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Giving Your New Year’s Resolutions a Second Chance

New Years has come and gone, but remnants of January 1st are all around us.  Pictures from that epic New Year’s Eve party are still visible on our Facebook feed.  We might have neglected to put away our Christmas decorations and they may be visible as well. We may have also neglected to keep our New Year’s Resolutions.  Many of us set out with good intentions, but it’s hard to keep up with them.  If you are reading this and this sounds familiar to you, read on!  The following are a list of questions to ask yourself:

1.  Are My Goals Realistic? :  In my first blog entry, last January, I suggested that people set realistic goals.  If you have failed already neglected your goals ask yourself if they were realistic?  Did you set the bar too high?  Many people set out with good intentions, but they make goals that will be very hard to attain.  Some people tell themselves they will lose weight in the New Year which is a good and healthy goal to make.  But, the problem lies in how much people expect themselves to lose. Some people make goals to lose a significant amount of weight in an unreasonable amount of time.  When this happens and people fail they feel bad about it.  This can be avoided if they think reasonably and make realistic goals.

2.  What Have My Mistakes Taught Me? :  If you have already broken your resolutions I urge you to take a step back. As you take look back ask yourself this:  what have my mistakes taught me?  I also urge you to look back further.  Think about goals you have made in years past.  Are any of your present goals ones you have made in the past? How did you do in the past?  If you haven’t met your goals in the past, what will you do differently to ensure that you meet them this year?  If you have neglected to keep your resolutions I encourage you to try again.  Every day is a new day and it’s not too late!

3.  How Will You Reach Your Goals? :  After you ask yourself what your mistakes have taught you, ask yourself this:   what will it take to get me there?  How will I achieve my goals?  One thing that may help is to come up with a list of steps it will take to achieve your goal(s).  If your goal is to lose weight ask yourself how you plan on meeting your goal.  Next decide what steps you will need to take to lose weight.

4.  Do I Have Support? :  If you have failed to keep your goals, I urge you to talk to other people.  Ask them to hold you accountable as you work try to get back on track.  The poet John Donne once said, “[n]o man is an island,” and this is certainly true.  People do better when they have support. It is harder when you go at it alone and a lot easier when you have help.

It is my hope this list is another source of help as work to get back on track.  The end of January is approaching at warp speed, but you don’t have to abandon your New Year’s Resolutions.  Christmas decorations will eventually be put up, but I encourage you to do differently with your New Resolutions.  You leave them up, and continue to work on them all year.


Grief and Loss in the New Year

Excitement  is in the air as 2014 draws to a close.  In about 24 hours we will ring in the new year, and we will start over again.  New possibilities will await us, and resolutions will be made.  As we welcome the coming of a new year many of us will continue to grieve the losses we endured in 2014.  The sentiment will be different for these people.  Many people  lost a loved a one this year.  Some will never know what happened to their friends, or family members because they are missing.  Others have a better idea of what happened.  Some have concrete answers and know that their loved ones have passed away.

On March 8th, MH370,  a flight going from Kuala Lumpur to  Beijing went missing and never turned up.  On Sunday December 28,2014 QZ8501, a flight going from Surbabya to Singapore, went down  in the Java Sea.  The families of the passengers on MH370 did not get closure because the plane was never recovered.  In the last few days wreckage from QZ8501 has been found along with several bodies.  The grief process will look different for those who lost loved ones on QZ8501, than MH370.  In clinical terms we call grief surrounding a missing individual ” ambiguous loss.”  The type of loss encountered by families of passengers from MH370, is type one loss which occurs when I person is physically absent, but emotionally/psychologically present.  When we are certain that someone has died there is more closure, but these people will still fill the grief no matter how or what happened.

If you are reading this, and it reminds you of a friend, or colleague that has lost somebody this year I encourage you to check on that person. Make sure that they don’t spend New Years alone unless they are adamant that that is their desire.  The holidays are a stressful time, but it can be a lot harder for someone who has lost a loved one.  Holidays and anniversaries can be especially hard for those who lost loved ones.  The same could be recommended if you know of someone who has yet to receive confirmation that their loved one has died.

If you happened to have lost someone this year make sure that you  surround yourself with people love, and know you as you celebrate the coming of a new year.  A new year can make it painstakingly clear that you are leaving your loved one behind in past, and it can be hard to accept that truth.  If you want to be alone spend time reflecting, and reminiscing.  You might also consider doing something for yourself.  Watch that movie you’ve been meaning to see.  Cook your favorite food, or take time to tackle a project you’ve been meaning  to do.  Either way, whatever you decide to do, know that you are no alone. The sentiment can be very different if you’ve recently suffered, a loss but hopefully you will find peace in knowing that somewhere someone else is dealing with a same set of circumstances.  This holiday may look different for you , but that is more than fine.  A new  year will soon begin,  and things will get better in time.

How to Achieve your New Year’s Resolution


For many, January is a chance to start over.  Many of us make resolutions every January, but life happens and they’re broken.  People start out with a fierce determination to lose weight or to get in shape, and that intensity burns out quickly.  Some people keep their resolutions, but it’s hard.  It is with that in mind, that I write.  The following are a list of tips to help you achieve your New Year’s Resolutions:

1.  Set Realistic Goals:  This time of year people set goals, and they get overzealous.  People set the bar too high, or they make too many goals.  When making New Year’s Resolutions think practically, and factor in your prior commitments.  One excuse for not following through with resolutions is that people get busy, and they don’t have time to work on their goals.  It is better to make one goal and follow through, than it is to make several and end up breaking them.

2. Know What It Will Take to Reach your Goals: Think about what it will take to achieve them. Think of your goal, and then decide what steps you need to take in order to achieve them. If one of your goals is to run a marathon in 2014, step 1 might be to start by walking everyday. After a certain length of time you can progress to running everyday, and you might also consider running a 5k, and then progress from there.

3. Write Out Your Resolutions: This goes without saying, but get out a pen and out your New Year’s Resolutions. Put them in a place where you will see them. Go back to your list of New Year’s Resolution everyday, and reflect on them. Think about what you are doing to help you achieve your goal. If you have gotten off track, think about what you need to do get back into the groove of things.

4. Enlist Supporters: Share your New Year’s Resolutions with people that will hold you accountable, and be willing to do the same for them. No one is nearly as effective in reaching a goal on their own. We are much better off if we have people to help us along the way.

5. Reward Yourself: If you are doing well, and you are on the way to achieving your resolutions, find a way to reward yourself. These rewards will serve as motivation to keep going, and they will make it easier to achieve your goals.

Hopefully, at the end of all this you will come out on top. It is my desire to see people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions, and I pray that 2014 will be the year that you come on top. Thanks for reading.

-Amanda Nethery