Mitchell Rosen: Making New Year’s resolutions that really matter
The New Year’s resolution for more than half of my clients is to lose those last 20 pounds. This goal is admirable, achievable and difficult.
Unfortunately, the majority of these men and women have had the same New Year’s resolution for the past 15 years. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to be healthy, but too often resolutions are like making a wish on a shooting star: fun, elusive and probably not going to happen.
If we really want to get healthy, the desire needs to be internal, not calendar-driven. Therapists don’t like to use words such as “fail,” “fell short” or “unachievable.” Instead, we use positive and encouraging phrases when our patients don’t make their goals, such as the need to refocus or set new goals.
Might be a good idea to set goals that center on relationships, not money, achievement or personal gain. The cliché that no one on their deathbed said they wish they had made more money resonates as true. When we reflect on what is important for this coming year, or any year, relationships need to be at the top of the list.
I have a mother, 92-years-old and sharp as a tack, even if her hearing isn’t what it used to be. The majority of the times we speak are when I see a voicemail with “mom” on it. It’s a rationalization to say I’m too busy or busier than she is. We all set priorities and I could call more often because she would always do that for me.
I have a brother in Northern California, and sometimes months go by without getting together. Why? Probably because I know he loves me, so somehow that gives me the wiggle room to put him lower on my list. As I get older I’m not getting wiser, just better at rationalizing.