A Head Start on Resolutions

Posted by Kristin Beale in Life After Paralysis on December 15, 2022 # Lifestyle

Kristin Beale and husbandIt's a weird tradition to go to sleep on December 31, living our lives and being comfy in our habits, then wake up on January 1 with an expectation that we’ll start eating better, drinking more water, and working out twice per day. “BAM,” just like that. Because it’s the New Year, right?

Instead, let's try to ease into those positive changes ourselves. Instead, get a head start to increase your adherence to new habits, so the “BAM” of your resolutions won’t shock your system. When January begins, and your peers are running around with newly bought 20oz water bottles and overpriced gym clothes, you can just smile and wish them the best, knowing that you’re on top of it.

What are some goals and/or good habits you’re going to start? I have a few suggestions, and I’m thinkin’ out of the box.

  1. Learn something you didn’t know when you were a kid. Let's make this fun (do a handstand, ride a bike, blow a bubble), instead of “adult.” (balance a checkbook, file your taxes, parallel park). Challenge yourself to learn a fun and unnecessary skill like, my example, snapping my fingers. I’ve tried, but I give up when my fingers start hurting: immediately, because I’m not doing something right. Just don’t give up like I do.
  2. Make a new friend every month. This isn’t necessarily a “plans Friday night” friend, but try to exchange numbers, maybe meeting for coffee. Having friends is good for your health, so why not add a few more? I suggest attending more public events, chatting with strangers in line at the grocery store, or getting an introduction from another friend. Even if you don’t meet for coffee, it’s good to be surrounded by friendly faces.
  3. Stop saving your favorites. I have a shirt in my closet that fits me right, is comfortable, and makes me feel good. So, I save it for “special occasions.” For some reason. In practice, that means I rarely ever wear it. The same applies to food: I save the best for last, then it either grows cold or is swiped by my husband. Instead of saving your favorites for something meaningful, treat yourself now! Life is too short to hold on to the good stuff.
  4. Try a new food every week. Let’s quit cutting things out of our diet, and add some variety! Our bodies need a bunch of different nutrients to run optimally, but we get stuck in an “I eat what I like” habit. Try hitting the fruit and vegetable aisle to sample something exotic, or cook a protein outside your comfort zone.
  5. Do something nice for someone [at least] once a day. So many of our resolutions are focused inward, but the best feeling is making someone else’s day. That’s as simple as sending a text, or as much as going out of your way for someone’s smile. This morning, I got a delivery of 12 protein shakes. I haven’t figured out who sent them yet, but it made me very happy. Someone did something nice for me, and someone knows that I don’t get enough protein in my diet. Touché, my anonymous friend, touché.

I’ve done my rounds with the regular resolutions and, lemme tell ya; they didn’t last. I joined a gym, then quit when I got bored; I carried around a 20oz water bottle for a week, then I started forgetting it at home, and I started meal-prepping. I stopped that because I married a man who loves to cook, but I’m confident it wouldn’t have lasted long.

My response to my failed resolution attempts? Start earlier, and pick something more fitted to me. I may never learn how to snap my fingers, but I’ll at least have my protein covered – at least for the next 12 days. Baby steps.

Kristin Beale is a native of Richmond, Virginia. She is the author of two books, Greater Things and A Million Suns, and a comic book, Date Me. Check them out and read an excerpt at https://kristinbeale.com/. Her comics can be found on Instagram @Greater.Things.Comics.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.