You Say You Want a Resolution?

Well, you’re not going to get one from me – no way! I may as well just spit in the wind, for all the good that New Year’s resolutions have done for me.  I cannot recall one resolution I’ve ever kept over the years. Sad, but true. Could it be that I just don’t need to make any changes to my perfect self? Yea, right.

Wait, hold on a second. I just thought of a great idea! I’m gonna make some can’t miss resolutions! Yep, it’s going to be a win-win situation for me in 2010.  (Because as I see it, I better try to live a better life NOW. If the Aztec calendar is correct, our resolution days will be over by 2012.)

Ok, so here they are:

  1. I hereby resolve to go to Tim Horton’s every morning for my usual #4 combo. (That place is like the Cheers bar to me: Everyone knows my name)
  2. I hereby resolve to read a good book once a month, preferably in front of the fireplace wrapped in the Snuggie; my daughter’s Christmas gift to me. (Only valid until Spring, at which time fireplace and Snuggie won’t be needed)
  3. I hereby resolve find time to laugh every day.
  4. I hereby resolve to check my Farmville crops on Facebook every day.
  5. I resolve to sing along with the radio while on my way to work (ignoring all weird looks from other drivers).

Yea, I think I can handle those 2010 resolutions!

Now if you’re the type of person who feels inclined to make real resolutions to improve your life, and are a stick-to-it person, you might want to consider a couple of things. (Or you can just ignore my advice – as I implied in my first paragraph, I ain’t too good at resolutions)

  • First, focus on one resolution, rather than attempting to change your whole life all at once!
  • Second, after you come up with a general goal, such as “I want to lose 10 pounds,” break that goal down into specific action steps, such as (1) Eat 100 less calories a day, (2) Start exercising every other day for 30 minutes (increase as time goes on), (3) Replace a high calorie/fat snack with a healthier choice, and so on.

You might want to help your kids think about healthy resolutions to make in their lives.

You can find some easy strategies for living a healthier life here.

Just remember, New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be grandiose, major life changes. Seems to me that those kinds of resolutions are doomed to fail. Better to start with simple, small steps, that can actually motivate you toward bigger changes as time goes on.

What kinds of resolutions are you making for 2010?  Or are you avoiding them altogether?

Bea Boomer’s Recommendations – Books:

  •  Are you a procrastinator?
    Check out Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy
  • Feel overwhelmed at the thought of making big changes?
    Check out Easier Than You Think, by Richard Carlson, author of the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff series. (Though Richard passed away in 2006, his wife Kristine keeps his memory alive with the “Don’t Sweat” website)
  • Want to develop good life habits?
    Check out The Power of Focus, by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Les Hewitt

    The best resolution you can make for yourself is to love life and create happiness wherever you go. (Bea Boomer)

Why I Read The Positivity Blog

Free Stock Photos

I find that I function better when I have a positive mind-set. I always accomplish more when I look for the good, rather than the bad. When I hold onto negativity, I get negative results from life.

If you think you may need a kick in the butt to improve your outlook and increase your emotional wellness, check out Henrik Edberg’s Positivity Blog.

I always find good, informative reads at this blog. Just common sense stuff that gives me food for thought. I also enjoy Henrik’s use of quotes.

He wrote a great post with tips for living based on quotes by Mark Twain.

And in his “Best Of” section, Henrik’s posts provide tips for: improving your conversational skills, social skills, simplifying your life, and more.

Nothing can stop the person with the right mental attitude from achieving his goals. Nothing on earth can help the person with the wrong mental attitude. (Thomas Jefferson)

Got Holiday Stress?

Frank and Marie“What do you want for Christmas, old lady?” 

My mother-in-law (God rest her soul) was simply not sentimental about the holidays. 

“Come on, ma,” her kids would say. “We’re all going to John’s (of Bill’s, or Edie’s, etc.) to celebrate the holiday.”

“What?” she would answer. “You want us to come over for Christmas? Oh God, it’s just another day. I’m stayin’ home. Hey, old man (her nickname for my father-in-law) get out that ceramic tree. Yea, put in on the coffee table. Ok, it’s Christmas.”

Then she’d light a cigarette and have a cup of coffee.

Come to think of it, she was also very un-stressed around the holidays.

“Where’s her Christmas spirit?” I wondered. Now I get the picture.

Take a look at my: Christmas past

  • Bake hundreds of cookies. layer nicely in gift boxes, wrap boxes. attach pretty bows. Give them to the whole family, including in-laws.
  • Make a list, check it twice, start buying presents in October.
  • Make handmade cards with my daughter for the family.
  • Make special ornaments, using ideas in women’s magazines.
  • Buy holiday stationary; write a special Christmas letter for family and friends (alright I only did that one year – that was enough for me!).
  • Order special desserts and candy from Swiss Colony.
  • Wrap multitudes of gifts.
  • Buy a bunch of little goodies to fill my daughter’s stocking to the brim.
  • Put up two trees and decorate with all those special handmade ornaments.
  • Host two Christmas parties.
  • Decorate every single room in the house.
  • Spend too much money.

Christmas present:

  • Bake a couple dozen cookies for the parties at work.
  • Glance at December edition of Good Housekeeping, roll my eyes and toss magazine in recycling box.
  • Shop for presents online (I love Amazon) and don’t even think about Black Friday shopping. 
  • Oh jeez, it’s December 21 and I haven’t sent out cards.  Hmmm, now that I have a Kizoa account, all I need to make is a Christmas collage and post in on FB! 
  • Stuff presents in gift bags on December 23rd.
  • Buy Starbucks gift card for daughter’s stocking.
  • Do we have to put up a tree? Oh fine, one in the family room but I’m not moving any furniture!
  • How in the heck can I get out of having a party?
  • Didn’t go over my budget! (LOL)

Christmas future: (Can you guess??)

  • Find my mother-in-law’s old ceramic Christmas tree and call it a day.  

Now, I know that some of you may enjoy all the hype and activity that goes along with Christmas – I envy your stamina!  Me, I’m beginning to understand my late mother-in-law’s mindset, with a little disclaimer. It’s not “just another day.” It’s about Christ’s birth. Not about all the gifts I can stuff into a stocking.

How do you de-stress during the holidays? 

Why Read Cranky Fitness?

Why do I love Cranky Fitness?

Because I love to laugh, make a habit of laughing out loud at least once a day, and this blog is funny! It’s also informative, and intelligent, and, of course, cranky.

Though I’ve only been reading Cranky Fitness for the last month or so, but I find myself going back to it regularly, because I know I’ll find a good read, either in its most recent most, or in its archives.
Crabby McSlacker’s post from April 2008, titled Your Brain on Blueberries cracked me up, ‘cause at my age (52, and Oh My God, rapidly approaching 53!!!!) I can really relate to the memory thing!

So if you’re a fitness fanatic, or just want to laugh out loud, give Cranky Fitness a try.  If you know of any other great fitness blogs, please let me know! 

Friendship – A Key to Social Wellness

When I was 12, I entered middle school, that dreaded adolescent battleground. Four-eyed nerds like me simply didn’t have a chance. There I stood in those hallowed halls, in my cat eye shaped eyeglasses, and K-Mart polyester wardrobe. Was I scared? You betcha.

This wasn’t just any middle school. This was Parcells Middle School in Grosse Pointe Woods.

My fellow students, the good-looking, rich kids, wore polo shirts with little alligators on the pocket, khakis, and boat shoes. The girls wore cute little cheerleader outfits or Levis from the Gap. They shopped at stores located in mysterious places called “The Village” or “The Hill.”

And of course, I wanted to fit in. I wanted to make friends. So I did what I had to do. Bribery. I would stuff 100 pieces of Bazooka bubble gum in my purse and give them to the popular kids. I figured they’d have to like me – I broke the rules! Didn’t work.

My “social wellness” in middle school? Zilch.

On to high school, where I got lucky. I met my two best friends. First Mary, in gym class. We had the dubious distinction of being the last two girls to wear a bra. Yep, that’s right. 9th grade, still in undershirts (hey, they call them camisoles now!). Mary introduced me to Jane, and there we were, the three musketeers.

Both of them lived in Grosse Pointe, but miraculously, they were invisible, like me. We clicked, and the rest is history. At 16, we started hanging out with kids from Detroit. More fun than the Grosse Pointe North high school crowd.

My “social wellness” in high school? Moved up a couple of notches.

Fast forward 38 years. These two amazing women are still my friends. We managed to survive puberty and the seventies. Young adulthood and the eighties. Age is creeping up on us and the nineties. Approaching menopause rapidly in the 2000’s.

My two best friends crack me up with a simple look, comfort me when I cry, give me strength when times get tough. They keep me grounded.

I know that without them, my life just wouldn’t be the same. Research has confirmed that friends are important for our health and well-being. We need social connections; they actually help us live longer!

Mark Sisson, of Mark’s Daily Apple, talks about why friendship should be a health priority. Mark makes several good points about how social relationships affect our physical and mental health.

Finally, the experts at Mayo Clinic point out some emotional benefits of friendship, how to develop friendships, and how to be a good friend.

Friendship, of course, is simply one aspect of social wellness. But it’s obviously a very important aspect. Friendship helps you survive divorce, unexpected loss of family members, family problems, illness. Friendship adds pleasure to the good things in life: weddings, the birth of a child, birthday celebrations. Friendship is simply a good thing to have in your life. Savor it!

Quote of the day, dedicated to my best buds:

Never shall I forget the days I spent with you. Continue to be my friend, as you will always find me yours. (Ludwig van Beethoven)

What’s It Gonna Be? Can Do Or Can’t Do?

“The Boss” turned 60 in September! Yep, the Born in the USA, Born to Run American Icon is the big 6-0. Whoa. When you were 30 or younger, would you have pictured a 60 year old to be as hip and cool as Bruce Springsteen, or just barely functional? Just goes to show you – your age in years doesn’t mean much. It’s what you do with your life that counts. It’s your attitude toward life.

Just a few “greats” that are still flying high at 50, 60, and 70+:

  • Carlos Santana, guitarist extraordinaire (age 62)
  • Oprah, powerful millionaire talk show diva (age 55)
  • Meryl Streep, actress (age 60)
  • Dustin Hoffman, actor (age 72)
  • Madonna, singer (age 51)
  • Bill Gates, very rich man, Chairman of Microsoft and philanthropist (age 52)

Then there’s a younger generation of movers and shakers:

  • Beyonce, singer and actress (age 28) (Check out the dancing baby in this YouTube video – future mover and shaker)
  • Steve Yzerman, former Red Wings captain and hockey hall of famer (age 44)
  • J.K. Rowling, author (age 44)
  • Celine Dion, singer (age 41)
  • Eminem, rapper, record producer, songwriter (age 37)
  • Venus and Serena Williams, tennis stars (age 29 and 28)

Think about the “not so famous” people you know or have heard of – local entrepreneurs, musicians, authors, artists, actors, philanthropists, and others who are driven in life to succeed, to reach new heights, to help others, to simply do good.

What sets the “doers” apart from the “wannabes?” It’s simple: a “Can-Do” attitude. This is the attitude that allows people to take charge of their lives, overcome the odds, go that extra mile.

This “Can-Do” attitude can lead to goal achievement, brain health, and a sense of well-being. It is an important part of health and wellness.

Take it from Bea, I wasted a lot of time in my life by focusing on a  “can’t do” attitude.  It kept me from reaching my dream of being a writer. Then, I changed my attitude and changed my life.

I may not become rich or famous with my writing. But inside, where it counts, I am fulfilled. I’m grateful that the Big Guy in the Sky said “Do it now, kiddo.” And I answered, “Yes sir. I know it’s time.”

Bea Boomer recommends:
(1) Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude (Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone) – written in 1960, still relevant today.

(2) Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Positive Thinking; 10 Steps to Health, Wealth, and Success (Michael J. Ritt, Jr.)

I’m always interested in reading good books about the power of having a positive attitude, and inspirational books about people who have overcome the odds. If any of you have any suggestions, please let me know!

Quote of the day:
You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you. (James Allen)

6 Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs

Greetings from icy, blustery Michigan. Yep, I live in one of those states where winter begins in November and drags its butt out until April. Four seasons? What a joke. Michigan’s seasons have shrunk to two. (Or maybe 2 1/2: we do get a rainy season we laughingly call spring)

Do ya ever wonder why we stay in Michigan? To prove we’re tough? Maybe so. Only weaklings move to sunny, balmy states, right?? (Or maybe they’re smarter than we are; who knows?)

Now I know that some of you just looovvvve winter. But there are those of us who get the winter blahs and wonder where the sun went (Actually, I know where the sun went: Arizona! He sent me a postcard: “The weather’s great, wish you were here.” Smart ass!) Winter haters need to have some remedies for the blahs, and Bea Boomer is happy to oblige.

Bea Boomer’s favorite ways to get out of that winter slump:

  • Add a shot of Baileys™ to your coffee. Top with whipped cream. Yum.
  • Watch a funny movie (humor is good for the soul). Bea’s faves: The Blues Brothers, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Jerk.
  • Eat some comfort food and don’t worry about gaining a few pounds (I think it keeps you warmer)
  • Sit in a comfy chair in front of your fireplace and read a good book.
  • Do not, I repeat, do not, watch the news programs. Avoid them like the plague. Why? Simply this: there’s just too much bad news. Why fill your mind with negative karma?
  • Listen and sing along to your favorite music while you surf the Internet, “tweet,” or visit your friends on Facebook™.  There’s nothing better than singing along with Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee,” while working on blog posts. (Some music never gets old; it just ages like fine wine).

Alicia Sparks, writer for Psych Central,  provided six more great ideas to help get rid of the winter “blues.”
And check out these “depression busters:”  If you’re more than just a little “blue,” check out WebMD’s site to find out more about depression; its symptoms, treatments, and so on.

Bea Boomer recommends:

  1. – A blog led by a team of diet and nutrition experts. Has a wide variety of healthy recipe categories, a weekly newsletter, and more. Look for some comfort foods!
  2. – Mental health network that’s been around for over 14 years.

Quote of the day:

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Weird Wednesday – Hand Washing Week??

Did you know that the U.S.A. has a whole week dedicated to hand washing awareness? For 2009, it’s December 6 – 12. So today I get to tell you how to wash your hands and help you avoid the Swine Flu (Sorry, porkers, I meant the H1N1 flu). In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) “clean hands save lives.”

Now in order for your hands to get really clean, you need to sing the “Happy Birthday” song out loud, off key, twice, while washing your hands. (Would I make this stuff up?)

I’m of Polish descent, so I don’t sing happy birthday while I’m washing my hands. I sing “Sto Lat,” which roughly translated means “may you live 100 years,” or something like that. Which is appropriate, don’t you think? Washing my hands protects me from getting sick, which in turn may help me live to be 100 (This sounds familiar; haven’t I mentioned living to be 100 before? )

So people, wash your hands. For a whole week. Soap them up and rinse them off, again and again. And sing that song loud and clear. (Try doing this in the restroom at work, and give your co-workers a good laugh; we need a sense of humor during these tough times)

Beat those Exercise Plateaus!

I’ve noticed an annoying fact as I’ve aged. I need to eat much less and exercise much more to maintain a healthy weight. A few potato chips, and I gain a pound. So, I watch what I eat (no more pigging out at Taco Bell). I work out almost every day. Yet the flab that has attached itself to my middle has taken up permanent residence! I have a muffin top!

My husband thinks it’s cute. I think that after twenty five years together, he knows the right thing to say to keep me from getting hysterical.

In his blog, fitness expert Jeffrey Harrison describes the exercise “comfort zone,” which may provide a key to my lack of progress. He makes the point that “. . . exercise is a stress and that in order for that stress to continue to cause change, it too has got to change.”

In other words, maybe I have to shake it up a little, push myself a little harder, try something new.

This Team Fitness video explains exercise plateaus and includes ideas on how to work through them:

  • Vary your exercise routine
  • Add resistance training
  • Change your diet

And Mama’s Health lists five ways to break through plateaus. This site also has a good article that talks about the Top 10 Fitness Mistakes.

The aging body just doesn’t make things easy. Maybe not, but I’ll keep trying. Hey, gotta go now. Better kick-start my exercise routine.  It’s time to say good-bye to “Muffy.”

Bea Boomer recommends fitness blogs:

  1. (includes a wide variety of blog topics in a wide range of categories)
  2. (fitness advice and wellness tips)
  3.  (Diets A-Z, Fitness A-Z, Diet Basics)