Selfish, Feel-good New Year's Resolutions

I think I have read more than 5,000 articles on New Year’s Resolutions over my lifetime. I’m sure most of you have as well? You are reading this, so therefore I will assume the worst. Like me, most articles don’t work!! I keep trying and trying but, I still need to lose 30 lbs., be nicer to my husband and save money. I haven’t been more thrifty, cut coupons or hit the gym more often.

So I was thinking. Perhaps, I need a new spin on New Year’s? This year, we have made the very unpopular decision to stay home. Why is it so unpopular? Well, I’d like to believe it’s because we’re so much fun no one wants to have a party without us? More likely, we have lovely friends who feel bad that the Ferrary family is staying home. Lovely people our friends, but the more I think about it, the more it excites me to start off the most important day of the year as a family. I think it feels better (especially in the morning!)

So this New Years I’ve decided is the year to feel better and add things I want to do versus add things I have to do! That should be easy to keep, right? Let me share some examples. For a living, my companies teaches  people how to ‘frame messages’ better so they’re better received by their audience and therefore, helps them be more successful. Not sure why I haven’t soared with my strengths sooner, but here goes! This time, I will frame my New Year’s resolutions message so they’re better received by me- and my psyche – and hence, I will be more successful.

Let’s start small:

I commit in 2014 I will only use cloth napkins.

Well the truth is, I own scores of them, and I prefer them, they work better, and it feels like a little luxury at home. It doesn’t take any longer to wash them, I’m doing laundry anyway. Ha! I just saved $10/month, saved the environment AND treated myself to something I deserve.          

In 2014 I will go to work with my shoes on. Easy, right? I’m putting them on eventually anyway. This sounds crazy, but half the week I work from home. Those days, I could stay in my robe until school lets out. Not because I want to, but because I just get so busy and forget to change. But here’s the thing – when I do, my dog doesn’t get walked at lunchtime, I miss out on Vitamin D, my dog is getting fat, I don’t take that much needed mental break and actually become less productive, oddly enough, I don’t feel as good about myself… Funny, just because of shoes. Classic cause and effect.

I will encourage my daughter to write on the bathroom mirror each morning. (Of course it will need to be something inspiring and with dry erase markers) She’ll love it, it will give us a positive jump start to every morning, it will improve her handwriting, it will spur creativity… and who else gets to write on the bathroom mirror every morning? A daily affirmation by your child? I'm not sure even Tony Robbins can top that!

In 2014 I will thank my body at least once every day.  Oddly enough, I am most excited about this one! Any time I thank my body it feels sooo good! The delicious treat of a ripe peach, a massage, steam room, brisk walk or work out, meditating, sugar scrub or even yogurt with granola. Now I’ve actually started this one after my last Christmas party and so far, so good! OK, so it’s only been 3 days, but, I’m actually looking forward to making my body FEEL good! But what has been more interesting is how this newest resolution has made me much more aware of when I’m making my body feel bad! Instead of saying I have to work out, I have to eat right, or I have to lose weight this year, I’m going to challenge myself to spoil my body every day. 

Last night I went to grab a cake pop my daughter had made. I picked it up and my brain automatically connected to it making my body feel bad. It was so much easier to put that down and grab a glass of water and ‘treat my body.’ While I drank the water, I swear I could hear my cells bursting open and screaming “Thank you, Colleen!” 

Truth is; I like to feel good. Starbucks' fixes, the Christmas cookies and staying in my robe don’t make me feel good. Why is that moment on your lips so irresistible? After the cookies are gone, I don’t know many people who feel great about it. So what if this New Year’s we all spoil ourselves? Perhaps, if we frame the message right, this time we’ll listen?


Here are a few other suggestions:

Take longer showers (and invest in a tankless water heater) Great for mental health, save money, tax deduction… A little aside, relaxation/meditation can add 14 years to the average adult’s life!

Only use loofahs (Better for your skin, uses less soap, don’t have to launder, luxury for you…)

Take a dance break after dinner. This is a favored tradition. Whether it’s to Sinatra with my husband or to Miley Cyrus with my 9 year old, it’s great cardio, great for mental health, excellent memories your children will remember forever, and it's bound to make you smile…which we know is good for everything else.

Plan weekly lunch dates. Once a week at least- with friends, spouse, children or neighbor. (Never a work friend, because despite it all, you WILL talk about work.)

Tell yourself every day just how wonderful you really are! If you're anything like me, you're your own toughest critic. I start my day off with "How can I get more done? How can I make this person have a better day or my child be a better student? What can I do better and improve today? My house isn't clean enough! My thighs look like my mother's! What if we did the opposite? Instead of making a New Year's resolution about how to get better, we tell ourselves how much better we are today that yesterday? Positive energy, appreciation, self-appreciation and confidence are the characteristics that breed success. At Employment Tutors (EmploymentTutors.com) we've found our formula for helping people successfully get through the hiring process is to help them really see and believe in what they have to offer. So why don't we do that to successfully transition to better lifestyles?

Won't it be much easier to challenge yourself to say: "Ya know, Ferrary, this house looks pretty dang good considering how hard you work!"

Here's to treating yourself this year instead of demanding change.  I'm in! I hope you are, too!

Colleen Ferrary

Colleen is the Managing Partner of Atlantic Social Club of CT (Engagement Strategists for Hartford businesses) and Employment Tutors (helping people get to work!)

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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