Reflection > Resolution
It’s that time of year again. The time when everyone and everything seems to be conspiring to motivate us to change. Full disclosure: I’m not a fan of resolutions. I don’t think they work for most of us. It’s artificial motivation; an underpinning made of ether. So when many of us bite off more than we can chew, or perhaps try to bite and chew less than we normally do this time of year, we’re setting ourselves up for failure – more specifically a failure to change. And really, if the change you’re contemplating is so important, shouldn’t you already be working on it, rather than using the guilt of holiday overindulgence to drive self-improvement?
What if, instead of looking to fix our faults, we take the opportunity to look inward to consider what we’re already doing right and make sure that we do everything possible to continue down the path we’re already on. Follow along with me, if you will dear Tonic reader. First, I’m going to assume you’re not an abject monster. If I’m wrong, than by all means fix yourself immediately, you worthless toad. But, if you think that you’re mostly pretty good, in an undefined kind of way – why not take some time to consider how and why you’re pretty good? An incremental improvement on your already established “pretty-goodness” is likely more attainable and maintainable than wholesale instantaneous change of something you’re not so good at.
What have you done recently that made your life better? How have you grown? For example, I tend to fret about other people’s decisions impacting me. My modus operandi was to become rigid and aggressive in the face of such uncertainty. But over the past year I’ve noted that when I didn’t obsess about potential outcomes, those outcomes not only turned out better, but even when they didn’t, the fallout didn’t debilitate me with anxiety and frustration. Building on that knowledge, I can develop new ways of coping with stress, procrastination, set-backs, etc. …and as a collateral benefit, maybe with less stress I’ll be better able to lose that weight that I always seem to need to shed.
If you’re in a particular rough patch, it might be difficult to glean what the essence of your pretty-goodness is. I get it. I’m a glass half-empty guy by nature. We’ve all felt that the glass is bone dry empty from time to time. So if focusing on yourself is too too much, why not focus on someone you love? Perhaps you know someone who’s trying to change, but who obviously needs help. Use your previously undirected energy to help them. Aside from the results you’ll foster for them, you’ll see yourself differently…more kindly. And you may find that thing in you, recognize your inherent pretty-goodness, that you can reflect and build on.
In the meantime, you can enjoy this issue of Tonic for some health and wellness inspiration. Joel Thuna explains all about the health benefits of chicken soup, which we elaborate on during episode #115 of THE TONIC Podcast. Megan Horsley has some great ideas on how to kick emotional eating which we discuss in more detail on episode # 112 of THE TONIC Podcast. And if you’re interested in some heart health hacks I recommend my Q and A with Dr. Philip Rouchotas ND excerpted from episode #114 of THE TONIC Podcast. As always, if you want to discuss anything you’ve read in this note, this issue or on the podcast, feel free to reach out to me.