Reasonable Resolutions

Making the most of 2011

Have you already given up on your 2011 resolutions?

Here are some tips on making "reasonable resolutions" you can keep!


ew Year’s is the only holiday that focuses on time.  As a result it is one of the few times when we stop and consciously think about where we've been and what we’ve accomplished in our life and what we would like to accomplish in the future. This is especially true in the second half of life.   Here are some tips to remember throughout the new year.

Here are a few tips from Barbara Miklos:

Identify One Goal that is Believable and Achievable

I might not be able to do the triathalon but I can walk on the tread mill for 30 minutes 3-5 times a week.  Rather that identifying five things you’d like to change in your life start with one goal every month or two.  Your success rate will greatly increase and your sense of accomplishment and self-esteem will also get a boost.

Don’t waste your time by torturing yourself with unrealistic resolutions, use this as a time to be productive and analyze your goals instead of writing shallow impossibilities on a disposable sheet you’ll forget about next week.

Practice Present Living

Most people “miss their lives.” Think about it….how many times have you gone to do some errands on a beautiful day, saw people you knew, waved, talked on the phone for three minutes to a friend, worked out, but “missed” the entire day because your mind was always thinking ahead..."I have to this by tomorrow," "I need to finish that paper by the end of the week," "I have to get that gift for the birthday party." Be conscious of your surroundings, the beautiful sky above, the people you meet, the freedoms you experience. This takes daily practice, but this is your life, live it.

Display a Yellow Ribbon

On September 11th of this year, it will be 10 years since America was attacked by terrorists and thousands of people died. I have two yellow ribbon magnets on my car but where I live I rarely see any similar display. These are difficult times for many people but we need to continue to support the men and women who are still putting their lives on the line for their country.

Give Your Time, Talents, or Money

You don’t have to go far today to find someone or some organization where help is needed. When you resolve to give you will always get more back than you could ever imagine. That’s the best resolution you can make for any year.

Maintain a Positive Attitude and Sense of Humor

Maintaining a positive attitude and a sense of humor is a primary component of healthy intergenerational relationships in the workplace and in life. Our attitude does not always depend on how we feel. We do not always have control over what happens at work or in life. But in the absence of significant emotional difficulties we do have control over the way we think. Surround yourself with positive people support your mind, body, and spirit with positive input and don’t forget to LAUGH!

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in wsaht oredr the ltteers in a word are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is that the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can still raed it wouthit a porbelm. This is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the word as a wlohe and the biran fguiers it out aynawy.” Amzanig huh?

Did you know that laughter is a motor reflex requiring the coordinated movement of 15 facial muscles? It changes your normal breathing pattern and causes skeletal muscle contractions. In addition, laughter stimulates hormonal activity that has a beneficial effect on your immune system while also reducing stress….try it!

Be Aware of How This Change Will Impact You

Depending on the magnitude of the change you desire, it will impact you in one, or all of the following ways: your role, your relationships, your routine, and/or your self-view. If the change impacts all four of these components of your life the change will be more difficult than if it only impacts one of them. Make sure you are conscious of these changes and use communication with others and with yourself (your "inner-dialogue") to put the change in perspective.

Accept Change and Balance Your Life

Things change. Normal stress occurs with change. The level of stress is directly related to the degree of change, both positive or negative, and how it impacts on your daily life. Any change produces loss. But you can help to reduce that stress-producing change by maintaining a balance in life. Make sure you make time for family, friends, personal and spiritual growth. In addition be in control of your financial planning and participate in regular recreation and fun. Acceptance and balance are success keys which will contribute to your use change creatively and will help you live to be 100!

Acknowledge and Permit Yourself to Experience the Normal Feelings of Loss as a Result of Change

Be consciously aware of the normal emotional responses to change and give yourself permission to feel these. These feelings may include denial, guilt, depression, anger and finally acceptance. If you don’t acknowledge and express these feelings, they will come out in unhealthy ways. How long and how intense these feelings are depend on the magnitude of the loss, whether you were prepared for it or it was a surprise. Make sure you use your personal resources of support including professional ones if needed.

“The best change a person can have is a change of attitude.”

Restructure Your Thoughts Regarding the Change

We do not always have control of the activating events that occur in our lives. But, in the absence of an emotional disorder, we all have the ability to Structure the Belief of the event, and that will impact the result we have.

  • As I mentioned last month in my tips about dealing with holiday feelings, it can be helpful to break down stressors into a simple formula, A + B = C, that will help reduce stress. (Activating Event + Belief = Consequence)
  • is one's belief about an event that contributes to negative stress.
  • Disputing negative beliefs that simply aren’t true, or are hardly ever true, will minimize negative consequences and move you towards positive solutions.
  • Dispute negative beliefs with one of the following:
    1. Find the good in a bad situation
    2. Control your inner dialogue
    3. Avoid the blame game
    4. Shift the focus forward towards a solution
    5. Keep changes in perspective by not jumping from A – Z

Prepare as Much as Possible for Life Changes

There are a number of life changes we can prepare for to make the transitions easier for us and others. These may include preparations for a new baby, college fund for our children, financial planning including money set aside for older age health care and unforeseen losses i.e. job. Making sure you have a will, what your wishes are in the event of an accident and your health care. Transitional rituals can also be helpful, i.e. retirement parties, moving sales, ect. Being proactive rather than reactive will diminish the emotional fall out that comes with change.

“To change your family, friends, and lifestyle, you must first change yourself.”

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See the Tools & Tips page for a listing of all of Barbara's Tips articles.