Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, make a forget-about-it list! It’s much more productive. Let’s face it, most of us all want to lose 15 pounds, but do you really want to join that gym and knock yourself out for an hour three days or more a week? And you’ll do that for how long? Three weeks or three months? Forget about it! Don’t set yourself up for failure.
I’d be thrilled about losing fifteen pounds, but I promise going to the gym is not the way I’m going to lose it. So toss that one on my forget-about-it list. Okay, what else is on the list?
Personally, I think it’s better to concentrate on doing what I do best and what I enjoy doing. Things that are unpleasant that we think we should be doing only serves to drag us down and prevent us from doing what we love. Spending fifteen minutes three times a day with the dog is probably much more fun than going to the gym. And if you are tossing the ball in the backyard, running in the neighborhood, or playing Frisbee with your four-legged friend, you’ll get a workout.
Accept the fact that we must eat and have dishes to clean. If dish washing is that terrible, buy disposable. I’ve never figured out why people buy plastic dinnerware and then wash it. It’s disposable – toss it! No one loves to clean the bathroom, just keep the cleaners handy and do something to clean it as needed, don’t wait until it’s a “clean the bathroom” sort of day. Keep chores as painless as possible.
When my children were little, I wiped the sink daily. They didn’t have the daily spray stuff for the bathtub. (I love that stuff and should own stock in that company!) So I bought a brush just for the tub. I used regular cleaner, swirled the tub with that brush, turned on the shower, and washed away the dirt and soap film. Little quickies are better than having TO CLEAN THE BATHROOM. (And you know that children leave bathtub rings. Yuck!)
Skip the everyone-is-doing-it! Who cares! My youngest daughter went on a cruise because it’s what everyone is doing these days. Fun in the sun and all those beautiful port towns, we’ve seen those brochures. Even her sister was saying, “Come on, we’ll have fun!” By day three, youngest daughter was bored out of her mind and claustrophobic. The towns looked alike and she was stuck on a ship. She was thinking how much fun in the sun can my fair skin take even with maximum SPF sun screen? It was an expensive mistake, but everyone is doing it. She would have rather spent the money and vacation time in the Grand Canyon or someplace out west.
Sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something. Maybe shooting hoops with your daughter or son, watching a movie with the children, or reading to the little ones is by far more fun. Use your time with them wisely – they grow up way too quickly. And if you’d rather do dishes while listening to your music than you would to watch that movie for the thirteenth time this month, then do it.
Resolving to be a kinder person? Try being kind to yourself instead. When you are happy, it spills through your life. You’ll find that you are by far much more tolerant when you aren’t stressed to the max. You probably wouldn’t be reading this blog if you didn’t like to read books. Go read! Put that Kindle in a watertight plastic zip bag and head for the tub! (I run the text size up a little higher when I do that.) Escaping into a book is a great way to de-stress and refresh your spirits.
If you love yoga, do it! If you hate yoga, don’t do it. You don’t have to run the IRONMAN triathlon or feel as though are training for it. Maybe you’d rather learn some self-defense skills or go to the firing range. Maybe walks in the park or ballet lessons are your thing. Is it quilting or would you prefer to take a class on pottery?
Do you hate your job? Then why are you doing it? If you can’t afford to quit, then look for another job or one with fewer hours. Put that job on the forget-about-it list! Jobs can be tricky so don’t do anything totally stupid or rash, but you don’t have to keep a job that you hate and makes you crazy. That will ruin your happiness and foul up your relationship with your partner, children, and friends.
About those friends (or family!), do you have someone that needs to be placed on the forget-about-it list? The hardest thing I ever did was place my sister on that list. It was right after my husband died that I discovered that I could no longer handle her problems and my own. I know that sounds cruel, she was my sister. She was also a psychopath and an alcoholic. I didn’t have the strength to handle her and keep her on an even keel when I’d lost my own bearings. I stepped away and I watched her. Then I quit watching. She really wasn’t my problem. But for the first time since I was a teen, I had a freedom that had never been there. I became a happier and more productive person because I quit worrying about her. (She wasn’t alone; she had a husband and grown children to look after her.) Maybe someday I’ll write that book and call it Steering a Foundering Ship!
And this might sound like the craziest of all the things, but give yourself time to forget about everything and everyone at least once a day! I don’t care if you must lock yourself in the bathroom and turn out the light. Go. Do. Nothing! No sound, no noise, no TV, no singing, just you, and your heartbeat. Get a pair of those noise-killing earphones if necessary. Learn to be your own best friend. It’s amazing how you’ll feel after you’ve done it a few times. And if you really hate doing it, put it on the forget-about-it list.
Beware: sometimes things hit that forget-about-it list on their own. Doughnuts hit my list! I met friends for coffee, and next-door was the doughnut shop. I’d been very good considering the holidays usually have me eating things I normally would not eat. So in I go with the intention of eating one doughnut. Well, they had a 3-for sale. I bought three because it was almost the same price as buying one. I ate one doughnut and decided it was super sweet and not something I’d want all the time. About an hour later, my stomach was asking why I sent dough and sugar down there. I promised myself I’d toss the other two doughnuts. I didn’t. Instead, I put them in the refrigerator for later. Well, later was the next day, and one of those doughnuts called my name. About half way through it, I tossed that doughnut. Why waste the calories on something that sweet and tasteless. The following day that remaining doughnut begged me to eat it. I figured I’d like that one best because the flavor, peppermint and white chocolate. I thought it sounded delicious so I had saved it for last. One bite and I was thinking what is wrong? Bite two, I spit out and tossed the doughnut. Doughnuts have officially hit my forget-about-it list and will probably stay there for a very long time!
Take a look at your New Year’s resolutions. Do most of them need to go to the forget-about-it list? Don’t start this year stressed over a handful of resolutions that you know you won’t keep. Be kind to yourself and add as many things as you can to the forget-about-it list.
If you are that determined to lose 15 pounds by working out, you’ll lose it! You are going to love going to the gym. But if you really don’t like the whole exercise routine, and you’ve failed for the last three years, why are you doing it again? Forget about it!
Go do a few things that you like!