Taking a moment to reflect pushes me more toward looking forward. When I read about issues and news stories that ask the question, “How could this have been prevented?” I ask the question, “How can we make changes for our children and their children?” My top three changes start with mind and body.
1. During this year, my hope is to daily, say or do (or at least think) something positive about or to another person. Enough with the negativity; it gets you no where and probably adds to the lines in my face. So, enough. As much or as best as possible, smile, and respond with, “I hear what you’re saying.” Do we really think we’re going to change another person’s mind when they are loaded for bear and ready to take someone’s head off? People don’t change that much; it makes more sense to take positive energy; shrug to yourself and perhaps try to think something positive about that negative person. Plus, I’d like to record weekly, a positive outcome for that week – business, family/friends, personal or something out of the ordinary.
2. After two body part replacements since 2011, I have learned that fitness is supreme. I get through each workout day in a positive way; my nutrition is key and adds to my positive mindset. For 2016, this journey will continue:
- Start each day with 20 sips of water (thank you #NBCJennaWolf);
- Two-three workout days per week with stationary bike action at the house in between and more outside recreation.
- #OptOutside is tough. We get caught up at the office – which for me is my home – and it’s difficult to carve out at least 30 minutes outdoors. This, I will work on.
3. Date night keeps things fresh. This is our 25th anniversary year. Marriage is a partnership that grows, ebbs, flows and evolves. It is never perfect. At least once a month – beyond the usual outings – we’ll go to a comedy club, enjoy something cultural and take turns yielding to the other when it comes to things we enjoy doing.
Whatever fits in your world, resolve to make it happen. Find what makes you happy and set out to accomplish the goal – no matter how small or large. Your positive action will sustain you; the positive karma may catch on you those around you and be infectious in a very positive way.
What’s next for 2014? How about a little civility? Our world is so connected; so digital; so electronic; we lose sight of the human connections that make our lives complete.
It is so incredibly easy to write an e-mail and hit ‘send;’ or text someone a question, that we often never make that human connection. Remember the days when you’d phone someone and ask, “How are you doing?” It seems no one really cares how the other person is doing these days. Each of us is so tied up with whatever the deadline of the moment is that we are just happy to get a reply email from the person we reached within a day or so.
What could be happening is that we forget how to talk to each other. When we are in the same room together eye-to-eye and face-to-face, we have no patience; we react too quickly we fail to listen.
I saw a TV spot from Values.com that expresses the need for civility. While the message is that a little kindness goes a long way, what we also need to do is get in the room with people more often and just listen. Have a conversation that goes back and forth; try not to interrupt while the other person – or people – are trying to make their points. Share your thoughts; ask questions when you don’t understand and for heaven’s sake, be civil.
When you can have an actual conversation with a person or a group of people and leave the room with a smile and some satisfaction that something got accomplished, you have renewed the human connections needed to get from one day to the next.
Among the goals you set for 2014, consider making a phone call to a business associate, friend or family member at least once a week – just to ask, “how are you doing?” Show appreciation; say “thank you;” and when someone thanks YOU – reply with, “you’re welcome.” Better yet – try “my pleasure.” And say it with a smile.
January 21st is less than a week away. Are you keeping up with whatever you resolved to do at the start of the New Year? I have not divulged what I hoped to accomplish in 2013, but so far, so good. I mentioned in the first “21 Days” blog that the gym is always crowded right after the new year. For the first year, that is not the case. In fact, it appears there are fewer people at my gym. though my husband has stepped up his gym activity, it
Photo credit: Future Fitness
seems during the morning hours when I go to the gym, there are fewer people than there were at any time last year. I seem to see the same faces. I’m wondering if the gym is seeing that spurt of New Year’s workout folks in the afternoon or evenings. It does seem the gym is much more crowded on Saturdays when the weekend warriors come out and try to get a week’s worth of activity in 90 minutes.
It’s all about commitment. There will never be a magic pill to lose weight or get in shape. It’s all about approaching every day resolving to not over indulge, eat the proper portions of foods – even the fattening foods; don’t deprive yourself; stay active by getting off that couch, then regroup when you do fall off your commitment. It’s never too late to get started on your first 21 days.
Until you eat a well-balanced breakfast regularly, you don’t know how that meal kick-starts your day.
Eating the same breakfast day after day, to me, is like watching the same movie over and over; eventually, it doesn’t do a thing for you no matter how much you liked it the first three or four times. When I worked early mornings, I would make the same yogurt smoothie to drink at my desk. Problem is, my schedule was so screwed up, my metabolism never balanced out. Long story short, a varied breakfast menu and working out at least three times a week has helped me look at balanced meals in a whole new way.
My husband and I are doing something new. When we eat out, we often find one entree we like and split it. The other evening, we ordered a cup of soup, steamed little neck clams and the broiled seafood platter. So many times that’s what one person orders. We ordered that for two and it was perfect.
Today at a local restaurant known for its huge breakfast portions and a choice of 200 omelet, I resisted temptation and stuck with a salad topped with a huge scoop of chicken salad. While that chicken salad was probably not so calorie-friendly, it was a lot better than the two to three-person-sized omelets that most people were downing as a single serving. Yikes!
So, think about those restaurant portions and what you really want to eat.
Some say if you do something for 21 days straight, it becomes a habit. Think of that simple idea as you try to perhaps stick with a resolution during this new year. By day 22, you’ll have your new habit down pat. I’ve stayed on target since 2005 by keeping up with my fitness routine and I won’t turn back. Keep your 21-day pledge simple; don’t deprive yourself; do things in moderation and I bet you’ll be successful.
Dr. Jane Goodall
While I’ll stay away from resolutions , I just saw Dr. Jane Goodall being interviewed. She is serving as the Grand Marshall of the Tournament of Roses Parade i n Pasadena, CA where the theme this year is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.” the groundbreaking researcher is promoting conservation as ceremonial leader of this year’s parade. During the interview she said young people today have so many beautiful places to visit and explore around the world, but what places will there be to see 100 years from now because of damage we cause to the planet?
In a few weeks, I will complete my NJ Learns program which has given me a new perspective about sustainability. Whether it’s my work with Sustainable Cherry Hill or working with area schools to help brainstorm ideas to build enthusiasm about issues surrounding sustainability, I hope that every day I can do something – no matter how small – to improve the world for future generations. It can be something ‘green’ and it can be something to bring a smile to someone. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if peace and joy were more sustainable. No one has a perfect day every day, but we can do ONE thing a day to bring a smile or more happiness to another person whether it’s a loved one, a friend or a perfect stranger.
Try bringing a smile to someone every day for 21 days. Now that is a sustainable habit.
And so it goes…another year has passed. The memories can be fleeting or quite significant. Depending on which direction you turn, you may think Kim Khardashian’s pregnancy is a big deal (really??) or more than likely something closer to home has been etched into your brain’s Rolodex (remember that?).
In no particular order, here are some biggies that you may relate to:
1. Son graduates from high school
2. Son is accepted to college (and gets fairly good financial package)
3. Son gets through his first semester relatively unscathed
4. Our jobs/business/marriage/life-in-general continue to go well
What’s next? Presuming we all survive the fiscal cliff and skip resolutions involving food and fitness, we can look forward to:
1. Pitchers and catchers report around Feb. 14
2. Boating season springs anew – possibly as early as March
3. Another vacation is planned (Woo-hoo! It’s a big reason for living)
4. Family and friends gather often for good times
There’s a line in the movie “Bridges of Madison County” that applies today as we begin another year and think about change. National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid played by Clint Eastwood says it well: “Things change. They always do, it’s one of the things of nature. Most people are afraid of change, but if you look at it as something you can always count on, then it can be a comfort.”
So fear not – change will come – embrace it – and have a glorious new year.