No Resolutions- Say it With Me.

Originally published on November 16, 2012

The holidays are here, we can pretend they aren’t. But as I prep a recipe post using sage even I can’t fight it. So now that I’ve said it let’s buzz right past Thanksgiving through December and settle in on January 1. The dreaded New Year. Why?

 

New Year’s resolutions are a set up for failure. I’m going to type that again. New Year’s resolutions are a set up for failure. I hope you all are pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down.

We need to keep it real.

Think about it for a minute. We (usually drunkenly or with a hangover) make promises of sweeping change. We will stop the recession, lose 20 pounds and train for a marathon while we find a cure for cancer. We fling arms around each other and vow we will be different this time, that this time we will ________.

Then we pass out or fall asleep. Because of pride and ego we move forward for a few days with our promise (a week if we are really lucky) until something happens and we call it quits. The content of the promise doesn’t matter. Our lack of planning does.

I’ve mentioned before that I was a smoker. If I had a nickel for every time I secretly promised myself I was going to stop I’d be writing this post from my place in Tuscany or maybe from the French side of St. Martin because that’s how much freaking cash I would have. Truthfully, I’d be reciting this to someone who would be typing this post.

 

Think my point is made.

 

I mention this because a few weeks ago I was struck by a urge to smoke. Not a passing thought but an incessant screaming that sat next to me for a few days. I blame myself really, when you are addicted to something you need to stay focused and realize that when things feel safe is when a slip is most likely to happen.

 

I didn’t smoke. But it wasn’t wistfully looking back on a tipsy New Year’s memory that got me through.

 

My plan did. I reminded myself of how happy my smoke-free life was. I looked in the mirror and reminded myself that I stopped doing something I didn’t think I ever would. And I made it a point to do some extra yoga that week. And it worked. Here I am living to tell the tale. So this holiday season while you are lighting up or doing something else that you’d like to stop, no need to wait until January 1.

 

Start today. Start right now. Create a plan. Get help if you need it. You’re worth the work and the reward.

 

Let the holiday season begin.

 

Namsate y’all.

 

O

Advertisements

Adventures in Yoga- Attitude of Gratitude

The attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga

These days, I have an attitude of gratitude.

I’m speaking in slogans again.

It’s trite and corny. But truth be told, I’m a  lil trite and a lot corny so, there you go.

How we choose to respond to a situation can be the difference between a fence mended or a bridge burned.

I’m talking about gratitude.

Each morning I make a  mental list for all the things for which I’m grateful. It plants the seeds of a great day.

Life is short. Thanksgiving should be every day.

The term ‘gratitude’ is the latest to make the buzzword list, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth discussing. An overused word perhaps, but gratitude has the ability to make change our day, promote healing and make our lives better. In 2007 Robert Emmons wrote a book, Thanks: How The New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. For over 8 years Emmons researched people who practiced gratitude. The findings were quite telling:

  • Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress.
  • Maintaining a gratitude journal for three weeks resulted in better sleep quality and duration, more energy and even more time spent exercising.
  • A grateful approach to life can be one of the most effective ways of coping with disease, disability, and even death.

 

  1. Keep a gratitude journal– it keeps you focused on what really matters and inspires positive thinking
  2. Thank people without wanting a ‘You’re welcome’ in return
  3. Smile- research has shown that smiling can actually be good for you. Wired.com had an interview with Marianne LaFrance who wrote Lip Service: Smiles in Life, Death, Work, Sex and Politics. She has studied the impact of smiling on the human body. So turn that frown upside down. It will truly make you feel better.
  4. Reflect– taking a moment to think about what makes us grateful changes our attitude. It can make tough moments easier to get through. Take a moment to remember that you got through hard times before. You can get through them again.
  5.  Repeat– repeating actions cause habit, both bad and good. So repeat good actions and create positive habits that you can keep for life!

So now you. What makes you get grateful?

Make a list. Check it twice.

Reading it out loud can be nice.

Namaste y’all.