Hendricks Regional Health Blog

Setting Healthy (Realistic) Resolutions

Posted by: Jenny Bates   |   Monday, January 17, 2011   |   Latest Articles   |   Back to Blog


 This is the time of year when many of us make our list and check it twice- wait, that's Santa Claus ... I mean, this is the time of year that we make resolutions to be healthier, wealthier, and wiser in the upcoming year. But this year, I'm quitting before I begin. Instead of making a list of outrageous accomplishments that I want to achieve, I'm focusing on a healthier approach.

Turns out, many times in the past, I've compiled a list that's humanly impossible given my current circumstances and only twenty-four hours in a given day. I would have to be multiple superheros in order to accomplish everything that I feel I SHOULD.  I've never really liked that word "should." The actual origins of the word "should or "shall" imply meanings of guilt and obligation....words I'm not too fond of either.  So I'm eliminating my "shoulds" this year, replacing them with "will" or eliminating them all together. 

Here's an example of Jenny's new and improved SHOULDLESS world. "I should do the dishes, start some laundry, and complete all those craft projects I started in 1998." I will transform those thoughts into "The dishes can wait until tomorrow when I'm more rested (or I will use paper plates one day a week for dinner). I will ask for help in folding the laundry and putting it away.

If I'm being really honest, I like the "idea" of scrapbooking but I don't have the patience or interest to really spend time creating the actual photobooks. Turns out, Shutterfly is more my style. If I ruthlessly eliminate the "shoulds" in my life and replace them with realistic and honest expectations, all of a sudden, guilt and obligations start to rapidly disappear.

So, my mission this year is to give myself a break. As a full-time working mother of 3, playing the role of wife, sister, daughter, friend, housekeeper, groundskeeper, Sunday school teacher, coach, zoo keeper, etc. can just be exhausting. Like many women, I usually love fulfilling those roles, but I sometimes lose myself in the shuffle of caring for everyone else. Growth is important, learning is vital, and joy is a necessity. My soul needs to experience more of the blessings in my life and fewer feelings of obligation, frustration, and just plain failure. I hear repeatedly that I have too much on my plate, so if I can find portion control in my diet, maybe I can find it for my life.


~Jenny Bates

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