By Ann Pardo
Every year we do it; we each make the pro forma New Year’s resolutions, and then by February 12th or 23rd what happens? We have fizzled out…
This year, I encourage you to think about designing healthy resolutions that will not only improve your health, but that will also enhance your relationship with yourself.
In the traditional way of making resolutions we force ourselves to set objective, quantifiable and achievable goals. But what if we allow our goals to be truly personal, inventive, robust and meaningful? Consider this: Resolutions can be a pathway to recreating pieces of your life, so choose aspirations that make sense for the person you aim to be.
To help you on this path, I’ve created the following guide. Fill in the blanks below with positive words that hold meaning for you. The resulting sentences will provide a road map for the coming year.
1. In 2010, I will BUILD a relationship with food that is ________________.
Think about a positive way to approach food. I’ve seen people use words like athletic, artistic, nurturing, dancerly, ingenious, and mind-blowing. At the end of every day, ask yourself if you stayed on target. Isn’t this approach better than making a caloric goal?
2. In 2010, I will DESIGN my relationship with exercise to be ________________.
Exercise offers much more than just physical fitness. Think of terms like social, community-based, sensual, experimental, natural, joyous and multi-dimensional. You already know that daily exercise is a pretty darn good thing; now give it texture and flavor.
3. In 2010, I will CREATE relationships with my care providers that are ________________.
Care providers include doctors, dentists, massage therapists, spiritual guides, beloved Labrador retrievers and goldfish, best friends, and soul mates. Relationships may be connected, appreciative, mutually exciting, friendly, etc. Studies have shown that patients who appreciate their providers actually receive enhanced treatment, so create positive relationships with your care providers now.
4. In 2010, I will DESIGN a relationship with my mind, my brain and my soul that is ________________.
I like the word “graceful” for this category. You can borrow it or find your own word. This task is not easily quantifiable, but you will know at day’s end how close you came to your target. And isn’t it great to have a goal like this, that celebrates your innermost being?
5. In 2010, I will EXAMINE my relationship to my core health value(s) and ________________.
Think about why you value your health. Do you maintain healthy behaviors because it is socially important, because you want to be physically independent into your 90s and beyond, or because it is what your God intended for you? This resolution is the culmination of the preceding parts and is the underlying reason why you do anything healthy. This is your big finale. This goal requires some thought, so get a cup of tea and allow time to savor this one.
These resolutions will give you a foundation for a year’s worth of solid changes. By taking time to examine yourself and your personal goals, you will establish health projects based on things that are most important to YOU. You will have individualized a year’s worth of choices that will improve your health and connect you to the greater good. We have all taken on the rote resolutions; let’s make this year’s ideas and projects meaningful.
I hope this exercise has been helpful. I wish you a healthy year so that wonder and joy emanate from you to our glorious world.
Ann Pardo is the director of life management at Canyon Ranch in Tucson. Pardo has a Master's degree in counseling from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, a Bachelor's degree in dance therapy from Columbia College of Chicago and a Bachelor's degree in Italian literature from the University of Massachusetts. Pardo is an avid cyclist, biking advocate and ride leader/ bike safety patrol for El Tour de Tucson.