Modern musings by Trishna Buch
I’m going to eat more healthily. I’m going to work out more. I’m going to stop going to bed late at night. I’m going to spend more time away from my electronics. That’s right – it’s new-year resolution time.
We’ve all made them but the harsh truth for most of us is that they hardly, if ever, work. And the reason for that is our attitude towards them. The attitude that, if we fail within their first few days,
we ultimately decide to quit. I am especially guilty of that.
Take, for example, 2016, when I made a resolution to eat better and work out more regularly. I wrote a meal plan, an exercise chart and even purchased workout clothes.
I cut out all junk foods, ate only fruits and vegetables and went running every day.
That lasted a week and, by the following Monday, I was scarfing down chocolate bars and Pringles and feeling too lethargic to move from the couch. So what did I say about my new-year resolution? “Oh well, I tried. Maybe next year is my year.”
What a horrible attitude to admit. But that is exactly the problem with new-year resolutions –believing that not conquering your challenge within the first few days dooms you
to failure. Making the resolution as a way to quit a bad habit or improve one’s lifestyle is not something that can be solved in a few days; it requires time, hard work and patience.
Let’s go back to my own example. Towards the end of last year, I realized, again, that I needed to move about more and improve upon my eating habits. So I did the same thing I had done at the end of 2015 – I made a resolution to improve my health.
However, this time, I did not call it a new-year resolution. I simply told myself that, by the end of 2017, I want to see a decent amount of progress.
That is step one to conquering the new-year resolution issue. Don’t think of it as a resolution for this particular new year; think of it as a lifestyle change you can carry with you for all the years to come.
After I made this new lifestyle resolution, I also made a tentative food and workout plan – but with a difference. As opposed to 2016, when my plan was strict and rigid, this time I left the plan open so that, if I indulged
in candies or missed a workout, I didn’t immediately feel that I had failed.
Step two – allow a little wiggle room, especially when you are just getting started.
The third step is to take your resolution slowly, never giving up and understanding that, at times, you will slip up.
Our resolutions are not meant to be solved in a day, a week or even a month. When you have had a certain habit for many years – be it sleeping at 3:00am, drinking every Friday evening or eating
a dessert after every meal – it is difficult to break, so it’s important to pace yourself and not feel guilty if you make mistakes.
I know – I’m still making plenty of mistakes. Within the first few days of the start of my journey to a healthier me, I had eaten a slice of Mississippi mud pie, a few cookies, a few crackers and some chocolate.
The 2016 me would have immediately given up. But the 2017 me knows that, aside from eating all of this junk, I have been doing my workouts, loading up on the healthy foods and accepting that this
is a long-term process.
And the best part about food? Moderation is key. So, while there are some foods I can easily cut out of my diet, there are others that I cannot – chocolate being the biggest culprit. So, after spending all day eating fruits, vegetables and protein, I am going to enjoy another piece of pie.
For my resolution, and all resolutions, it’s not about deprivation and elimination – it’s about moderation and
a slow pace.
Poor state of affairs for so many seniors
Abuse, in any form, is a serious issue. Whether it’s child abuse, animal abuse or domestic violence, we all know that it is harmful, belittling and unacceptable. But there’s one type of abuse that does not receive the attention it needs – abuse of the elderly. Indeed, it is believed that, by 2029, more than a fifth of the world’s population will be people older than 65, many of them suffering elder abuse.
According to a study by financial-advice website WalletHub, 96 per cent of elder-abuse cases go unreported and it can affect some five million people a year.
Unfortunately, many states are not fighting hard enough to stop such abuse. This is disturbing because, of all of the world’s citizens, our seniors deserve to feel safe and protected.
To reach their conclusions, the WalletHub analysts measured abuse prevalence, resources and prevention in each of the 50 states and the district of Columbia. These three dimensions were evaluated by taking into account each state’s share of elder abuse, complaints
of gross neglect and exploitation, expenditure on elder-abuse prevention per senior resident, nursing-homes quality, the presence of elder-abuse forensic centers and five other factors.
And how did Texas fare? Overall, our state came in a mediocre 23rd, with low scores in four of the 10 factors. The state was rated 50th in the quality of its nursing homes, 49th in its number of eldercare organizations and services per senior resident, 45th in its total expenditure on elder-abuse prevention and 41st in the funding of its total long-term-care ombudsman program.
The state was ranked 15th in the number of seniors’ complaints about elder abuse, gross neglect and exploitation and 19th in the number of its certified volunteer ombudsmen per senior resident.
The study’s top three places for elder-abuse protection were the district of Columbia, Nevada and Massachusetts, while its bottom three were California, Wyoming and South Carolina.
This study has taught me one thing – that, until all citizens are protected,
we have failed as a society. That might be a blunt statement but sometimes bluntness is the only way to get
a point across. So the next time you witness any type of elder abuse, say something.
The bystander effect is a common problem in our world – the idea that someone else will solve the problem. Don’t leave it to someone else; solve it yourself. Because, no matter our age now, we all grow old.
Bottom line? Treat others the way you want to be treated yourself.
Images by MGN