How to Make New Year’s Resolutions That Actually Benefit You

It’s That Time of Year.

Look at some of her resolutions - they're very funny.

This time of year, our thoughts turn to new beginnings in the New Year. If you are one of the about 50 percent of Americans who commit to a New Year’s resolution, you might be currently brainstorming for your very own self-improvement project.

However, if we successfully achieved every single New Year’s resolution, we wouldn’t need to make them every year, would we? We’d have the perfect outlook on life, maintain our ideal weight and have money saved in the bank.

Alas, only 8 percent of people surveyed by the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology reported success in achieving their resolution. In fact, 24 percent of respondents say they are never successful with their resolutions and fail every year. It can be demoralizing to fail and those setbacks could persuade us to stop setting goals altogether.

Instead of abandoning self-reflection and self-improvement, why not evaluate the types of goals we set? Are they unattainable from the start? Are we unrealistic? Here are some tips to help make New Year’s resolutions that are beneficial and attainable. [Read more…]

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The Very Best Holiday Treats

In a previous lifetime, when I was in radio, there was an expression:

“You can tell how successful a disc-jockey is by the size of the trailer attached to his car.”

car-and-trailer-cartoon

This was a reference to how often on-air personalities had to pack up and move, usually seeking larger markets or better opportunities.

Such is the saga as to how Humboldt County became my home.

Much like Harry Chapin’s song, “W-O-L-D,” I bounced around the western U.S., ending up as morning personality and music director at a classic rock station in Southern California, where I also published an industry newsletter. A newly hired consultant for a pair of radio stations among the redwoods followed my periodical and brought me up here. Initially, my strategy was to remain “a couple of years” and take family and trailer to San Francisco. If 31 years constitutes “a couple of years,” I might still be on track. Elsewise, it looks like I’m here for the duration.

After leaving radio with a background in promotion, I earned my take as a marketing consultant (which I still do at times). Some of my clients were political campaigns.

Following so far? (There will be a test.)

Anyhoo, a dozen years ago, I was one cog in the wheel of a team that helped manage the successful campaign of a local official, who was since been re-elected twice, and is now retiring. We don’t see each other very much these days. It’s not that there’s any animosity, quite the contrary; he’s always very warm when we bump into each other. It’s just, you know how life is, right? He’s doing his thing and I do mine. However, recently his “team” personally reached out to me, extending a special invitation to his retirement soiree, basically saying, “You were there at the beginning. It would be great if you showed up.” [Read more…]

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Give More

It is virtually impossible to feel bad when giving, especially during this time of year.

Rob Brezsy handing out money

Rob Brezsny stands at a freeway off-ramp stoplight holding out a dull-green bouquet of small bills

Find more ways to give (and it’s not always about the money).

Give some time to help out those less fortunate than yourself. Give more compliments. Put your empty change in a donation bin. Open a door for somebody. Carry grocery bags. Pay the toll for the car behind you in line. Donate usable clothes. Give your books to a thrift store. Take those cans or boxes of food that you’re never going to use to the food bank. Tip larger (better yet, tip when it’s not expected).

Do Good. Feel Great.

If you’re looking for a couple of good charities, two of my favorites are OneLessMeal.org (also known as the Double D Diner) and the Humboldt Area Foundation, where the Ruth Marcus Memorial Writing Scholarship is located.

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Dealing with Holiday Food Pushers and Food Cops

santa-taking-cookies

From Hanukkah gelt to peppermint bark to reindeer cookies; you can’t toss a Santa hat three feet without it landing in a mountain of sweet, sugary treats this time of year.

The holidays also bring out two characters extremely challenging to dieters attempting to stay the course through the most difficult time of year. So, in the interest of peaceful family get-togethers and company parties, I provide advice on how to deal with the ever-present “Food Police” and “Food Pushers.”

One can tell when the former is within earshot because you’ll hear: “Is that on your diet?” or “Should you be eating that?” Unfortunately, no matter how carefully worded and lovingly delivered, it always comes across as (delivered in the tone of a schoolyard taunt), “Neener-neener-neener! I caught you cheating!”

First tip: Override the initial reaction to share what you are eating rather forcefully by shoving it in his face.

The sad truth is that will not make the situation better; worse yet, your next meal might be served through bars.

On the other extreme is the “Food Pusher,” who sings a different carol, attempting to stuff you with all manner of delights. One recognizes her by the guilt-inducing expressions, “I made it just for you” or “One bite won’t hurt.”

Although these personality types appear opposites —one at-tempts to keep you from what you want and the other is forcing on you what you don’t — they are actually related. Each person’s is really trying to help you be happier. The “cop” does this by attempting to keep you on the straight and narrow, while the other provides “permission” to relax and cut loose.

Once we understand that motivation, we can handle them — without violence — by utilizing the “3 Rs.”

[Read more…]

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