Every year, I have to come up with something new that I’ll do to improve my life. A resolution should be resolute – meaning you’ll follow it. The problem, as you all know, is that the average resolution lasts less than a week.
We stop doing what we said we would do and think that once we fall off the wagon why get back on.
So my first resolution is always to follow my resolutions.
We have to start somewhere, so why not start with the basic premise: “I’ll do it.”?
My second resolution this year was to say every day, “Sitting is the new smoking.”
Many of us, me included, smoked. I did it for four years when I when I was teen and twentysomething, imagining that I was Paul Newman – who, by the way, died of lung cancer. Fortunately I stopped back in ’70 but I didn’t start exercising regularly until about 10 years ago. I still don’t do enough.
So I resolve to climb more stairs, walk more at lunch – except when it’s minus-10 with a howling wind – and sit less. My butt needs less of a workout.
Next one – follow a Mediterranean diet. If you haven’t read about it, then Google it and read on.
Folks who live along the Mediterranean sea live longer than we do. Their plates are filled with colorful fruits and vegetables, smaller portions of meat and poultry, and fish is an important protein in their diet. Their oil is olive oil. And their favorite snack isn’t pork rinds – it’s roasted nuts. If your doctor gave you a low-fat diet, chuck it – it’s not as good for your heart and it’s impossible for most of us to follow because it’s tasteless.
No. 4 has been learning something new every day. I know it sounds trite. And perhaps it is, but it’s worth doing. TV, Netflix, YouTube (and those stupid cat tricks) is OK to relax with but it doesn’t use your brain. Your brain is a muscle – use it or lose it. That means reading, writing, thinking, doing, not sitting in front of a passive screen like a couch potato.
My final resolution: Engage in more acts of kindness. From the person who hands me my coffee in the morning to the guy who cleans my office at night, I will try to always, always try to smile, and mean it. Not just a silly, sappy perfunctory one but a real honest to goodness, show my teeth thank you.
Do it. You’ll make my day.
Dr. Zorba Paster is a physician, university professor, author and broadcast journalist. He also hosts a radio program at 3 p.m. Saturdays on WBFO-FM 88.7; email questions to him at email@example.com.