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  • Will Your New Year’s Resolutions Actually Make Your Life Better (Or Just Stress You Out)?

    I ResolveJanuary is International Quality of Life Month. It’s also the month you’re most likely to work towards those New Years resolutions that you set at midnight New Year’s eve (after drinking all evening). With that in mind, it might be a good idea to think about your resolutions ahead of time and keep your stress level in mind while deciding which one(s) to make. Ask yourself:

    1. Will working toward this resolution cause my stress level to increase or decrease? Example:  If it’s going to stress you out to go without coffee but you want to pare back the amount of caffeine you consume, maybe you shouldn’t resolve to cut coffee out of your diet; instead, resolve to not have any after a certain time, or limit yourself to a certain number of cups per day.
    2. If I actually achieve the intended results of this resolution, which will benefit: my ego or my spirit? Example: Do you want to lose weight to look good (ego) or to feel good (spirit)? Feeding your spirit by resolving to regularly engage in an activity that brings you joy is going to be less stressful than doing something you don’t enjoy, and more likely to result in weight (or inch) loss. Feeding your ego by setting weight or size goals can actually set off a stress reaction in your body which will prevent you from losing weight (it might also cause you to resort to drastic/unhealthy exercise or dietary tactics in an attempt to reach your goal).
    3. Will this resolution really increase my quality of life? I think this one is self-explanatory.
    4. Is this a resolution I really feel a need or desire to work toward, or is it someone else’s idea (you know the type… “hey! why don’t we all set a weight loss resolution and help each other stay on track”)? Uuummm… you know the second type rarely succeeds, right? Unless of course it was your idea in the first place. Make sure your resolutions are yours and that no one is guilting, shaming, or commanding you into them.

    I’d love to hear your take on New Year’s resolutions. Do you make them? Why or why not? If you do make them, how do you decide which one to make? Please leave your answers in the comments below and don’t forget to share this post with your peeps on FB, Twitter, and the like. (Handy buttons below, yadda yadda yadda)