The New Year is here and most people have their New Year’s resolution list made up and trying to implement their plan into action. Starting the year off with improving yourself and your family is excellent, but do not overwhelm yourself with so much change that you change nothing. I think doing something new/different once a week is a good start for change. Making this a family affair is even better. Even though we all have our own individual resolutions, I think having a family resolution would bring everyone closer. It does not have to be big or hard, just something that the family can accomplish together. One thing I have planned to do this year with my daughter is learn a different language, we have already started. I have a friend who speaks Swahili, my daughter and I have been in around this person for 2 years, we understand some of the words and conversational talk, but we cannot speak anything. So this year we are going to learn to understand more and speak Swahili together. So I challenge everyone to do a New Year’s family resolution and next year asses how far you have grown as a family.
For the past several years one of my New Year’s resolutions has been weight loss. I have tried many different diet programs in the past and they do work, at first. Overtime these diets tend to taper off and after a while, I’ve gained back the pounds that I had lost. Although, weight loss is on my resolution’s list; I plan to reach this goal in a healthy way.
In October, 2010, Meg Selig published an article in Changepower magazine titled “Why Diets Don’t Work…And What Does.” She explains that she is against diets that have highly restrictive eating programs and listed below are the reasons why:
1. As weight loss programs, diets don’t work! Yes, you lose weight, but about 95% of people who lose weight by dieting will regain it in 1-5 years. Since dieting, by definition, is a temporary food plan, it won’t work in the long run. Moreover, the deprivation of restrictive diets may lead to a diet-overeat or diet-binge cycle. And since your body doesn’t want you to starve, it responds to overly-restrictive diets by slowing your metabolism which of course makes it harder to lose weight.
2. Fad diets can be harmful. They may lack essential nutrients, for example. Moreover, they teach you nothing about healthy eating. Thus, when you’ve “completed” your fad diet, you simply boomerang back to the unhealthy eating patterns that caused your weight gain in the first place! This is the beginning of “yo-yo dieting,” which can bring its own health problems in its wake.
3. Overly restrictive diets can take all the pleasure out of eating! There’s no reason to be a sacrificial lamb, so to speak, to lose weight.
4. Dieting, along with the frequent and compulsive weighing that accompanies it, can lead to eating disorders. According to one source, people who diet are 8 times as likely to develop an eating disorder as people who don’t.
John Gottman has done decades of research on what makes marriages work and what doesn’t. He has published several books, both for professionals and laypeople. You can find them *here* and also check out www.gottman.com. This post is the first of several where we will discuss Gottman’s “Sound Relationship House.”
Gottman says the foundation of a strong marriage is “building love maps.” This means knowing your partner as you know a friend. His or her likes, tastes, preferences. Think of The Newlywed Game. What is your partners favorite dessert? What is his/her favorite season? What was his/her most embarrassing moment?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you might not really KNOW your partner. You might make it a priority to spend some time getting to know each other, as if you were dating. Gottman has a Love Maps app you can buy on your phone ($5) or a Love Maps card game you can find on Amazon. There are also several books of questions that accomplish the same goal.
These question games can be fun. We have taken books of questions on road trips and asked each other as a family. (Although I admit that this activity was more fun for me, the therapist of the family, than any one else.) It’s interesting to hear about where your loved one would most like to visit or what they would say to the President if they could.
This is a good activity to build any relationship: with your children, your parents, your best friend. I encourage you to try it and watch your relationship grow.
At the beginning 2013 I decided I wanted to live life on purpose. I determined that I would follow my heart and live out the things I felt God calling me to do. I left behind a full time job and personal ambitions to spend more time as a mother and in ministry as I felt God leading. In 2014, I plan to pursue life on purpose even more fervently and with greater passion. I have only one resolution for this year and each year thereafter- to live life fully and with no regrets.
The book One Month to Live was one of the catalysts for my change. Written by Kerry and Chris Shook, One Month to Live challenges readers to live each day with passion, purpose and urgency. The book will take you through a 30 day journey where you seek God to develop greater focus and begin taking steps to live the life you were created to live. Perhaps you have let some of your goals and dreams fall aside; this book will give you the motivation needed to begin dreaming again and to take action to make your dreams come true. I found that as I worked through the 30 day text, I gained focus and clearer understanding of my passions and purpose.
One Month to Live made such an impact on my life that I decided to re-read the book to help me evaluate and refocus myself for 2014. So follow me for the next few weeks as I share highlights from my journey to a no regrets life. You may even want to read the book for yourself and share in the discussions. Remember let’s live each day on purpose, not just for 2014 but for the rest of our lives.
You can order the book here under blog recommendations.
This is the time of the season when most people often examine the previous years of their life. Maybe you are saying you want to be a better husband or better wife or better yet, you want to be a better mom or dad. You may be saying that you want to get out of debt or become a better business person. Maybe you want to become drug free and stop drinking or smoking. All of these things are a result of self-analysis. Most self-analysis is in the areas of faith, family, marriage/relationships, health, wealth, and careers. Self-analysis is done in order to detect and measure the progression, regression or stagnation that has occurred in your life over a period of time. If it is found that things has not transpired the way that you have desired, then you may decide like many people do every year, and make a New Year’s resolution. Sounds familiar? Of course it does. Making New Year’s resolutions can be a good thing and a fun thing. However, they must be realistic. When you make resolutions that are not realistic, you set yourself up for instant failure. If you make a goal to become a billionaire by this time next year and you have not grossed over a million in the previous years, you are setting an unrealistic resolution. Also, you want to make sure that the resolution is attainable. If it is not attainable, you will eventually burn yourself out trying to reach such a goal. Attainable does not mean easy. However, you want to make sure that it is reachable. For instance, you may say that you want to lose 10 to 20lbs in the next three months. Whether you meet or exceed this goal, at least you have made it attainable. New Year’s resolutions can be a positive aspect of your life. If done properly, New Year’s resolutions can be a major turning point in your life. Remember, the resolution only becomes bad if you have made it bad from the jump! Happy New Years!
It is end of the year and many contemplate on what New Year’s resolutions need to be made. Many create a daunting long list of New Year’s resolutions and start out full-force but ultimately do not achieve their goals. Many get busy with life and taper off of their goals even as early as February. New Year’s resolutions are not about creating a bucket list. When we create such long lists it’s no wonder that we are not able to complete all of those goals and become discouraged. Here are some tips to help set goals:
1. Pick one or two goals to focus on.
2. Make goals specific and realistic to attain. They need to be measurable.
3. Make a plan of how to accomplish these goals.
4. Set aside time to work towards your goals.
Some basic New Year’s resolutions most people think of are losing weight and eating healthy. Don’t get me wrong, as these are great goals, but we should also consider working on relationships such as marriage and relationships with family and friends. I plan on reflecting back on 2013 and thinking of the highlights. Then, I’ll create goals for the coming year. For instance, my husband and I can pray together three times a week to deepen our spiritual walk together as husband and wife. Ask yourself questions such as: How would we like to see our marriage improve? What can we do to draw closer to God as a couple and to each other? How can we come closer together as a family?
How can you make personal and relational improvements in 2014?
Kavita Hamilton, LPC-Intern