Resolution Rethink

guy thinking

So…here we are…2016. Made a bunch of resolutions on New Year’s Eve, didn’t you? Inspired by too much Champagne and too little sense, you were convinced the start of a new year could mean the end of all your bad habits and the beginning of a shiny new set of new ones, guaranteed to make you perfect.

How’s that going? Bit sick of perfection already, are you? Thought so. Not to worry. I’m here…the voice of reason in your ear… to help you justify ditching a few of your more unreasonable resolutions and adding a few I think you’ll like. Let’s dive in then, shall we?

#1  Lose 25 pounds 

I’ll bet that seemed very doable at 12:01am on New Year’s Eve, didn’t it? In the flush of enthusiasm warmed by wine, you were sure the weight would just melt away by Valentine’s Day. Now you’re staring at your scale and feeling pretty damned discouraged. In fact, you might just need to eat a chocolate bar to cheer yourself up.

You set the bar too high, you crazy thing, you – so lower it to a level you’re more likely to achieve. Say you’ll lose five pounds in time for Cupid’s arrival. That’s not going to kill you. You’ll feel fab when the scale slides back and motivated to shoot for another five.

#2  Eat only healthy foods

No flour, no sugar, no bread, no potatoes, no pasta, no coffee, no chocolate…What were you thinking?! Did you really expect to be able to live among normal people?  “Oh no,” you say now when a friend asks you out for coffee. “I don’t do Starbucks any more. Too many temptations.”  On a romantic restaurant date with your husband, you sneer as if the bread basket is full of hissing snakes, and suggest ordering steamed veggies and fish, no sauce and a green salad with dressing on the side.

We’re all grumbling about you behind your back right now.  Yes, actually, we are.We used to like you…and we will again…as soon as you stop being such a priss. Eat healthy as a general rule. Even banish bread from your personal diet if you will, but don’t make everyone else feel guilty about their food choices and lighten the hell up if you’re out. Live a little! Your personal trainer isn’t hiding under the tablecloth, keeping track.

#3  Work out in the gym every day

I know…you were thinking that if you turned exercise into a daily routine – like brushing your teeth – it would become automatic and in no time you’d look like a female weight lifter. (Btw…why did you want to look like a female weight lifter?)

The truth is…even your trainer doesn’t want you doing the same workout every day. For starters, you’ll get bored and run the risk of quitting altogether. More importantly, your muscles will become acclimatized to the routines and stop being challenged. Your development will plateau and you’ll end up feeling cheated. Instead, change up your exercise plans. Do something different every day. Go for a really long walk one day, do a spin class the next, weight train on day three and so on. Trust me… boredom is fitness poison.


Did I hit the big three resolution fails?  Thought so. We’re all self-righteous when the clock is striking twelve on December 31st…and totally unreasonable. Don’t worry. I’ve thought of a few resolutions you missed. No problem. Add them now – there’s no statute of limitations on self-improvement.

# 1  Lighten up

Lower your housekeeping standards – they aren’t worth making yourself or your family miserable.  Don’t yell at your kids because their rooms aren’t tidy – just close the door. As far as I know, the room police aren’t sending an inspector over any time soon. Use the minutes you would have spent screaming to give your kids a hug and praise them for something they did that made you proud.

#2  Be kind to others…and to yourself

Tip the server in the restaurant 20 percent instead of just 15.  Her job is hard and she’s probably supporting a family or trying to put herself through school. Compliment someone who’d never expect it.  Nice hair, lovely eyes, great hat…you can think of something to praise and make their day. While you’re at it, skip your own daily dose of self-criticism and think of one thing about yourself that you really like.  Now think about it a whole lot.  Feels good, doesn’t it?

#3 Once in a while, play hookey

Take a day off work, spring the kids from school and go skiing or splash around at an indoor water park (there are three to choose from in Niagara.)  No one will fail grade five because they missed a few classes and your family will get a much-needed boost of togetherness and fun.

#4  Get a kitten

They purr (listening will lower your stress levels) and feel soft and arrive knowing how to use a litter box so you won’t have to walk around outside carrying a bag of poop on a cold winter morning. Don’t question this. Just get a kitten. You’ll thank me later.

Is a travel writer with weekly columns in the Toronto Star, various other newspapers and She's a thrilled to be a blog contributor, and is inspired by the people she's met through White Oaks.


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