Rob Oxford: You Say You Want A Resolution

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

List and photo
by Rob Oxford

By Rob Oxford

I’ve never been a fan of making “New Year’s Resolutions”. I’ve tried doing so in the past and found that more often than not I was setting myself up for failure.

I also don’t believe that January 1st is the only time one can decide to make certain changes in their lives.

However, I do believe that change can be good. Especially changing unhealthy behavior. Six years ago, on December 23rd, almost a week before the new year, I made the best decision of my life and I’ve never regretted it for a moment.

Now granted there are certain things I’ve just come to accept, certain things that will never change.

I’m probably never going to have a six pack and unlike my friend Steve, I’m probably never going to finish the New York Marathon. 

Also, despite the assurance of former television personality John Curley, there is nothing that will “promote the regrowth of my own natural hair" and I’m probably never going to finish my degree. Happily, these are all things with which I can live.

The following are the 10 most common resolutions people make for the new year.
  1. Lose weight
  2. Improve your finances
  3. Exercise
  4. Get a new job
  5. Eat healthier
  6. Manage stress better
  7. Stop smoking
  8. Improve a relationship
  9. Stop procrastinating

I’ll finish the list later… just kidding, number 10 is Set aside time for yourself.

Each of these can be accomplished with hard work and the right attitude. Improving one’s finances and getting a new job may be more difficult than exercising or eating healthier, but there are certain keys that should enable one to be successful in achieving their goals.

First, it’s ok to have a list of 10 changes you’d like to make, but probably best to limit your expectations to three or four.

Richard O’Connor, author of the book “Happy at Last: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Finding Joy” suggests being very specific. 

Instead of just “planning on exercising more,” consciously set aside a few minutes every other day to workout. Write this time down on a calendar that is visible. This will also help you to achieve #10 on the list above, “set aside time for yourself”.

If improving your finances happens to be a goal, look into automatic withdrawal. Have a small amount taken directly out of your check each pay period. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly it can add up.

“Visualization” is also an important key to accomplishing your goals. Write them down and keep them in a prominent place where they are accessible and can be viewed easily.

Two other important factors in being successful at keeping New Year’s Resolutions involve forgiveness and reward.

It is important to realize the potential to “slip” (notice I didn’t use the word “fail”) can be part of the process.

In the past I made the mistake of thinking that because I had “slipped,” I couldn’t just start over. Instead I needed to wait for some significant date to begin again. This is why I pointed out earlier that the change I made in my life was two weeks before New Year's Eve six years ago. Not a particularly important date on the calendar.

I also believe that rewarding oneself is important. Whether it’s realizing you’ve been able to save $400 without even thinking about it and buying yourself a $100 pair of shoes or after working out regularly, skipping a day. Give yourself credit and enjoy your success.

Finally, don’t make a resolution because you think you “should” - make it because it’s something you want to do.

2019 was a wonderful year for the Oxford Family, we are so blessed to live in the Shoreline Community. May the new year bring you all much joy and happiness and if at all possible a Mariner Baseball team that makes it to the postseason.


Unknown January 1, 2020 at 1:30 PM  

Well written Rob! That k you!

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