The definition of “resolution” is:

  1. A firm decision to do or not to do something.
  2. The action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.

The operative words are “firm decision”. Resolutions imply a certain “do or die” mentality.  If you don’t “do”, why bother?

In my opinion, “Do What You Can, When You Can” is a better way to achieve improved health, fitness and consequent well-being.  When everyday situation present temselves, ask yourself if you can do something to achieve a healthier outcome.

A few examples:

a)      You find you have some extra time between appointments.  Can you use this time to get more active?  You can choose to sit read a magazine, or get up and climb a few flights of stairs.  Best choice, climb the stairs and drink a glass of water.

b)      You are dining as a guest of a friend who is a gourmet cook.  Can you decline certain foods that she prepared because they are not very healthy?  It is probably best to eat a little of everything she serves you, comment on the superior quality of the preparation, and decline seconds.

c)      You need to go grocery shopping.  Will you park where you will need walk a bit, or find a spot nearest the door?  Do you ask the bagger to keep the bags light, or do you ask him to load up the bags?  Are you conscious of your postural alignment when lifting the bags and putting them in your trunk; or do you twist and lift which puts unnecessary (and dangerous) stress on your spine?  The best choices are obvious.

d)      Your favorite chocolate cake is on sale and you know your family would love to have it for dessert that night.  Imagine it on your kitchen counter; will you be able to resist over-indulging? Will your family really benefit from having the cake in the house; or will this temptation stress everyone’s will power?   Will-power is over-rated; stress will usually trump will-power, and stress relief can result in undesired behavior (i.e eating too much of the cake, just because it is there). Aren’t there better choices for a satisfying dessert?

I think you get the idea.  Improvements in lifestyle come in small increments.   Making thoughtful choices everyday can be the key to making long-term changes.