Rethinking Resolutions

“The Beginning is the Most Important Part of the Work.” -- Plato
As the new year begins, there's a lot of talk about resolutions. Commercials, social media, and TV talk shows tell us what problems we need to fix and how to fix them. What should we cut out? What should we add in? How can we be better this year? The problem with resolutions is that they typically come from self-criticism and guilt over a perceived failure or flaw – we decide that we aren’t measuring up and then resolve to be better by setting big, ambiguous goals. And even though we usually break them within a month or two, we keep doing the same thing every year, hoping for better results.
This blog is not going to tell you to make resolutions. TRANSCEND Longevity has always had our eye on the long game. As medicine becomes information technology, we see profound medical breakthroughs coming in the next two decades. Our goal is to help you live a happy and healthy life now so that you can take advantage of those breakthroughs in the future. While it’s true that the new year presents an opportunity to take stock and wipe the slate clean, let's face it, the idea of changing overnight isn't very realistic. Instead, why not take some time to sit quietly and reflect on your life as it stands today. Can you let your thoughts and feelings come to you without placing judgement on them? The most meaningful and impactful actions in our lives tend to begin with self-reflection. But when we add in judgement, we tend to set unrealistic goals that punish our failures rather than support our growth. Instead of judging, can you simply notice the thoughts and feelings that come into your mind? Is there a particular part of your life that you’d like to work on going forward? Can you come up with one or two small, realistic, and sustainable goals to practice in your daily life to support your health and happiness? Small actions add up to big achievements over time.
One of the most promoted (and dreaded) New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Ray and Terry have a different take on the matter, “Make good health your ultimate goal, not weight loss. Maintaining optimal body weight is just one aspect of living healthy, living well, and living long. If you focus on making sustainable lifestyle changes that lead to better overall health for the long term, weight loss will follow automatically. A narrow focus on losing pounds can obscure the larger objective, and is a primary reason many people get discouraged by diet plans and give up when their weight levels off. Paying too close attention to the bathroom scale can be misleading. Your weight will naturally fluctuate… Gradual weight loss is healthier and more sustainable… Choose foods you can live with for the long term. A weight loss plan is doomed to fail if it leaves you impatiently counting the days (or pounds) until you reach some arbitrary goal where you can get off the diet and return to your old eating habits. Successful long-term weight loss comes from embracing a new way of eating that you can continue for the rest of your life.” (TRANSCEND: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever)
This big picture view of living as happy and healthy as possible for as long as possible is at the core of TRANSCEND Longevity. With this in mind, we encourage you to carve out time and space for quiet reflection this month, treat yourself with compassion, and honor your health and wellbeing by exploring new interests, diving into a passion that has been on the back burner, and setting modest and sustainable goals.

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