Share this post
Digging deeper into the success vs. failure of New Year’s resolutions
Intention: noun a thing intended; an aim or plan.
Resolution: noun a firm decision to do or not to do something.
The term itself, “New Year’s Resolution,” can lead to the flopping of many, for when there is an err or slip in the firmly stated resolution, there is loss of hope and determination as one becomes aware of their weakness. “I have failed,” or “I am not able,” all too easily becomes the voice in one’s head. However, this need not be the case.
One thing that may be helpful in the implementation of change is to frame a resolution as an intention, that is, a direction that one intends to pursue. This can help us experience our slip-ups with grace and acceptance of humanity, not fully falling off the wagon because the firm resolve stated in the clock hour of 12:01 am of January 1st no longer exists. Synonyms for intention include purpose, aim, intent, or goal; all words which reflect an overall strategy and direction. Resolution, on the other hand, is the noun form of the verb resolve, which is synonymous with determination, steadfastness, tenacity, and perseverance. Interestingly, the word origin of resolution is the Latin word resolvere, having the meaning ‘loosen or release’ which is somewhat opposite to how we have come to see what a New Year’s resolution is. How would our attitudes change if we came to accept our resolutions as letting go of something rather than firmly directing our behavior?
As a musical term, the word resolution means ‘the passing of a discord into a concord during the course of changing harmony.’
To change a lifestyle…
Changing a lifestyle pattern or behavior involves many, many factors, regardless of how large or small. Take, for example, the desire to change dietary patterns around snacking and instead resolving to eat three meals a day. Sure, on day one this is fine as it is a holiday, and there is time for meals and eating with friends. Day two until the weekend perhaps you can also make it through, particularly if you have planned ahead. But by the next week when the kids are also back at school or the job is in swing full force, how are you finding time for breakfast, or fitting in lunch with so much in the workday ahead? By week three you give up, and resort to an assortment of snacks again at the desk or the office. Let’s assess this simple example and think about a couple things that led to the fallout.
- The old behavior was working well in terms of time and necessity. So how can changes be put into place for the new behavior to also meet these needs? What reasonable variations of the new behavior are acceptable? Can a smoothie or a nutritionally complete snack bar be an exception for days where there is a crunch on time? How about planning ahead better with leftovers? Considering what was working with the old behavior will help guide what changes are necessary to have the new behavior take hold.
- There is no positive reinforcement system to encourage continuation of “new behavior.” It is highly likely no one else in the office has made this same resolution, and often office policies are not to take a “real lunch.” Your kids don’t care if you are getting breakfast in the morning, and probably are only thinking about their needs being met. Maybe someone else can come on board as a partner at the office who also is seeking to make this change, or one of your kids could be tasked to put breakfast on the table a couple days each week? Of course, you may be shorted with a banana and a yogurt or pack of snack crackers, but with time this may improve, and it can be a learning lesson for them.
- Habits and behaviors are learned and reinforced over a period of time, and so must be new ones. Rather than just on day one, take time each day or week to re-set your intention in a ritualistic practice. This could be by starting the week with a freezer full of meals or smoothies already prepared, or for others with a resolution of exercise, mapping out gym times or classes that will work in the week ahead. Even sending oneself a reminder on Sunday with a hyperlink to the gym schedule is one way for this to be repeated and reinforced weekly. Technology can be utilized to benefit more than the workday with such strategies!
One more definition: as a musical term, the word resolution means ‘the passing of a discord into a concord during the course of changing harmony.’ Perhaps the somewhat painful moments in the process of making change can be considered as just that, a movement from one key to another, through which one experiences discomfort and uncertainty only to come to a new place of comfort, that finally feels like home…
Share this post
Dr. Carrie Decker
How Vitamin C Can Kick Addiction
The versatile vitamin’s mechanisms of action This article serves as Part 3 in our series on vitamin C, pain, and opioid use disorder. Check out Part 1 to learn about the vitamin’s use in the management of pain. In Part 2 we dive into its potential for easing opioid withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings….
Stress-Modulating Blends from the Orient and the Ancient
Ancient remedies of Chinese Medicine and from the Celts support relaxation and emotional balance In addition to the popular botanicals and botanically-derived substances like ashwagandha and L-theanine, many other natural agents that support relaxation and healthy sleep exist. Although many people will say they have “tried everything,” substances that are less commonly used in…
Shining Light on Seasonal Depression
Natural approaches to overcoming seasonal affective disorder (SAD) As charming as I found the quad of the University in the summer, the winter semesters at my alma mater were brutal. It was cold. It was dark. It was damp. Many of my classmates looked ashen, tired, and miserable. In those dark Canadian winters I…
Easing Pain, Naturally
Drug-free, natural remedies for pain Just about nobody likes to be in pain. That may be why there are so many drugs out there nowadays that effectively treat it, and why we so consistently seek them out. While synthetic analgesics like opioids, NSAIDs, and acetaminophen can be effective in quieting pain, these drugs also…
Fighting Depression and Anxiety Through the Body
Vagus nerve stimulation for mood support (Part 1 of 2) There are many ways in which the physical body can influence the mind and mood. One very important link in the mind-body connection is the vagus nerve. Also known as the tenth cranial nerve X (abbreviated CN X), the vagus nerve “wanders” from the…
The Promise of NAC for Mental Health and Addiction
Numerous studies support the use of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) for mood disorders and substance use cessation N-acetylcysteine (NAC), well-known for its function as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory,, is commonly used in the clinic as a mucolytic,, the treatment of choice for acetaminophen overdose, and to help prevent liver damage resulting from acetaminophen and other toxic…
Subscribe for Updates
- Botanicals (57)
- GI Health (53)
- Healthy Aging (122)
- Immune Support (41)
- In The News (42)
- Kids Health (21)
- Stress and Relaxation (50)
- Video (9)
- Vitamins & Minerals (52)
Latest Issue of FOCUS Newsletter Available Now!
About Nutrition In Focus
Subscribe for Updates
Contents of this website are for the purpose of information and education only,
and not a guide to diagnosis or treatment of a particular disorder or its symptoms.
Copyright©2018-2021 Allergy Research Group®. All Rights Reserved.