Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

I do not have a list of New Year’s resolutions.

For too many years I set myself up declaring all the things I was going to change about myself. Lose weight, exercise every day, eat less sugar, stop smoking, stop worrying, etc. Every year I had such a long list that I did not stick with anything long enough to actually achieve the change I wanted. Then I spent the next eleven and a half months beating myself up for not sticking to and accomplishing all of my resolutions.

One year it dawned on me, a long list was too overwhelming. So I chose one thing to focus on. I chose the most important thing for me to accomplish in the new year. Stopping a deadly habit.

Quitting smoking was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. For about six weeks prior to my last cigarette I prepared myself emotionally and physically. I smoked less and less each day. I concentrated on staying in touch with my feelings when I wanted a cigarette. I got honest about not finding smoking pleasurable. I chose a date. Then on a Sunday evening around 9 p.m., over twenty-five years ago, I put cigarettes down for good. I stayed vigilant. I refused to listen to my mind that told me I could have just one more. I replaced smoking with loving myself in healthy ways.

By accomplishing this huge goal I became inspired to tackle the next big item of losing the extra weight I had before I quit smoking. After successfully quitting smoking, ending a twenty-two year habit, I was empowered. So losing the weight, while not easy, was something I knew I could do. And I did it. And it was easier than I thought because I was focused on just losing weight.

You can accomplish anything you put your mind and heart to. This year I encourage you to identify one thing to concentrate on, to make a consistent part of your new 2022 life-style. After achieving one thing, then add another. Because doing one thing at a time does lead to success.

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