January 2023 is now history, and a new month in a new year is here. February 2023 is heart month, includes Valentine’s Day, and also includes our granddaughter Elsie’s 16th birthday. Time is flying by. It is hard for me to believe that we have moved out of the home we built and lived in for almost thirty-five years in Raleigh and moved into a new home in Durham. But the reality is that we have, and time marches on.
Most likely you made some New Year’s resolutions a month ago, which I like to think of as promises to yourself. The most common ones are: lose weight, exercise more, and spend less money. Unfortunately, many people who make resolutions at the beginning of a year find it hard to keep them and are back to their old ways two weeks later.
How is it going for you with the promises you made to yourself? If your answer is, “Not so well,” do not despair. There is still a lot of time in 2023 for us to reset and keep our promises. We just need to recommit. The longer we go without getting back on track, the harder it is to do so.
When we want to make major changes in our behavior, such as losing weight, exercising more, and managing our money better, we need systems to help us. Systems help us stay consistent. Finding systems that work for us is important if we are serious about making changes in our behavior.
My system for weight control is Weight Watchers, and it is the only weight control plan that works for me. As a lifetime member of WW, I am required to keep my weight within two pounds of my goal weight and weigh in at WW once a month, in order to attend unlimited WW meetings and access their services without any cost. This is a powerful incentive for me and helps me stay within an acceptable range for my weight.
One of the systems of WW is tracking all food eaten. This helps to keep points consumed in clear focus. On days that I do not track I lose track of what I have actually eaten. Too many of those days, and I find my weight creeping back up. The same system works to help manage money, writing down everything spent. It is easy for money to disappear and not know where it went unless we keep a spending record.
It is too easy to fall back into our old patterns of behavior if we do not use systems to help us stay focused on the changes we want to make. The specific systems do not matter. We need to figure out what systems work for us and stay consistent. Then we will find it so much easier to make the changes we want to make. Not easy, but easier. Behavior change is not easy. The easiest thing is to keep on keeping on, doing what we have been doing.
How is 2023 going for you so far? It is still early in the year. You still have time to make the changes you want to make. But the longer you delay, the harder it will be. Wait too long, and 2023 will be gone, and the changes you want to make will not be made.
So, keep on keeping on, if you are staying focused on your resolutions. If you have slipped, get back on track. You can be successful.
And take care of your heart, not just in February, but always!