Skating Uphill - January 2015

The Uphill Skater: Living a Healthy Lifestyle



All right, so if New Year’s resolutions do not really work, what else can we do? Read on for some really NEW thoughts. Remember, you saw it here first!

Last month, I promised we would talk about New Year’s resolutions. Well, I have done a bit of rethinking about that. My New Year’s resolution failure rate is about average. What I mean is that I read online recently that more than 50 percent of New Year’s resolutions last less than two months. That is not good, so I’m thinking we should move on to something with a better success rate.

A resolution by definition involves “resolve” and personally I think the use of our resolve can be better placed. We are all familiar with techniques for self-evaluation. That has been a buzzword for some time. My thinking is that just because something has been around for a while, it is not necessarily overused, worn out or bad. So, let’s look at resolve in the light of putting something out there that we have seen work. In my case, that is goal setting.

You have heard that old word frequently repeated and so have I, but goal setting works for me. I have used it regularly in my weight-loss efforts and now I am using it again to keep off unwanted gains. I use goal setting in many other ways, too. I often will start my day with goals that I want to accomplish. I am a list person, which combines well with looking at the “to do” things in your day, week, month, year and so on. Setting finish lines can be long term or short term and in fact, you should keep both in your plans.

Frequently, a series of short-term goals will look really good in the end. Again, I will use the example of weight loss, but perhaps an even better example is the development of a healthy eating plan. Oh, those two things sound pretty much like the same thing, don’t they? Hmmm!

Another goal that I have successfully set is to be an informed person. I love to write this column partly to share the good health message, but also partly to be sure I discover the newest and most reliable health news for myself. I subscribe to several magazines, read a couple of online health sites and follow different research topics very carefully. I like to know what is going on. You should, too. We live in a time that makes it easy to stay informed. But, the opposite is also true. It is equally easy to get turned off by the volumes of information and simply tune out.

Don’t do that. It is not healthy, and I mean that in many different ways. We all live in our own worlds, of course, and we all have our own problems. Believe me, I get that big time. That does not mean we can shut ourselves out. Please care about world news, the stock market, jobs reports, crime, the environment, local issues and health care. Also, be involved in your own personal faith journey and your own moral values. This is not selfish. This is not self-centered. This is of vital importance to the way you relate to every person in your life.

Good health is far more expansive than just eating a few vegetables. Good health is a total picture and you are in the center of the photo of your own life. People with whom you surround yourself can make your photo blurred, out of focus or dark, if you let them. Look around and rid yourself of toxic people and settings. Bring your life photo into clear sharp relief. Those around you not only influence you, but look to you for influence. Try to be the thoughtful person who thinks before they speak. Lead, if you are called to do so, in positive directions. If you are following, that can be just as powerful if you are part of moving in a group who shares values that are of importance to you.

As I re-read this it sounds more like a sermon than a lifestyle column, and the last thing I want to do is be preachy. But, I will repeat myself and say that your health is both mental and physical and it is in your care. Instead of a bunch of New Year’s resolutions, try to examine your life as it stands right now, today, and give yourself a big gold star for all of the wonderful things you do, and then think about how you can polish that star until it shines right out of your heart! Happy New Year.

If you have comments or questions regarding this column, please feel free to email Judith Lawrenson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.