I am not much of a resoluter, but the first week of January does ignite a sense of urgency to better yourself in some way. Resoluter’s track records aren’t so stellar: only 20% of people actually follow through with their new years goals. I am unsure of my own track record, but I would bet it is similar. Here are some of my resolutions that I seem to re-visit every year: 1)Be more organized and clean (hum…I believe I apologized to PJ as I ran out the door this morning for leaving such a mess) 2) Go to church more regularly and be more active in my church community (already missed the first weekend of mass) 3) Lift weights at least 3 times a week (so far I have batted 2/3, but dang it is hard to get out of bed at 5:10am with record lows and facing the chore of de-icing your car in the dark). One resolution that I have been practicing more often and is a technique I plan to use in my nutrition couseling sessions with clients, is to be aware of the words which leave my mouth. I am reading a very interesting book called, “Every Word Has Power” by Yvonne Oswald. The premise of this book revolves around the power of our words. She argues we should give our words more credit that we do, and that words can shape our attitude, feelings, how we perceive ourselves and therefore how others perceive us. Yes, this might be a little touchy-feel “ey”, but if we really listen to how we speak, especially how we speak about ourselves, we might notice that a lot of it isn’t positive. Those less positive words are called “low-energy” words and positive words are considered “high-energy” words. Let me give you some examples: Example 1: You do something nice for someone, they thank you, and you say “no problem.” The last word they and you hear is a low-energy word: “problem.” Instead, the book suggests you switch your words and use a high-energy word and say “you are very welcome.” You are saying the same thing, just differently! Example 2: “Gosh, I am dreading this upcoming semester, I am teaching a brand new graduate level sports nutrition class, and I feel so unprepared!” (true statement…) SWITCH “This spring semester should be interesting, I am teaching a brand new class, and I have got a lot to learn!”Doesn’t the second sentence sound like something you would rather hear? Example 3: “Man this snow is so bad! I can’t believe how crappy this weather has been, it is really cramping my ability to run outside and bike to work!” (another true statement) SWITCH: “Wow we sure have had a lot of snow, I am looking forward to next week when it will be warm enough to exercise outside!” Being more positive with our words and therefore being a more positive person all starts with listening to how we speak, and also requires paying attention to our thoughts. One of my favorite quotes from this author is “Every word you speak is a gift to someone else.” I plan on giving a lot of more gifts with my words in 2010 than I did last year.
Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.