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Many resolutions we make are too big and they set us up for failure, but these are ones you can actually keep.

1) Resolve to be intentional about meal time.  When I say this, it has nothing to do with eating right or losing weight.  I mean be intentional.  Look at your calendar each week and pick a time or two, at least where you can share a meal with those in your house.   And you can make it a routine fun thing to look forward to.  At the beginning of the pandemic, we got in the habit of making homemade pizza on Friday nights – and we’ve kept it up… most Friday nights, we make homemade pizza.  We love it.  We look forward to it.  So, do what you can this year to be more intentional in this way.  Listen, you can just take my homemade pizza idea if you want… because if you’re anything like me, a resolution that involves eating pizza is one I’m very likely to keep.

2) Resolve to disconnect.  Even if it’s only for 15 minutes, resolve to have a window of time each day where you have your devices out of sight…and not even in your lap or pocket.  I can tell you how we do this at our house.  Dinner is the cutoff.  Once we eat dinner, phones go away.  We don’t have em out during dinner and then after dinner if we’re gonna watch a show together or something… we are really together, we savor that time, and it’s sacred… no one else is invited.  Now maybe the post dinner disconnect won’t work for you, but could you disconnect during dinner?

3) Resolve to use kind words.  Work to get into a mindset that even when you have to be firm with your kids, significant other, or whoever… you can be firm and kind at the same time.  Firmness doesn’t have to be harsh. The awareness of wanting to use kind words I think will make you more patient with those in your life.  If you’re consciously trying to use kind words, you’ll be less reactive.  This has to do with making the world a kinder place…and starting with those closest to you.  And making the world a kinder place is an effort we all need to be part of right now.

4) Resolve to hug your sweetie for at least 30 seconds.  A 30 second hug has been proven to reduce stress, ease depression, and even boost your immune system. It also releases oxytocin, otherwise known as the cuddle hormone.  Now, it doesn’t have to be 30 seconds every time, but I suggest 30 seconds at least once a day. A good time to incorporate it is when you see each other at the end of the day… when someone comes home or perhaps when they leave.  Because it only takes 30 seconds a day, qualifies it for my list of resolutions you can actually keep.

5) Resolve to share what’s important to you.   Zero in on what you care about and share it with your kids, your spouse, your friends.  And if something matters to you, don’t let anyone tell you that it doesn’t matter or that it’s not important.

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In addition to hosting mornings on B105.7, Sean Copeland is a licensed therapist for couples and individuals at Evolve Therapy in Greenwood, Indiana.