Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A New Year, An Old Thought—Here We Go Again

We’ve all made resolutions, usually about once a year when January 1 rolls around, resolutions about working toward healthier habits, and ultimately, better health. And, we’ve all, at times veered away from our best intentions, usually unintentionally. This says, “we’re human. It’s what we humans do.” And, it also says we sometimes end up doing what we don’t intend to do or want to do. That’s part of what makes us human. When we make a resolution, or set our sights on a goal we want to meet—and then we don’t, that also makes us human. Maybe not happy with ourselves, but human.

So if we don’t give up, we try again, and maybe we try harder. We fall down six times, we get up seven. But, just how hard are we supposed to try? How hard is this wellness stuff supposed to be?

Actually, it’s about as hard as we make it. It’s really pretty simple. It’s just not easy. So, which is it? Well, like life, it’s a long chain of choices. There are “cues” all around us that move us toward or away from the choices we make—and the reasons why. We make certain choices because we think they are better for us. We associate the choices we make with comfort or denial, success or failure. And, sometimes we choose one thing over another without even knowing why. (Do you know that by simply believing something is good for you, or believing it tastes good, you attribute a higher value to it—and eat more of it. As an example, if you see an expensive looking name on a bottle of wine, you will tend to drink more of it.)

Now, let’s think about less . . . because less of something is also a choice. Less isn’t necessarily about deprivation. As an active choice, less of something can actually be more (no this isn’t gobbledygook, there is a point), depending on how you choose to look at it. Less food can mean better health (more health). It can mean weight loss (more health). It can mean success as you go after your New Year’s resolution (more health). You probably have the idea by now. And, where ideas are concerned, here’s a wild one . . . we know it’s socially acceptable to support each other when we’re trying to break the smoking habit. Think what we could accomplish, individually and collectively, if we made eating a less socially acceptable habit?

Here’s a final thought on the choices we make, the reasons we make them, and what we hope to achieve with our New Year’s resolution of working toward better health and healthier habits. Have you ever thought about what you can accomplish if rather than focusing on what you “have” to give up, you focus instead on what you will get in return?

No comments: