My five-year-old stopped me dead in my tracks with one single word last month. She has heard it countless times on YouTube Kids, on TV and from the mouths of her Kindergarten friends, so how bad could it be? Grave mistake, oh innocent one.
Little did she know that by uttering that fateful word, she would receive the death stare and a very firm motherly lecture. Throw a little five-year-old sass into that mix and you got yourself a doozy of a "chat" with mom. I quickly informed her that directing that single word, "whatever" at another human being was one of the most disrespectful things you can say to someone. It says, "I am totally discounting what you say and your feelings about the matter. As a matter of fact, I don't give a shit about what you think".
Until I explained my number one pet peeve to her, I realized I had never really broken it down into its full meaning before. When she asked me when it was ok to use the word, I said that she can use it toward a bully or someone who is not being nice to her, but never to a friend or someone you love and especially not your mother if you know what is good for you.
But for my readers with cognition beyond a grade schooler I want to take this one step further. Next time you are having some thoughts to yourself about a challenge in your life or even about yourself and you catch yourself saying, "whatever...", think about this: why would you disrespect yourself this way if your own mother would chew you out for talking to her like this?
Well, it's that time of year again. The time to find the thing or two that we want to change about ourselves or our lifestyle. It seems to happen over and over again, year after year. We resolve to eat better, to exercise more, to lose x pounds, to stay in better contact with family, to be a better partner or mom. But THIS time, yes THIS time, you are really going to stick to it. Yada yada yada.
How many of us actually stick to that resolution for more than two months? Most of us end up going back to our old habits feeling like total losers because again, we just weren't able to do it. But don't give up just yet: there are a few key reasons why we fail over and over again at our resolutions. First off, resolutions are easy to spout off when everybody else is doing it, too. It's what you are supposed to do, right? If we are going with the theme of losing weight, we all know we have to eat healthier and exercise more- after all, Less than 3 percent of Americans meet the basic qualifications for a “healthy lifestyle,” according to a new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. That leaves 97 percent of us guilty of enjoying the unhealthy processed foods, spending too much time on the couch and finding the excuses to keep on doing these things that leave us feeling like sapped of energy.
If our goal is to improve a relationship, we know that to maintain a better relationship we need to become better communicators, listen more, judge less, be more empathetic, etc. Easy to do. Got it. Yet within a few months, there we are, back at square one- arguing just as much, throwing our hands up in frustration, wondering where the magic went and maybe even quesitoning the integrity of the relationship.
So why do allow ourselves to keep failing? I mean, it should be easy to just eat healthier, right? It's easy to start an exercise program, right? Of course if you are a programmable robot that just needs some new coding and a reboot, it's a cinch. But we are human and the root cause of these repeated failures is that we are not finding the correct motivation and we haven't reached deep enough inside ourselves to find the things that will work for us individually.
So here's one huge tip: YOU NEED A REALLY SPECIFIC PLAN to start. Without direction, you will fail. Sorry to be so blunt, ya'll. This goes for New Year's resolutions and for most changes we want to undertake at any time. If you want the changes, but really don't want to feel like a loser again, reach out. You'll find the success you have strived for year after year. And you WILL thank yourself.