New Year Resolutions

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Every three months, the business where I work organizes departmental meetings to discuss how we can make our company better. Each division brainstorms a specific action that will enhance the service provided to our customers. Then, a method is set up to quantify this action. For the next three months, my coworkers and I check in with each other once a week to see how many times we successfully performed our duty. If our goals were not reached, we identify the obstacles that prevented us from doing our jobs and strategize how to overcome these issues.

Creating quantifiable measures and reporting them incentivizes us to perform on a daily basis. Dedicating three months to one daily goal makes our practice become habit. Furthermore, once the three months are up and we move onto a new specific target, it is expected that we continue our previous measures, since we are now aware that our actions help our business.

With the New Year coming up, perhaps I can use this method to stick to good habits I have trouble developing. Every single year, without fail, before the clock strikes twelve on December 31st, I resolve to do more exercise. I promise to eat less sweets and cheese. This year, I’m contemplating adding meditating and practicing yoga to my list of goals for 2014. Pessimistically, I sort of know that if I just make a promise, I’m not going to perform these goals as much as I would like. Therefore, I’m inclined just this once to bring work home and use this three month strategy in my personal life. So, here is my rough plan:

ALEXIS’ ROUGH PLAN OF HOW TO ACTUALLY FULFILL HER NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR 2014

12 months, 4 goals, 3 months per goal

January, February, March- Eat Better

April, May, June- Practice Yoga

July, August, September- Exercise More

October, November, December- Meditate

While you may be thinking that these four resolutions are way simple, I find them to be essential to living life. However, I have difficulty with performing any of them on a daily, even weekly, basis. Part of it has to do with having a resilient, youthful, and healthy body; being married to a man who loves me no matter how I look; belonging to a supportive and loving family; and, possessing a mind that is most of the time at ease. So, it hasn’t been too critical for me to follow these habits. I do not need them to survive day by day. However, I feel that adopting these enlightening practices will increase my quality of life and make me a healthier, more spiritual, and more compassionate person. And I do possess the desire to be better.

Why don’t I just do all these things all at once? Well, I’m going to try. I mean, these healthy practices are pretty much essential to filling my life with contentment. However, just doing these things is easier said than done. Especially when I am a notorious excuser, winer, and unfulfiller of New Year’s resolutions. In 2014, I will try something different.

For the first three months of the year, while my official resolution is the very general desire to “Eat Better”, I’m hoping to also exercise, practice yoga, and meditate. However, I only want to track “Eat Better”, so that I can make my desires habitual. As December comes to a close, I am going to brainstorm how to successfully perform this feat. I will conduct research regarding how to change my diet and consumption.

For example, my tummy and my skin tell me I should stay away from dairy products. I know I should eat more greens and less bread. I stopped eating meat, so I need to make sure to get the right amount of protein, calcium, magnesium, and sodium in non-meat products. I also want to develop the self control to stop eating when my stomach is full and not over eat. I’d like to stay away from products that are over processed and make my own food from scratch, like humus or salad dressing.

Part of the effectiveness of this strategy is to track data in an easy and fun way. Counting calories or jotting down everything I ate on a specific day are not things that I find to be easy or fun. Therefore, I’m going to have to be a bit more creative about how to monitor my goals. I’m thinking posting recipes will help with that. Maybe dedicating a blog post to describing an especially delicious meal, a great restaurant, or cool organic practices. I might give myself a ranking of how well I think I ate that day. Gold star stickers might be granted for a job well done…

I can use social media as a way to peer pressure myself into sticking to my resolution. I will also hold meetings with myself (and maybe others, if I can convince them to come on board with me) on a weekly basis to decide if I met my goals. If I didn’t, I will reboot and contemplate on how to do better the next week.

Just a quick word about my four resolutions. I’m starting with the easiest one for me. I like to cook and be creative in the kitchen. I am not too far from having a daily diet of which I can be proud.

“Practice Yoga”, will be difficult for me since it most likely will require waking up even earlier than I do now (5:30AM!). At one time, I was practicing on a daily basis and I am aware of the benefits felt by my body and mind.

“Exercise More”, is probably the hardest. It will take excessive will and creativity to get myself to work out more than once a week…This is why I left this for the summer months, hoping that being able to do things outside will help.

I have little experience with “Meditate” and find it very challenging. With all my other habits taking up more of my morning, I will find it difficult to motivate myself to practice on a daily basis. Since being mindful is essential to finding inner peace, this resolution is probably the most important one for me to accomplish.

I didn’t place “Write” on that list above because writing will be part of this entire process. I intend to use blogs and social media to report my weekly performance and hopefully have a platform where I can seek advice and conduct research.

Wish me luck!

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