At the turn of the clock for each New Year I wonder about the origins of New Year’s resolutions. Everywhere I turn, I’m faced with advertisements offering me great deals on fitness memberships, getting out of debt and reminding me to take charge of my life by eating healthier, strategies to save money, etc.
Historically, New Year’s was a traditional time where people around the world made promises to themselves to improve all aspects of their lives.
If we’re honest, do we really stick to our resolutions? Can a date change on a calendar miraculously change our mindset and then our habits? We know the answer, “no”. However, I do believe that we all have room for improvement, and it’s just a matter of slowly adopting changes, and gradually achieve our goals.
Setting Realistic Goals
When our family decided to transition to a vegan lifestyle, we didn’t do it overnight. We began by picking one night per week where “menu-planned” based on a vegetarian diet, and over time substituted to a plant-based diet. We chose to one meal per week for at least six months before we added more meals. I believe that taking smaller, more manageable steps lead to our family’s success.
The Cleveland Clinic shares these seven tips of adopting and sticking to resolutions
1. Focus on starting a behavior
2. Set ‘liveable’ goals
3. Be specific yet flexible
4. Identify obstacles
5. Get a buddy
6. Give yourself reminders
7. Keep data
I believe that the most important part of change, is being aware that learned behaviors are hard to change. It’s important to be kind and patient with yourself.
New Year, New Cleaning Habits
Speaking of New Year's traditions, January 22, 2023 will be the beginning of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rabbit.
Chinese tradition and superstition dictate that homes be clean before the start of the new year.
The idea is that if you rid your home of misfortune of the past, you open up your space for good luck to enter to enter your life. In fact, there are many additional New Year’s superstitions including no laundry, sweeping the floor or even taking out the garbage! I guess there’s plenty of time during the remainder of take care of these tasks.
The truth is, when it comes to cleaning, can anyone truly say, "My house is completely clean, and now I can sit back and relax?" When we strive to keep our home tidy, uncluttered and neat there are many obstacles to prevent us from getting to our goals. They may be things out of our control, or we may just not have the ability to conquer the task, and we need to bring in reinforcements. Our attitude is often the best indicator of our ability to proceed.
As we begin 2023, let's embrace the opportunity to make positive changes in our lives and strive to be the best versions of ourselves. Happy New Year!