As we begin another new year, we set resolutions that are based on our hopes and dreams for our life and if you are like the rest of America, only a few of these resolutions are long term and don’t have to do with your weight! I remember several years ago that I caught myself stating “This year, I am REALLY going to lose that weight” and in the same breath, I crammed a doughnut into my mouth…oh, those resolutions…they are curses!
This year is my second year to not set a New Year’s Resolution. You might ask why, and it’s because it never did me any good to state them before. Who was I kidding, I doubt I ever kept up with my resolution for longer than two weeks…why, because they were not reality…I had not changed my lifestyle, I had not been realistic when I was setting these unobtainable goals for that year. Most of the time, especially when my goal was to “Lose Weight” it was based on the guilt I had for stuffing everything in sight into my mouth over the holidays…and I know I am not the only one!! Many of us have been there…we are feeling guilty and really want to have that size 4 waist, with the D cup and are running down the beach…insert Bay Watch theme music here…body image, but is that reality for most of us??? NOPE!!! We place these model images on pedestals. Pedestals that are crumbling from the weight of the pressure we put on ourselves to look just like them.
First, let me say…there is so much airbrushing that goes on when someone is on the cover of a magazine…it is not a realistic body…it’s not a working mother of three who has less than 10 minutes in the morning to get ready…it’s not the nurse who works nights and has trouble finding time to sleep during the day or the man who lost his job and is trying to support his family and go back to school. These people spend hours a day to look like that, and still need airbrushing! Don’t get me wrong, I think Julia Roberts is beautiful…but I know she doesn’t have skin that flawless at the age of 47.
So why do we compare ourselves to others? Why do we put this pressure on ourselves? We want to fit in and be included in the group…we all are searching for love/ acceptance and want to fit-in somewhere. Your life as a whole is made up of compartments; you have at least 4-5 compartments that you flow between, here are my five:
- Family…this can mean many different things. This can be any unit that you count on daily for love and support. This can be related or non-related; it can be a significant other, kids, parents or friends who have got your back.
- These are the people whom you chitty-chat with, run to lunch with or that you stop by their office to catch up after a weekend.
- Friends of the Past – These are people who were in your life several years ago and that you kind of stay in contact with (Facebook has helped with this) and share a history with. You may not talk to them often, but always have something to talk about.
- Current Friends, these are people in your life who you talk to frequently, spend a Friday night with or just hang out…they may not be in your life forever, but they are here now and you can depend on them to help out with the kids, or be a shoulder to cry on.
- Social Acquaintances…most of the time you know them through a work function or the volunteer work you do. When you arrive to an event, you look for these folks because they are a familiar face.
So, you may ask, why do I mention these compartments? What does that have to do with a New Year’s Resolution? Well, let me just tell you…
Remember above when I said “We want to fit in and be included in the group”…that “we” is all of us! It is not just you or me, it’s the people all around us. Everyone has this need…it’s part of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
This is something we all need…Love/ Belonging.
So, as your New Year’s Resolution for 2015, I ask that you to commit to having a Year of Being Nice! Include people in your “group”, invite them to an event or a meeting…you have ample opportunity every day! Maybe they are just waiting for an invitation…and remember this should flow in between all of the compartments in your life. Your family, maybe you spend more time with your kids, take your daughter on a date, set your cell phone down while you are at the dinner table…be present in the lives of your family, they are your rock and foundation, be nice to them! And for the other compartments, remember we are all in this together and we all want to be included and feel like we belong. You never know when you are meeting a treasure of a person, a new best friend, a life-long alley…so be nice! Nice people attract nice people and being nice helps you to be happy in your heart. I mean really, who wants to be known for being mean…I would love for someone to tell others about me and say “she’s so nice”. This is defiantly a lifestyle commitment…you must want this and set it as a goal to be deliberate and seek out others to be nice to. Sometimes it’s a smile, or offering a few dollars to a homeless person, whatever it is be intentional!
Happy New Year, may 2015 bring you memories and knowledge!