Are New Years Resolutions good for you?

by Paul Holmes

Firstly I would like to wish everyone a happy new year. I actually mean that. We banter these phrases about like no bodies business, with no feeling or meaning. However, I really do wish you a HAPPY new year.

 For some of us it means a new start, a new chance to do what you always wanted to do. We get over the Christmas nightmare, for some anyway. We wonder why we spent, ate and drank too much and now we kick back and take stock.

 We sit down and make the dreaded new year’s resolution or resolutions. Are these good for you?  If done properly, I say yes. If we can set ourselves positive goals that we actually want to achieve then how can it not be? The key to resolutions is to make them achievable, not necessarily easy but a goal that when we get there it will make us feel good. On the flip side, we have to have the right mental attitude for it. Accept that some days we will fail, put it down to a bad day, don’t beat yourselves up. There is always tomorrow and the next day.

 I have set myself a few resolutions. I am like that.  I have to kick myself up the backside and keep myself motivated. Otherwise I let things slip easily and start to spiral down into a negative mood as I see myself failing. As a sufferer of depression failure just feeds my illness. If I fail, I have done wrong, I am worthless and must punish myself, which means I fail more and so on. Sounds crazy but that is just one of the reasons why I like to find the right balance for my resolutions.

 In 2007, I was incredibly ill. I was ill from depression and also due to being obese. I hate that word, it reminds of the Doctor reports that were written about me. They always started with “ Mr Holmes is a 38 year old obese male ......” Well done Sherlock, well spotted. That never made me feel good. In a strange way it made me realise something. No one could see my depression, but boy could they see my weight. It was the old, I was fat because I was depressed and I was depressed because I was fat.  I had to break the cycle.

 Enter from left of stage, Mr New Year resolution.  My resolution for 2008 was by no way unique. I was nearly 30 stone in weight. I could not walk easily, barely make the top of my stairs without breaking out in a sweat, I was unhealthy I needed change. A major factor was, I saw my problems as loads and loads of different things. I had anxiety problems, anger problems, depression, PTSD and I was morbidly obese courtesy of an eating disorder. Something I buried my head in the sand from. How can going on a diet and losing weight affect all these problems? Rather than just doing it I was thinking too much about the pitfalls and would it make any difference in my life. The Black Dog in my brain kept saying “ Why bother?”

 So January 1st 2008 arrived. I was vegetarian. No more greasy fatty cheap takeaway meat. I had become addicted to fast food, the cycle had to stop. Thanks to my resolution, stop it I did. To date I have lost of 10 and a half stone. Of course I am proud of myself and feel loads better. It was a huge battle and even today I battle my weight and still need to lose more and definitely need to get healthy. I am now 43 years old and it seems harder and harder to keep fit and healthy and lose weight.

  So hear I am again, another new year, same old resolution “Must lose weight and get fit.” I have other ones too. One being “Must write million pound best seller,” that may be a bit out of reach but, hey we all got to dream. That is where the problem lies, make your resolutions realistic. Be positive, work at them, write a plan. If it’s going to make your life happier and more positive then treat it like a proper project, accept your bad days, you will have them. Don’t beat yourself up, you are human you will make mistakes. Treat each day as day one. Also keep your dreams and ambitions alive, we all need them. Use the resolutions as steps to getting to them, always look at long term.

 Whatever your dreams and ambitions for the following year are, I hope you achieve them, I hope it’s a good year for you.

Make it happen.

Happy New Year. 

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