Have A Happy New Year

Published 10:11 am Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The only constant in life is change – Heraclitus

The Christmas holiday is behind us and many are anxiously making plans to celebrate the New Year ahead. For many it is a time of planning new resolutions, moving on beyond past regrets and failures of the previous year and ushering in the new one with many well intentions. Statistics show that many New Year’s resolutions are broken only three months into the New Year.

You may have heard from many sources that “it takes 21 days to form a new habit.” Well in reality the science of psychology has proven that this is not necessarily true. Everybody is different and some people are quicker to form new habits and make change in their behavior than others. So be patient with yourself.

Personally I believe the best way to succeed at executing a New Year’s resolution is to make it a pleasurable one. If your particular resolution is not pleasurable (like some of mine have been in the past) don’t fret, there is a solution. Incorporate something that you enjoy or makes you feel good into the particular activity of the resolution you are incorporating into your life. For instance if your resolution is to take better care of yourself in the new year and that entails many medical tests or medical visits — no one enjoys the doctor’s office — treat yourself to a coffee or meal out. Or visit a public garden or park after your appointment if that makes you feel good. Focus on the pleasurable part of the outing and in time the activity won’t seem so bad.

Repetition will also help you in your effort to make an activity second nature. With consistency comes change.

Setting small goals and building onto them has been a tremendous help to me in the past. Some New Year resolutions require this step. If you don’t realize that your goal is a large one from the start, you will be setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. Small goals often lead to big accomplishments. If you experience a setback, don’t give up. There are 365 days in a year to succeed.

In 2018 spend more time out doors and enjoy the beauty that nature has to offer. Walk around the block and acquaint yourself with the neighbors. Volunteer at your local senior center or visit the library. There are many activities that you may be surprised to find enjoyable if you just step out of the normal everyday routine and experience them.

Whether or not you make a New Year’s resolution on the eve of December 31 a New Year will soon be upon us. An opportunity to be the change you want to see in your world.

I wish you a very healthy and happy new year.

Dawn Conrad is a columnist for the Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch. She can be reached at conrad.gardenmuse@ gmail.com or fb.me/conrad.gardenmuse.