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For Real.

As of yesterday, I’m back to the real life: books, powerpoint slides without an end, and marker packs in so many colours the rainbow would be jealous.

But if all goes well, this year won’t be the same as last year. I mean, not that last year was bad or anything, it is just that I want this year to be even better. (Who doesn’t? … You don’t have to answer that.) Anyway, part of this whole New Year’s Resolutions thing is to actually follow through with good intentions.

It’s day three. How many of you have already broken your resolutions? Be honest with yourself, because I know the vast majority of you have. Well, okay, maybe only a few of you have since it is only day three. I’ll give you a couple of weeks.

I actually did make resolutions this year. I intend on keeping all of them, despite some of them nearing the verge of insanity (in my already crazy mind). Why? Because if I don’t make the changes for a healthy life now, when will I? Life will only get harder and habits will only set firmer. When I see myself in the future, I don’t see someone who would rather grab a bag of potato chips over an apple. …Okay, I do but only one time out of ten or so.

Cheers to a new year, and a slightly modified Kristin.

First, I am cutting out sweets from my diet. In case you were wondering, my sweet tooth takes up most of my face. Sorry, Pinterest. Your dessert folder is going to have to be ignored until a friend needs a cake baked for them. No sugar in my oatmeal. Black coffee when possible. No birthday cake at birthday celebrations (unless it is my own, of course). Crazy, huh?! Here’s the remaining sanity in it: I will allow myself all the gum I can chew, breath mints when needed, honey (in HEALTHY things like my homemade granola, which is way to fantastic to give up), a rare energy drink if needed prior to an exam, and ONE serving of sweets on holidays. Yes, my birthday is a holiday. No, Ground Hog’s day is not a holiday, nor is Presidents Day.

Second, I am going to work out SIX hours per week. This one is going to be the hardest for me to keep, because I can’t guarantee that I have six hours to spend in a gym EVERY.SINGLE.WEEK. The point of this resolution is to find the time. And if you think about it, that is less than an hour if I decide to go everyday. That’s not bad at all.

Related to the last one, I am shooting for a goal of running 300 miles this year. That is completely doable at less than 1 mile per day, even when taking holidays off. The thing is that I really am not a fan of running unless they have happy colour powder to throw at me every kilometer I run. (Side note: I’m already registered for the Colour Run this year! If there is one in a city near you, DO IT!)

Thirdly, I want to do as many random acts of kindness as I can afford. Which, on a med student budget, probably is like three. Sadly, the thing that I realized, though, is that someday I will be able to pay it off. The person I help doesn’t likely have that same luxury. It can be overwhelmingly blinding to look at my bank account and see nothing for several years in the near future. Take those blinders off, miss. There will be money there. Those loans will disappear, no matter how ginormous of a number they get to be.

And lastly, do more artistic ventures. I probably (most likely) have said that I love to do various art projects, crafts, writing, poetry, things and stuff. Med school shouldn’t prevent me from doing things like that. I’ve accumulated hoarded nearly everything I need for any project in my supposed-to-be-a-studying-office-that-has-become-more-of-an-art room.

The best part? Now that I have told you, I have just made you all accountable for my goals, too.

Even better? If you tell me your resolutions, I will remind you like none other that you should probably be sticking with whatever your resolutions are. For real, you made them for a reason.

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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in My Inspiration and Motivation

 

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Do it! Keep that New Year’s Resolution

Please forgive me in this post, because I am going to be the next Hitler. Hitler, reincarnated, maybe? I’ll respond to Stalin as well.

Why such the stone cold face and lifeless heart?

BECAUSE YOU CAN KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS. You CAN keep ALL your New Year’s resolutions! Granted you are sane and made semi-plausible resolutions…

Why do I have such faith in all of you? The main reason is that I kept my resolution from January 2011 all the way to 2012. No slip ups, no issues, and only a few tears shed. Well, that is a lie because I don’t cry. I’m Hitler, for goodness sake.

Pffft. Yeah, but you must have given up something that you don’t like or resolved to do something you practically do all the time anyway. WRONG. I gave up sweets: brownies, icecream, truffles, jelly, Reese’s Pieces and Puffs, anything and everything with caramel, cheesecake, Kettle Corn, etc. And I have the sweet tooth the size of an elephant’s tusk, if I am being conservative.

How did I do it? Well, my good friends, that is what I am going to tell you, and you should listen this time. Most of what we want to give up is a learned behaviour. Smoking, eating chips while watching a movie, dessert after a meal, what have you. All habitual. What you need to do is define strict guidelines on how you want to change these behaviours. Here is what worked for me.

1. I love love to bake. Unfortunately, everything I love love to bake contains excessive amounts of sugar, more than likely chocolate, and pounds upon pounds of butter. So, the first week of the year, I went through and found probably hundreds of recipes I would like to try that I could actually eat. I packed away my favorite cook book, “The Chocolate Cook Book”, and any other one that I knew would tempt me. Not going to lie, it took me until October before I could bake sweets and not be tempted to lick the spoon or inhale all the finished products in one bite.

2. Define your resolution. For me, sweets excluded gum, breath mints only when gum was not available, coffee (including lattes but not mochas), and fake sweetened energy drinks only when I am in dire need. That is it. No ifs, ands, or buts.

3. I know it is impossible to get through Valentine’s Day without getting chocolate from someone, and Valentine’s Day just happens to lie in that 5-6th week when cravings are at their worst. Also, I know that I can’t get past Christmas without eating some of my grandmother’s lefse and my aunt’s famous cookies. So, I allowed myself all sweets, as much as I could eat, on holidays. This is where things get sketchy. Define “holiday.” For me, I included Valentine’s Day, my birthday (mainly because it is a holiday, duh), Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas day, and New Year’s Eve until I fell asleep on New Year’s Day.

The best/worst part of allowing sweets is overdoing it. I would definitely set limits on this. I generally ate so many sweets (Icecream for breakfast, anyone? …and for lunch? Okay. Why not.) that I got nauseated ill, every time. Totally worth it.

4. Tell EVERYONE about it in the first week or two. This creates some sort of guilt factor responsibility that seems to keep me going, even when I didn’t want to. There were so many times when I was alone in a room with a dish full of candy just staring at me, yet I didn’t eat any. Why? Most of the time it was just because I wanted to prove so many people wrong who told me, “You? You couldn’t go without sweets for two hours.” Hah. Showed them.

5. Indulge in other things. Quitting smoking? Treat yourself to something: take the money you were otherwise spending on cigs and treat yourself to something that you previously told yourself you would. Not instant enough? Buy things in advance, wrap it up, and treat yourself when you are craving. My vice was chips and dip, french fries, and sweet potato fries. Heckuva trade, I would say.

6. Avoid situations where you know you will have control issues. For me, this meant avoiding my Grandma’s kitchen. I purposely walked further away to a different door just to avoid the kitchen. Okay, you can’t avoid all situations. Be polite about your resolution, don’t snap at people for not knowing, and don’t be filled with anger that they are a trigger for the bad habit you are trying to break. Around Christmas time, people just seem to hand out extra bake goods to make everyone else fat, making themselves feel better. By this time, most people you know are close enough to you that they just pass the food on by. Which usually directly prompts people that don’t know you to offer you some. This is when you can politely say that you have a New Year’s resolution against it, and watch people’s amazement. That alone is powerful stuff, and makes you want to keep doing  it.

 

The main points from all that jazz is this: you are a lot stronger than you think you could ever be. Breaking things down into manageable steps is the key, right after defining every single little thing that you may possibly find a loophole to later when you are really not wanting to keep your resolution.

But Hitler wouldn’t say that. He would just tell you to do it, and you better darn well do it.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in My Inspiration and Motivation

 

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