One of the reasons I enjoy the friendship of a certain charming French fellow I met on a blind date this summer is his exquisite accent. I won’t bat an eyelash and pretend I don’t soak up his lyrical speech like a good bread does olive oil, nor will I deny that I am charmed by his definitely NOT Made in America manners and gentlemanly chivalry and generosity. I appreciate his intelligence and his perspective (and a sense of humor that just cannot be beat… again, NOT Made in America). And it is these two things that make me appreciate his company so much.
We were having dinner together the night before I flew out to Kansas to spend the holiday with my mom. We were discussing holiday plans and New Year’s Resolutions. Charming Frenchie stated that he doesn’t subscribe to the notion of resolutions, but instead, he forms objectives.
Oh, ho, hmm, now let’s see. And so I went along with the conversation, because the guy is well thought and spoken, and I liked what he was saying. And so, my objectives for my new year include the reasons why and what I will not gain if I choose to not follow through.
1. No texting while driving.
I KNOW. That’s why it’s listed as my Number One. Not only is it illegal in Phoenix, if a conversation is facilitated by text, then that is not an important conversation. It is certainly not a conversation of such importance that it is worth endangering my personal safety and my property nor the personal safety and property of others. It is a horrible habit and it needs to die.
2. Judge less and forgive more.
I consider myself a mostly open-minded and relative person. But, I can still be a thoroughly and mightily self-righteous and judgmental, little bitch (and, for the record, I hate this word; I think it is among the most disrespectful words used to describe a woman; I hate it). People have their own motivations for their actions. And, let’s face it: people sometimes just make bad decisions. For those, I am in no position to cast any stones. And, so, I will also be mindful for this objective to be less judgmental of and more forgiving to the person who is in the most need of my grace. Myself.
3. Stop making excuses.
I find empowerment in ownership. Sometimes, that perspective is really hard! Sometimes, I can go off balance and venture a little to the extreme end of taking ownership and I take on too much onus, thereby creating excuses and letting someone else off the hook of responsibility. My objective is to own what is mine, and let the other person/people do what they will with that part of responsibility.
While we’re on the subject of no more excuses, no more excuses in my practice!
My experience and skill with yoga is beyond the point for me to still be afraid of inversions. No more inversion aversion! In 2012, I will rock the inversions: headstand, forearm stand, handstand. I will get out of my head and stand with my feet above my head, once and for all.
4. I will eat more veggies and eat less meat.
I did just put that in writing. I won’t abandon my carnivorous ways entirely. I am still convinced I was a T-Rex in a former lifetime… “if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.” Get it? No? Think about a T-Rex… “if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!” Get it? Yes!!!!!
Here’s the deal why this objective is so important for me (closet open, meet skeletons). Diabetes runs in my dad’s family. His mom developed Type II Diabetes; she also had multiple strokes. Cancer is in my mom’s family.
It may be a freak, silver-bullet type of coincidence that my dad and my brother both have “chronic, progressive Multiple Sclerosis.” BUT, I really don’t think so. And so, when I asked myself the question about why have I been taking chances with my health by not better nurturing my body through what I eat, I couldn’t come up with an answer good enough for me to not seriously consider making some changes to that part of my lifestyle. I may and I may not have the genetic coding to predispose me to any of these diseases that could trigger at any time, running rogue through my DNA. I may and I may not. That’s how genetic inheritance works.
But why take the chance? I won’t hike Humphrey’s Peak during a monsoon season because I know that kind of exposure puts me at risk to be struck by lightening. After seeing, this past year (talking 2011, friends), my beloved grandfather – my Pere Pere – succumb to cancer, observing my aunt’s continuous struggle with her addiction to food and her compromised life from her morbid obesity, but most of all, participating in my dad’s and my brother’s battles with the fear monger, MS, my healthful arrogance has shamed me.
Especially, when I know I have got to get my stress management under control. A doctor’s physical exam would show results that ace every test (except for stress). But, how long will that health last? So, with my own challenges to deal with my own poor stress management, I can do my beautiful and healthy body better by eating (and drinking) better. Less cows, less cheese, and more alkaline-rich food to help me stay stronger and healthier for longer.
So, my resolutions probably would have looked something like this:
Drive safer; be nicer; do handstands; eat less sugar.
My objectives spell out for me what the accomplishment and purpose is so I can remember the why when I carry out the what.
What are your objectives for the coming year?