New Year’s Resolutions Are All in the Mind

New Year’s Resolutions Are All in the Mind

Okay—so what is new in New Year resolutions? We all keep a few, forget about a few, and live knowing that we could live better, “if only….” So, here is my thinking about how you might achieve a few resolution successes.

New Year's Fitness Resolutions

The resolutions you made over the last few years probably sounded like this:

Exercise more. Eat less. Eat more plants than processed food. Decrease caffeine, increase sleep. Drink more water, eliminate sugary foods and drinks and all fructose corn syrup. Meditate, breath, be in the moment. Become more engaged in my community and my relationships. Be a better parent, friend, lover, employee, and boss. Lower stress, weight, and blood pressure.

Alright; so why are you now not the perfect human being? 

First, what percentage of each of these resolutions did you achieve? Answer that question—then have the person closest to you answer it for you. And even if you scored 100% on all of them (dubious), would you then be the perfect human?

Let’s say that perfection implies living well, giving better than we get, pushing the world forward, and staying healthy as long as we are alive. What do we actually need to do to get there?

My conclusion is that the one resolution over which we have the most control—the single resolution that best helps us to achieve a life well-lived—is to increase our thinking.

Thinking before we say things. Thinking about the impact of our words and actions. Thinking about our choices in activities, work, eating, and exercising. Thinking more, and placing less faith in what we are told: fewer blind loyalties, fewer us-versus-them attitudes and actions, less assigning great importance to minor perturbations.  

By thinking more about who we touch and how we live, we can—in every second of every day—improve ourselves and live our resolutions.

Place a pause between the tongue and the brain, between the thumbs and the tweets, between the mouth and the food. You will notice that there is a lot of time in every second. Use each of those seconds as an opportunity to think before you act, and the other New Year’s resolutions will magically occur—leading to a life of living well.

Medically authored by
Kevin R. Stone, MD
Orthopaedic surgeon, clinician, scientist, inventor, and founder of multiple companies. Dr. Stone was trained at Harvard University in internal medicine and orthopaedic surgery and at Stanford University in general surgery.