Remaining resolute

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Torey Griffith
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
It may have already happened. That oath you took, to lose 20 pounds or to quit smoking, might be dissipating into a distant memory.

Celebrated Missourian, Mark Twain, had this to say about New Year's resolutions:

"Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."

While spoken many years ago, those words ring true for many today, who have all the intentions of beginning a new decade as better people. For a couple of weeks anyway ...

The Interwebs are ripe with clichés about how to stick to a resolution that's about to go down in flames. Dr. Judith Orloff, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, offers the following advice.

Keep a positive attitude

You have to tell yourself that you can do it. It's a new year and a new beginning and whatever happened in the past doesn't matter. Just say that you can do it.

Avoid energy vampires

Energy vampires are those people in our lives who are very negative. They tell you that you can't do things and don't support you when you don't live up to your goals. Stay away from these types of people. Instead, gravitate toward people who emit positive energy.

Practice self-compassion

If you make a mistake on diet or with your exercise regimen, don't beat yourself up over it. You are just creating negative energy and setting yourself up for future failures.

Set realistic goals

Don't begin the new year by saying you want to drop 50 pounds or go to the gym every day. Instead, tell yourself you want to lose five pounds and go to the gym twice a week. By setting realistic goals, you are more likely to fulfill them -- giving you the positive energy to aim for new goals.

Don't compare yourself to others

This is something many of us do, and it's a recipe for disaster. Don't go to the gym January first and say that you want to look like the body builder next to you. It probably won't happen and it doesn't matter if it does. Instead, do things just for yourself.

Celebrate your successes

That doesn't mean gorging on candy and carbs. It means, even if you go the gym once, give yourself a pat on the back. People tend to be very unkind to themselves, and that makes them feel bad. Always focus on the positive.

So maybe you smoke a cigarette or two after enjoying a box of Ho-Hos and a gallon of Ben and Jerry's. The battle is not lost, there are still more than 11 months left on 2010 in which you can still fulfill your resolution.

Benjamin Franklin may have summed it up best:

"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man."