“Yes, we all want to lose weight, eat more vegetables, get fit, drink water instead of white wine, hold fewer grudges, manage our stress, sleep better and help the planet go greener,” writes Jane Wilkens Michael in the January issue of Spry Living.
But alas for many of us, our best goals and intentions are forgotten faster than old acquaintenances. Here are tips that Michael garnered from Pace faculty members John Cronin and Richard Shadick on how to make our resolutions live on after January 1:
Be realistic—and specific. “Instead of telling yourself, I am going to lose weight and be healthy next year, it is better to say, I will lose five pounds by February 15 by walking for 20 minutes three days a week and no longer drinking soda,” says Dr. Richard Shadick, director of the Counseling Center and adjunct associate professor of psychology at Pace University. The more specific, measurable, and attainable a goal is, the more likely it can be reached.
It’s easy being green. “This New Year, resolve to help the planet,” says John Cronin, senior fellow for Environmental Affairs at Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies. “There are two questions I am asked most often: ‘Can one person really make a difference?’ and ‘How?’ The answer to the first is easy: Yes! It is the story of human history — but those who never try to make a difference never do.” Cronin poses a creative challenge: “Look to your own life to find that something special you can make happen. For example, one mechanic adds a dollar to the bill of each of his car repair customers as a donation to the Riverkeeper organization. Over the past 20 years he has directed thousands of dollars to the group, and his customers are delighted. Help your child’s school find environmental experts to speak to classes. Here’s a simple one: Share a fascinating fact, and your friends will spread the information too —how much of the water on our planet is available for drinking? (Answer: Less than 1%). I promise they will be amazed, educated and eager to tell someone else. The point is that in addition to the how-to’s of proper individual behavior, which after 42 Earth Days should be common knowledge by now, there are creative acts you can perform, invent and organize that will change the world right in your own backyard if you are bold enough to try. Jump right in. The planet is waiting.”