Add more life to each new day
Happy new day! With a new year comes a slew of New Year's resolutions. I am pleased to be writing The Root again this year. Although I am not a big fan of New Year's resolutions, my resolution is to write a column every other week throughout the year.
Many resolutions I hear from folks in the market surround health and wellness issues, everything from drinking less alcohol to quitting smoking, getting fit, losing weight, eating healthy food and managing and or eliminating stress.
Often times, we associate resolutions with something negative or something we are unhappy about in our lives and wish to improve upon. However, what if we took a positive approach to our New Year's resolution and turned it on its head.
What about making our New Year's resolution about adding something positive to our lives rather than taking away something negative?
For instance, rather than going cold turkey and saying to yourself, "I will not drink any more soda or eat any fast food in 2012," perhaps rethink the message to yourself. Think positively about drinking more water and/or making and eating more meals at home.
By adding more water to your day, that automatically fills a void where you would have been drinking soda and helps you get to your intended goal of drinking less soda — which means you're consuming less high fructose corn syrup, or less aspartame for diet soda drinkers.
When I made this change a few years ago, drinking less soda is exactly what I did. I started by gradually drinking more water, slowly tilting the scales until I ultimately stopped buying soda altogether. I was a lifetime soda drinker, but by taking baby steps, I was able to create a realistic and positive new habit.
Once in a while, I will still crave a soda. However, whenever I buy one now, I can barely choke it down because it's too sweet. I went from not thinking twice about getting a super-size soda to barely being able to drink a small amount of soda today.
New habits take time to build. Take one new day at a time and remain positive.
Why do we wait for the magical date of New Year's Day to make positive changes in our lives? Why do we procrastinate an entire year to celebrate a single moment in time when we have the ability to create positive new experiences every day of the year in our lives and of those around us?
What if we could be more present with those we interact with on a daily basis? By present, I mean taking in and enjoying life as it happens rather than looking to some future period to find happiness. Listen more, laugh more, make eye contact and genuinely engage with everyone throughout the day.
Look up at the sky and be thankful for what we do have rather than lament about what others have that we "think" we may want or need.
At the end of the day, all we have is our health and each other. Rather than counting down to a new year, why not count down to a new day every day?
Kevin Cotter is managing general partner at New Earth Market in Yuba City.