Thursday, January 5, 2012

ONE DAY AT A TIME



As I checked out last year's resolutions, I realized I am part of the National average. Most of my resolutions for 2011 failed the first few weeks while I managed to partially succeed at just one of them.  The one  I stuck with was the resolve  to continue blogging.  I am not sure sliding from a daily blogger to a "whenever" blogger constitutes success but it wasn't a total wash out either.

National average is not my goal. I have never thought average was acceptable. Not that I wanted to be hugely outstanding, but at least one tick above average would be nice. Thus the dismal realization of my lack of success for 2011 got me thinking.

Why do we almost all fail at our fresh start resolves each year? Especially that universal one of getting in better shape.  I quit smoking and drinking quite successfully 35  years ago so I proved capable of achieving difficult goals.  Why then is going for a healthy lifestyle so difficult?

Quitting smoking didn't count as I had 21 days in a hospital being really sick from a surgery gone wrong. I was on lovely pain killers to help with that one. There was no will involved. Just lots of blissful floating for three weeks. 

But quitting drinking was done with no chemical helpers. I do remember the time I first thought about eliminating alcohol entirely. The thought of going the rest of my life without ever again having  any “fun” appalled me. 


I was young enough to have a long projected “rest of my life” still ahead of me.  Being alcohol free for maybe 50 years, seemed impossibly bleak at the time. That is how I view going with out sweet treats for what is left of this life.  Bleak and blah.

AA gave me a tool years ago which is very successful. It is called “one day at a time.” You don't tackle a life time of change as a whole.   You just attack one day's worth. That chops the problem into bite sized chunks. Ah ha. Light bulb moment.

Why not put my resolutions into bite sized chunks instead of “lifetime changes.” So that is what I plan to do this year about my extra 30 pounds that needs a new home. 

So this is my weight loss, health seeking plan for January 5, 2012--today. 

I will not eat sugar –today.
I will limit salt----today.
I will hit the treadmill—today.
I will make healthy substitutions in my food choices---today.
I will try to lose or maintain but not gain---today.
If I fail any of the above, the failure in itself is just for----today.

Tomorrow I will re-up with perhaps different but mostly the same goals. Will this work?? Who knows. What I do know is that I haven't quite reached the point of giving up on resolutions. I am still aiming for that one tick above the national average.

This has continued for 4 days to work quite well.   Should  I find myself back sliding, then I will try a little reverse psychology and change my resolve to eating junk food and gaining weight for 2012. Then I can rejoice when that resolve meets its doom:)  

Do you still try ?


 

45 comments :

  1. Seems so many people struggle with this stuff annually, from an annual perspective...no, I don't try anymore. I do something else. I try putting something into my life that makes me feel better, more satisfied or more content. That something is unique for each of us. The big ah ha for me was getting involved in volunteer work a couple of years ago. Not that what I do is so great, but it took the focus totally off of me and put it out into the world; I worked with hospice patients, Alzheimer folks and in a hospital surgery waiting room...all the activity involved focusing on someone else and having compassion for them during their struggle. It seems the more I do, the better I feel.
    Then of course, there's gardening.
    Happy New Year to you, keep pushing yourself, you will be surprised what you find!
    Whale

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  2. I rarely make resolutions ...then I cant break them. The only one I can truely say I made and kept was to stop smoking on Jan 1st 2008 ...and I spent the following 4 years wondering why I had not done it before.
    I do like your 'one day at a time' concept ...it might work for me and my eating regeme for the diabetis ...shame they say I have to use tablets ...wish me luck.

    As for over weight ...I know real excess causes problems ....but just look at your friends who are slim ...they may be fitter and more active ... but dont they look 10 years older than their years and oh so many wrinkles lol
    Hugs ... and good luck with each day xx

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  3. Good morning Patti,
    I like the idea of adding today after a "I will" saying. I don't do resolutions. Never have. However, for some silly reason a thought came to me about this. I wrote my game plan on http://MissDazeyNotes.com.

    I am so very glad you are blogging. I don't think personal blogs have to be written daily or weekly, should not be a chore.

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  4. Last January I realized I had gained ten pounds over the year and decided to count my calories. I learned a great deal about where my problem areas were and now a year later I am actually 18 pounds lighter. I feel better, too.

    My sister said she realizes that she feels better when she weighs less, and that's a good reason to keep your weight down. One day at a time is valuable for every single thing we do in life, I believe. :-)

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  5. I love the last line; that if you fail for today it is just for today. That's what trips me up--when I go "off the weight loss wagon" I throw up my hands and give up.

    I think I'll try your way.

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  6. I can't imagine not trying, but I the "today" approach very much.

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  7. This is the year of "ME"....this year i resolve to get all my health problems under control....i'm tired of "them" running my life...so i'm eating healthy for the sugar issues...went to the dentist yesterday..no cavities...and on the 16th have an appt. for the female issues....i know this is more info than you need...but..i just wanted you to know...."Your not alone"

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  8. You are brilliant. Why not use the one day at a time approach to do something that would make us cower in the corner if we thought we had to keep it up for a lifetime.

    Resolutions, I've had a few,
    There were times I'm sure you knew,
    I bit off more than I could chew.

    Just for today, I will be cheerful. Dianne
    Thanks, I needed that.

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  9. What a great idea, Patti...and you know this is something that CAN work....! I wish you all the luck in the world, my dear....And I am SOOO glad you are blogging...!

    Thanks so very much for your very dear words about my 'Sweetie'. It means everything to me!

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  10. I have not given it a go for 15-years but I am going to give it a whirl this year. I might need to make a list and place next to my computer. Currently I have a list with about 20 healthy foods I want to eat each week, and another with all the exercises I have to do each week to keep my spine strong.

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  11. I think you're on track and maybe looking back at this post now and then will help, too. I had to drop my indoor cycling program for a few months while I put the money towards dog obedience training class. I can already feel a difference especially in the mid-section... I loved that form of exercise and the small group I did it with are fun to be around. I'll have to add a couple running days in to cover that loss. But it's so darned cold! :) I'll be updating soon over at my site. Been a bit bus with our 4-legged baby. And Happy New Year!

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  12. Hi Patti! What an awesome post. You make a super case for a one day at a time game plan, and I'm sure that it will work.

    I do my goal setting mainly in the fall (still on that school schedule), with a bit of tweaking at New Years. I think that there is so much pressure to do it all in January.

    I do need to lose some weight and get into shape too, and I think that I'll print out your list so that I can refer to it.

    Thanks so much, and best of luck; I know that you will do great.

    Hugs and Happy New Year,

    Kathy M.

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  13. I think that one blessing of reaching our age is that the concept of one day at a time becomes so much more important and meaningful. For me it is much easier to understand that one day is all we have to work with now than when I was younger.

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  14. I love the one day at a time approach. I really want to adopt a healthier way of eating to keep the blood sugar levels down so I won't end up having to take insulin twice a day like my dad did for many years. It'll be tough, but I can do it. I'm going to try my son's girlfriends way. She's very fit and exercises, watches what she eats, but allows herself a tiny bit of chocolate every day. If I had to give up everything I love, I wouldn't last long.

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  15. Patti...this is perfect! I love reading your blogs, but remember, it's "your" blog. You aren't here to entertain me...(your blog does, but...) write when you wanna...xoxox

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  16. My New Year resolution this year has been "Not to make any New Year Resolution". This has been very easy to keep so far: I feel so relaxed.

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  17. I don't worry about resolutions but I fret every day about health issues, mostly weight. I expect it will be a life time problem but it's better than the alternative.

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  18. I think I gave up on annual resolutions and have been on the daily version for some time now. It's better lest I forget and with the stress lately forget is an issue.I
    started using my phone to remind me of times to do stuff and that is a huge bonus.
    I lost weight this past five months by cutting out snacking at all hours. I stick to regular meals and eat small portions. I buy a lot of fresh stuff like salads veggies and fruit and less meat and now no white bread, mostly rye and eat only one slice instead of two.
    Sadly my walling has fallen behind and I really need to do that or my heart will get weak. Got to move more.

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  19. I always take each day for what it's worth. Some days it's seems easy to stick with a plan yet other days - not happening. Happy New Year to you and I hope that whatever accomplishments you hope to conquer become realities.

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  20. whalechaser,
    Anyone who works with hospice patients is a hero in my book. Kudos.

    Angie,
    It could work with your diabetes for that is a drastic change that might be better done in small chunks. Good luck.

    Linda Crim,
    Thanks for the link. I will check it out. And thanks for not thinking me lazy for not posting a lot.

    Djan,
    Congrats with a great weight loss. Proud of you. I have found that journaling my eating shows me where I need work also.

    RV Vagabonds,
    That is the biggest killer of resolutions and why I am trying to not let my failures be bigger than they are.

    Olga,
    We will see how it works. If it can help an alcoholic, why not a foodaholic.

    Blue Ridge Boomer,
    You go girl. Good health which we use to take for granted, now is a job but it can be done.

    Dianne,
    I loved your cute poem and I hope you stay cheerful every day.

    OOLOH
    Thank you Naomi. I may have fallen off in frequency,but I do enjoy and sometimes need it so I doubt I will quit.
    You are still in my prayers.

    islandwonder,
    Sounds like you have a real plan. With all the sports you participate in, it is a shame you have back problems. Get that sucker strong.

    Barry,
    Aww, but that little four legged doll is such a cutie. Maybe he could go running with you.

    Oregon Gifts.
    Fall makes perfect sense. Start of school year and all. I am still bummed I can't see Tyler play.

    Inger,
    Things were so much easier when we were younger and thought we had all the time in the world. Now days, "making hay while the sun shines" has more meaning.

    Cheryl.
    Wish you luck with that little bit of chocolate. When I tried that, the little bit only made me want more so I ate more of everything to compensate. However, I hope it works for you.

    turquoisemoon,
    I know it is my blog and I can blog when I want to, still it seems like I have been running out of steam lately. I am going to try for at least twice a week. We will see.

    fiftyodd,
    Ha ha, I may try that next year. Seems a lot easier and an easy one to keep.

    Linda,
    Yeah, I know. I just am trying to avoid health problems that need perscriptions. So far I am pill free and want to stay that way.

    KleinsteMotte
    It is almost funny how we use to be healthy with no effort, now we really have to work at it. Sounds like you have a good plan.

    mel,
    That is why I am not getting upset about one day of failure. It is only a day and tomorrow is another one. Wishing you a great 2012 also.

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  21. Great post, Patti - You always give me food for thought (not junk food either). I think manageable goals are the only kind to have. Otherwise, they seem impossible to achieve. I never make yearly resolutions. However, I have formed some "habits" that I continue daily, even when I don't quite feel like it. One is exercise - at least an hour of strenuous to get my heart beating and my pulse up. The other is "healthy" eating - although I sometimes slip on this one. I rarely eat "junk - fast food," but sometimes ice cream calls my name.

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  22. I do not make New Year's resolutions. I think it was Mark Twain who said something to the effect that people go ahead and make resolutions for one week and use them to pave the road to hell for the coming year. (Good intentions, you know.)

    When I was a girl, I asked for a diary every Christmas. I always got one. None of them had entries past mid-January. That sums up my ability to follow through. That said, I have the utmost respect for anyone who has found the strength of overcome addictions. You are to be congratulated.

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  23. I'll cheer you on Patty- I am still on my diet (month 6)and some days I think the devil himself is out to get me. You are doing it right though- one day at a time, and if you mess up, start fresh the next day. You can do it!

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  24. Hi Patti, I think we all need to keep trying to reach those goals/objectives --even if it is for only one day... Once we quit trying, that's when trouble comes in...

    I have done that all of my life --with my weight.. Gain/Lose/Gain/Lose, etc... After my October scare, I told myself that I needed to get healthy once and for all. SO---I'm really trying now... (I have ignored this too many times in my life.) I stayed on my diet all through the holidays... It's not easy---but I am really determined now... (Hope it lasts!)

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  25. I do not make resolutions. That way I don't have to fret about not keeping them.

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  26. Oh yes! I'm still trying. The sugar thing is hard though. I love carbs and I'm supposed to really limit it. Living in the islands where noodles are everywhere makes it VERY hard.

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  27. Every day I make plans but I don't always succeed. I've always eaten healthy but now having to be gluten free and having myriads of intestinal problems I have to watch what I eat religiously or will pay dearly and sometimes pay even when I do watch what I eat. Gary recently got some english muffins and when I smell those it's almost too much to bear they smell so good and the holidays with all the cookies and sweets, thankfully I'm kind of a sweet snob so I only like the really good stuff like walnut crescents or pies. Sometimes I can eat pumpkin pie and not the crust if I dare. About all that's left for me is ice cream, but it can only be those without any additives and of course those cost the most so I don't get that much at all either. I've really started to appreciate the subtle flavors of spices and vegetables and such more than I used to. Perhaps this year I'll learn how to cook something with another type of flour besides wheat but maybe not - time will tell. Yep I'm for one day at a time, sometimes half a day or one hour too, hang in there we can do it.

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  28. Welcome back. I've missed you and am glad you are feeling better..at least the last time I checked your blog you had a cold or something.

    It has been a really long time since I quit drinking...actually it was sort of a finding other things I wanted to do more that didn't include a hangover. I went back to school and finished my degree and somehow or other I had quit drinking when it was over. I didn't ever do anything with the degree so much though. It was my choice of quitting and it worked for me.

    I guess my resolution this year will be to lose some weight. When I was really sick a couple of years ago I gained a lot of weight and after I was taken off steroids pretty much I lost, but not all of it. I'm not seeking a size 8 like I was for a while, but would like to wear my size 12 jeans again. I found them in a drawer while cleaning before Christmas.

    I'm into the blogging when I got something I would like to "share".

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  29. Love your "just for today" idea! I know sometimes when I choose that piece of chocolate, I have a hard time putting it all into perspective. I'm glad you are still blogging! This is such a fun new world I have found.
    Sandy

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  30. Mmmm. We actually I've never failed... but then I never do resolutions either. I do think the "today" philosophy is best. I've alway hated exersizing for its own sake and those dumb & boring machines most of all. I got a big dog that needs the exercise. I gave up hunting and took up birding. I go for hikes whenever I feel like it and Baron pesters me. I took up biking because... its fun. etc...

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  31. I like your approach: one day at a time. The one resolution I have made for this new year is to try to be more cheerful. I don't want to go to my grave being classified as a dismal old woman. I have much for which to be thankful, the first of which is being able to put my feet on the floor every morning -- so far.

    One day at a time.

    Happy New Year to you.

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  32. I don't make resolutions. I just strive to live each and every day the best I can. Makes me happy!

    Now, that said, it doesn't mean I don't have goals...just on a daily basis instead of an annual thing.

    God bless ya sweetie and have a marvelous weekend. :o)

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  33. Patti, I think the "just for today" mindset is the best possible way to approach a resolution -- so that any backsliding is limited to that day and isn't seen as a major failure and reason to give up. Hope you achieve all your healthy goals in 2012!

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  34. I don't make actual resolutions, but I do make an effort to try and learn something new each year...

    Happy New Year!

    xxoo,

    RMW

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  35. Barb,
    Thanks and I am glad my post wasn't fattening. Seems you all ready have all the tools working for you. Keep up the good work.

    NC Mountainwoman,
    Got tickled at your wish for a diary each year. That really does smack of resolutions. Each year we make about the same ones only to have the same results. Looks like you learned your lesson.

    Southwest Arkie,
    Wow, congrats big time on 6 months. You can be quite proud of that.

    Betsy,
    If you could do it over the holidays, the rest of the year should be a snap.
    Hoping you totally succeed.

    Judy,
    That is the only real way to win the game.

    Kay,
    Goodness, you have a whole culture trying to derail you. Wishing you great luck in your quest.

    Linda Starr,
    Life gets much more complicated the more mileage we pile on. You really have a restricted diet. I think I would abuse ice cream since it is allowed.

    Amber Star,
    I think after 40, weight haunts almost everyone. Hope those 12's are out of the drawer and on your body this year.

    Mom of 12
    Thanks Sandy and I know how you feel about chocolate. That is my weakness and rarely does one piece satisfy me.

    troutbirder,
    That is the perfect way to never fail. I saw the picture of Baron and he is beautiful. Bet he is ready to walk anytime.

    Pat,
    Totally agree about the feet on the floor. Some things have been taken from us as we age, but there is still a lot left. We just need to use the tools available.

    Nezzy
    Smart of you to keep things on keel daily. By the way, happy 39th anniversary.

    Dr. Kathy McCoy,
    Thank you. Too many of us let one failure beat us down. Tomorrow is a fresh slate.

    RMW,
    Thank you and hoping the same for you.

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  36. I heard one old guy say, he didn't set new year resolutions because it was nothing more than a tool to remind him of his failure. Instead he made goals around themes. The one I liked most was, to increase in maturity.
    I really like your one day at a time thought and holding failure to just that day. I think I might try that one.

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  37. Great blog as always sweet Patti. I never make resolutions. I do take things one day at a time...one minute at a time some days. As for weight I stopped trying to adjust it many years ago...it comes and goes on its own. I try to listen to my body which seems to have a way of letting me know when I get too much or too little of one thing or another. Wishing you all the best in 2012.

    I don't think there should be any set schedule as to when you blog. I know one thing for sure though when you do blog I sure do enjoy reading it. Blog when you choose to, it is your blog and that is the way it should be. Hugs

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  38. I do goals, rather than resolutions and I tend to do them on my birthday, rather than Jan. 1.

    Happy to see that you are continuing to blog!

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  39. You have been given the 'Reader Appreciation Award'. If you choose to accept it please stop by my blog and pick it up. Love your blog very much and thank you for being a faithful follower and reader of mine...and the kitties. Hugs

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  40. I hurt my back last May and the symptoms showed up in tingling feet, so I cut back on exercise. Now, however, the feet are improving, and I'm making plans to walk every day.

    One Day at a Time. And Keep It Simple.

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  41. Ahhh, I think of it not as a diet but as a way of life and in that, I can be more successful because it's what I need to do to take care of myself...I say this as if it's easy; it is NOT and I take two steps forward and one step back frequently but you are right about ONE DAY AT A TIME! that's all we are really guaranteed!

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  42. Grayquill,
    Ha,ha. Maturity is all well and good GQ but I would have hated missing this second child hood. It is like the first one only with less energy:))

    Mumsy,
    Wow, thank you so much for the award. I am hugely flattered. I always so enjoy visiting with you and the kids.
    Thank you.

    smartcat,
    Doing it that way lets you avoid the crowds. Pretty good idea.

    Linda Myers,
    K.I.S.S works just as well. Sometimes we have to put things on the back burner when our health says other wise. Glad you are back walking.

    Tracy,
    It really does work a long as we let our steps backwards also only occupy one day. You go girl.

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  43. I guess healthy lifestyle has no definite ending. That is my lame excuse.

    However over the last 3 years I have lost 40 pounds and have a whole lot more to go. I waver up and down, but eventually it stays down.

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  44. I never make resolutions, but I have decided to finish reading a book consisting of 522 pages in two months. After that I have another goal for a few months and so on.
    But the way you make your resolutions come true is admirable and the best way to do it.

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  45. Nitwit,
    Wow, you are my hero. 40 pounds??? Amazing.

    Reader Wil,
    Hope you meet that goal. I do like to set them or I would probably never get off the couch.

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