The Norman Transcript

January 18, 2014

Resolutions or Wishes?


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Ho Hum. It is New Year’s Resolution time. Of course, we are halfway through the month and some folks have already given up. But never mind.

Family, relatives, friends, co-workers, and talking heads jump on the annual bandwagon and make a list of resolutions. More often than not, such well-intentioned and overly ambitious plans go the way of the Dodo.

Resolution is defined as determination, tenacity and perseverance — just a few variations on the “R-word” to ponder when aiming for a goal. The problem with goals is that they require consistent effort to achieve success. No slipshod I’ll-deal-with-it-when-I-feel-like-it will do. And there is the rub.

Today’s society is all about instant gratification, which explains why so many people have become rich promising folks instant weight loss, instant wealth, instant skills of all kinds. What people yearning for miracles of the earthly kind forget is “Easy come, easy go.”

Yes, you may drop a great deal of weight fast, but because you did not learn new habits with that “instant” weight loss those pesky cellulite dimples will creep back on your buns and sundry other body parts in an equally speedy manner.

Let’s consider the rags to riches folks. If you do not have the sense to get help and learn to manage your “instant” wealth, it will not last. The best examples are lottery winners and athletes. They are instant millionaires, but unless they seek financial guidance at the onset their new found wealth will be frittered away with nothing left but experience — and not everyone learns from experience.

In the defense of such lucky-for-a-moment folks, buckets of money tend to spawn “friends” and countless needy relatives like mosquitoes in a stagnant pond. Everyone has their hands out, taking advantage of the good nature, generosity and the desire-to-be-loved of the newly minted rich guy.

But let’s concentrate on something more practical, the weight issue. There are problems associated with making and promulgating weight related resolutions.

First, be aware that the desire to lose and the necessary action to do so are at war with each other.

Second, ignore the advice of know-it-alls and do not tell anyone. Just get it done and surprise yourself and anyone else who cares. If everyone and their dog know you are on a diet, they will be the first to rub it in when you fall off the diet wagon.

Third, there are saboteurs who for one reason or another want you to fail.

Some years ago, we were acquainted with an interesting couple. He complained often about the fact that she was overweight. However, whenever the lady decided to do something about her weight, two things would always happen. First, she announced “I’m starting my diet on Monday.” Then, between the announcement and that looming Monday, she gorged on everything she liked to eat because that food would be on the “can’t eat” list. In essence, she sabotaged her weight loss at the onset by gaining ten or more extra pounds prior to Diet Day.

Her husband took a different approach. As far as we can recall, he never encouraged her in her dieting efforts, but he was a master at sabotaging those efforts particularly when she was successful. On one occasion, he took the family to an ice cream shop and told his wife “If you don’t have some ice cream, the kids aren’t getting any either.” Big guns sabotage with blackmail wrapping. The guy did not seem to know if he wanted a slim or a zaftig wife, but he did enjoy complaining.

Whatever your goal, trust your instincts and put in the work. Do not forget to visualize your success.

Marie Curie is right. “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves.”

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Her new novel Sins of the Father is now available on amazon.com. Visit her website: www.elizabethcowan.com

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