2014: The Year of Promises
There’s something very powerful about a promise—especially one made to yourself. Even the definition of promise seems more moving, personal and heartfelt compared to that of a resolution (which quite frankly feels very icky and reminiscent of past New Year’s resolutions gone unfulfilled):
promise: a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that guarantees that a particular thing will happen
resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something
I realized the power of a self-promise earlier this month when I promised myself I would enjoy a glass of wine two nights each week. You see, in the very recent past, my nightly dinner was always accompanied by a 5-ounce glass of red wine. Wine is good for the heart and actually helps increase good cholesterol levels (HDL) when consumed in moderation– which I was doing. But as I became more mindful and tuned into my body, I noticed a dip in my energy and creative abilities the very next day…not something I was willing to compromise with! So I made the promise to enjoy one 5-ounce glass of red wine on any two nights of the week. Wouldn’t you know…it’s working! Energy levels are back up and I’m creating like a rock star! Now, of course this promise was very important to me. It was backed by a strong desire to stimulate my creativity to peak levels. Had I approached it with a ho-hum attitude, it never would’ve worked. Whatever your New Year’s promise, it must be met with a strong desire to improve some facet of your life, otherwise you will always find a way to talk yourself out of it.
There’s one rule when choosing your 2014 New Year’s promise—you can only pick one. Small changes stick. So don’t hit the rewind button and approach this like last year. If you’re like most people, you set a gazillion goals: Eat better + eat less + workout more + stay away from junk food + blah, blah blah. Promise yourself that you will do one thing every day and then decide when it’s time to add another promise. Hint: When the first promise comes as naturally to you as brushing your teeth, it’s time to add another promise. Here are seven New Year’s promises to choose from, or feel free to create your own!
- Drink 48 ounces of water
- Eat a cup of vegetables
- Eat a cup of fruit
- Sleep 7-8 hours
- Talk a 20 minute walk
- Eat a serving of whole grain
- Practice 10 minutes of meditation
Notice these promises are all positive in nature. I’m telling you to START (not STOP) doing something. I was very cautious in how I worded my wine promise. I knew that if I said “I promise to stop drinking wine every night and limit it to only two”, it never would’ve worked. Too strict with a very deprivation-driven feel to it (“stop”, “limit”…yuck! I hate these words!) There’s something very powerful in the way you phrase your promise, so be careful …otherwise you’ll wind up sounding like your mother!
It would make my New Year if you would send me your New Year’s promise at firstname.lastname@example.org. But beware! I will be checking up on you to see how you’re doing—so don’t make a promise you don’t intend to keep!
Happy, Healthy New Year friends!