, as long as I write about it, whether I did well or did poorly, I am keeping my resolution. And I have two theories to be tested: first, as a writer, the act of writing will keep me focused on what I’m doing, will provide feedback, and be enjoyable. Second, the act of writing and focusing will nudge me in the right direction, toward better eating, more exercise, generosity, kindness, etc.
We’ll see how it goes. I’ll let you know. I’m feeling pretty good about it.