Hanging on April's promise

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hi neighbors. As I get older I find myself clinging to habits and avoiding change as much as possible. I like things like I'm used to; whether those things or habits are good or not.

I've heard that it takes seven days to establish a habit and three months to ingrain it so much it becomes a habit, instead of something you have to think about before you do it.

How are you doing on those New Year's resolutions? Most of them, when you think about it, are about starting new habits to achieve certain goals.

Some of them are about achieving certain goals with no idea of the new habits you will have to develop to achieve them.

"This year I'll lose weight," or "This year I will start an exercise program or stop smoking," are three of the most common goals set in January of each year. Of course in January, the entire year looms seemingly endlessly on the horizon. It's only in November that we look around and discover none of our goals have been met, and the year is near its end.

I think the biggest part of the problem is we don't realize changing how we live depends on our determination to change our habits.

Now that we find ourselves in April, the first part of the year has passed by. Our resolutions, like taxes, may have been ignored or put off till later, but the time has come to face the music.

If we haven't developed new methods to reach our goals, it is quickly becoming too late to do so this year. Time waits for no one, so I've heard. I suppose that includes even me. So, time to get serious with those New Year's resolutions.

Since changing any thing on my schedule is repugnant to my normal routine, I will have to be devious. I will have to fool my mind and body by changing things in small increments.

This is spring after all, and although it may seem instantaneous, buds don't bloom without some pre-planning.

Recognizing my lifestyle is mostly sedentary and non-challenging, I will improve my life by stopping something that I usually do.

This may sound like going in reverse; but I've tried the full-throttle forward routine with no success. I will not do something harmful before I start doing something beneficial. That should work, right?

Flossie reviewed my plan, rolled on the floor laughing for five minutes, then spoke her mind. "This is the dumbest plan I've ever read! You don't have enough time left in the year to get past doing away with the bad habits even. You will have to put off starting any new habits for next year."

I know. Yes, I know. I'm not as dumb as I look; and neither is my battle plan. This way, next year's resolutions will already be made and started on by December.

I figure a person has to get rid of old habits to make room for new ones.

"But what about all that empty space in your routine from old habits being eliminated? Shouldn't you be putting new habits in there to fill in the gaps?" Flossie pointed out. "You'll have too much time just wandering around looking for something to do."

Well, that or napping. I anticipate new habits, new healthy habits, will take a lot of energy and stamina.

Until the next time friends remember: April is the time to stop procrastinating. If Mother Nature (and Uncle Sam) can wake up and get busy, we can too.

Think positive, buy more aspirin in preparation for sore muscles, and pay your taxes.