Making it simple
New Year's resolutions remind me of Lent. Catholics give up coffee, chocolate, swearing. And what tends to happen on Easter morning? They get a venti latte at Starbucks, eat a multitude of chocolate Easter eggs, and eventually start swearing again like a sailor. One year I gave up gum. That was a true hardship. The Monday after Easter I was stuffing 3 Bubble Yum cubes in my mouth. Thing is, I never felt like anything happened or that I became a better person because I gave something up, I just went back to the old me and smacked more gum. One of the many resolutions I read people put down on their list is joining a gym. According to google, almost 50% of new gym members cancel their memberships by the end of January. After years of making New Year's resolutions over and over and failing (commonly known as insanity), I gave up.
Now, I make just a few changes along the way. They're simple and I give myself a lot of leeway to do them imperfectly. Last year I committed to the following activities and I'm still doing them:
A) Walking between 5,000 and 10,000 steps every day. If I achieve the low number, great. Getting all the steps in equals a big pat on the back.
B) Stretching. When I see my kitty Paco stretch, I do some stretches as well. If he can do It, so can I.
C) Drinking 8-10 glasses of water daily. I have a huge blue jug that I fill up every morning. When I get most of it down my throat, I'm golden.
D) Being effin' grateful. At some point during the day, I say at least one 'thank you' to myself. I don't always know what it's for, I just say it. Sometimes it's for the roof over my head. Last week it was because I got to an intersection minutes after there was a three-car collision. If I had gotten there any earlier, I would have been in the thick of it. There were more than three thank you's uttered that day.
Recently I heard Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith discussing these in a sermon and decided to adopt the first two while adding a third as my intentions for 2023:
1. No need to compare
2. No need to complain
3. No need to be spiteful
I call them 'reverse affirmations' and I'm committed to lessening the amount of times I inadvertently complete them. You know how when you're talking to a friend or co-worker and a person who's been on the news comes up in conversation and suddenly you're trashing them? Or maybe you're in your voiceover booth during an audition thinking, 'I wonder if Kay Bess is auditioning for this spot, she's probably going to book it, she's so good.' Or you arrive at a party and the first thing out of your mouth might be, "I'm so tired, my life's a mess." Yeah, NOT doing that in 2023.
My bonus task? Hugging Paco at least three times daily. It used to be once a day but he's so darn cute I can't help myself. He's gotten very tolerant of me when I swoop him up and hold him like a baby. He no longer squirms, just purrs and looks at me like he's saying "ok, I'll take that action." If he could talk he would be a radio host for sure.
“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.”