First of all, I called up the blog post about resolutions from January 3rd of this year. I didn’t list any particular promises to myself. However, the Blue Jay of Happiness quote from Cavett Robert remains relevant. “Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.” This was a good closing statement on the post titled, “Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep”.
Whether the promise is a New Year’s resolution or some other vow we have made it will be thrown under the bus if I have not done anything more constructive with my mindset. This is one reason I’m careful about keeping a short New Year’s resolutions list. That is, each resolution is taken seriously. I’m a lousy multi-tasker, so it’s one thing at a time for me.
The top resolution on my short list is to reign in my addiction to junk food and sugars. So far, so good. I haven’t bought nor consumed any chips nor snacks at all. The sugar bowl has not been refilled nor used even once since January first. To do this did not require an iron will, which I don’t have anyway. I only needed to pay closer attention to how my body and state of mind feel after consuming particular foods and drinks.
The food substitution that has made the biggest difference is exchanging stir-fry vegetables in place of macaroni and cheese. This has resulted in higher levels of alertness and fewer symptoms of neuropathy. Because stir-fry has long been a comfort food anyway, the substitution of one comfort food for another made the transition easier. This also makes continuing the resolution to curb junk food and sugar nearly effortless.
One way to cut the fluff from New Year’s Resolutions lists is to not write down things I was not going to do anyway. For instance, why should I resolve to cut back my intake of alcoholic beverages? I’m not much of a drinker in the first place. At most, I might have three cans of beer and one cocktail in a year’s time. It’s more constructive to concentrate on something that I want to do, such as adding more distance to my daily walks.
The problem most people have with resolutions is that resolutions are seen as big, intimidating shifts in behavior. A change in point of view helps us overcome this misconception. We make more productive progress when we take on life one day at a time. Sure, this seems like old fashioned and hackneyed advise, but it’s actually time-tested and true.
If I tell myself that I will never use sugar ever again for the rest of my life, I will have put up a major, scary prohibition. Meantime, if I tell myself, I choose not to use sugar today, this is an achievable goal. A nice thing about daily choices is that those choices soon become habitual. Plus, if I stumble and have sugar one day, all is not lost. I can promise not to use sugar the next day.
We can make decisions to enhance our happiness and the happiness of others. Looking at New Year’s resolutions or half-year resolutions in the light of happiness enhancement goes a long ways towards manifesting results.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes actor Jake Gyllenhaal. “Don’t listen to what anybody says except the people who encourage you. If it’s what you want to do and it’s within yourself, then keep going and try to do it for the rest of your life.”