New Year’s resolutions: You gotta wanna

It’s roughly three weeks in. How are those well-intended resolutions holding up? Forget to make any? Make too many with unrealistic expectations?

Resolutions are really about unlearning some habits and creating new and healthier ones. I’m trying to remember that as I make and break my own — as I try to make the best ones stick. January is a strange stoic month of denial. Denial of what we think is bad for us. Denial of our own personalities. Denial of our own best judgment.

For example, I’m writing this at 6:30 a.m. from the comfort of my warm bedroom. My mother brings me a cup of coffee at 6 a.m. and I slowly start my day writing something before I ever fully get up. I have bossa nova playing on my laptop. There’s part of this that feels idyllic. These do not feel like bad habits.

I’m of course not toning my thighs and belly the way I’ve intended. Every weekday morning it’s my intention to get out of bed at 4:45 a.m. and make my way to the boot camp exercise class in downtown Greenville. It always sounds like a great plan as I go to sleep (roughly 11 p.m. these days — my resolution was to go to bed before midnight), but downtown Greenville feels so far and cold in the wee hours of the morning.

I realize my resolve to lose that last 25 pounds and tone what’s left easily dissolves. I can already fit into all the clothes in my closet right now so … how to keep that resolution?

I made other resolutions, too — not just diet and exercise, though the bulk of America (pun intended) seems to do these two at the beginning of the year more than others. We try to lose our winter fluff. I cheated this year and had the flu through the holidays, so voila no weight gain.

I did make some non-appearance resolution goals — like to write everyday even when I don’t feel like it. That one is probably more about procrastination than anything else — and a mom putting herself last instead of first.

I’ve promised myself that I’d learn to quilt and can this year, become better at archery and also to learn how to make my own tortillas. I’m hoping all of this is manageable. It seems like it should be. I mean — how can you not follow through on making your own tortillas?! The rewards …

Kelsha LeAnne, local Plumas County’s brain integration practitioner and holistic educator, helped me articulate what I sort of know — that we all might have a hunch in our personal annual quest for perfection.

We are hard on ourselves and our imperfections. “When people play these games of ‘I have to, I need to, people expect me to …’ they are literally weakening their systems. And in that state their chance of making a change is very minimal,” said LeAnne.

Hmmm … I guess that means our collective frame of mind should be “I want to” not “I need to.” Maybe my exercise plan needs to be midday. Is that why Indian Valley fitness also has a boot camp class at noon?

“When we radically self-care, and ask the questions, what lights me up, what makes me vibrate at a higher frequency, what makes me feel good? Our chances of actually accomplishing movement on a goal are way higher,” LeAnne continues. I think she’s on to something.

Last year, during the Lenten season, I gave up dairy products and bread. I also made an effort to take my thyroid medication correctly. My sinuses cleared up almost immediately as did my skin and I dropped 20 pounds. I’ve not looked at dairy and bread the same since. They don’t really make me feel good. It’s easier now to stay away from them.

Another New Year’s resolution is to unsubscribe from every diet and health oriented newsletter and solicitation to go back to various weight and exercise programs I’ve tried out in the last 20 years. So far my inbox is a fraction of what it once was. I highly recommend the unsubscribe button. None of those diets or exercise plans worked for me.

“It’s a process of thinking outside of the box — not thinking there is a formula for each person accomplishing and maintaining goals,” said LeAnne. I’m taking what she told me to heart. Going to keep on my own plan, my own course, and not get sucked into January diet and exercise plans.

I’m setting dates for canning and quilting lessons. Tortilla making as well, and making sure to get out and practice archery anytime it’s above 40 degrees outside, which seems to be my threshold for outdoor happiness temperature.

I can manage the diet. Hopefully, I can get to boot camp soon. Once there, it’s hard to quit. It’s always starting back up that’s hard.
And as long as my mother keeps bringing me coffee at 6 a.m., I’m pretty sure I can get in an hour of writing before getting out of bed and “starting” the day.

Best of luck to all of you who are in the midst of those New Year’s resolutions. Make sure you want to do all those things for you — apparently, that’s what really makes it happen for us. Thank you, Kelsha LeAnne for the inspiring comments.

And now for some diet busting tortillas …