Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011
Ringing in the New Year has always been a time for reflection—looking back to the past, and more importantly, looking toward the coming year. Once again it’s time to reflect on the changes we want to make in our lives and resolve to follow through on those ideals.
Let’s see if any of your New Year’s Resolutions made my Top 12 List?
- Make Time For Fitness
- Eat properly—Lose Weight
- Get Enough Sleep
- Drink Less Booze
- Quit Smoking
- Reduce Stress
- Improve Finances
- Improve Your Career—Improve Your Education
- Don’t Be a Grump—Be Happy and Make Others Happy, Too
- Manage My Time
- Volunteer To Help Others
- Eat More Dark Chocolate
It is interesting to note that the evidence is in for fitness. Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. Studies show that it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure and even improves arthritis. In short, exercise keeps you healthy and makes you look and feel better and younger. Why not make this the time to start getting in shape?
Over 66 percent of adult Americans are considered overweight or obese, so it is not surprising to find that weight loss is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Setting reasonable goals and staying focused are the two most important factors in sticking with a weight loss program, and the key to success for those millions of Americans who made a New Year’s commitment to shed extra pounds.
Sleep deprivation is one of the major causes of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and obesity. Make sure that you allow yourself enough time to get the sleep you need to recharge your batteries and stay healthy and fit.
New Year’s Eve is always a great incentive to finally stop drinking or reduce the amount of liquor you consume. Going cold turkey is very difficult for the heavy drinker as most are not equipped to make such a drastic lifestyle change all at once; they do much better when they taper gradually, or even learn to moderate their drinking.
Smoking is a dirty, sticky habit! If you have resolved to make this the year that you stamp out your smoking habit, over-the-counter availability of nicotine replacement therapy now provides easier access to proven quit-smoking aids. Even if you’ve tried to quit before and failed, don’t let it get you down. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good. Start enjoying the rest of your smoke-free life!
Stress kills; it’s as simple as that. Reduce your conflicts; restrict your debates to those that count. Not everything has to be a win-all situation. Get a massage, relax a little! You’ll feel so much better and so will the people around you.
Okay the economy stinks! You feel no one understands what you are going through, but that is not the case. Millions of Americans are going through a rough time and many of them are suffering for it. There are debt relief organizations that are willing to give a helping hand with little or no fees required.
So you’re not in the 1% like you planned to be and you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders along with the majority of the nearly 300,000,000. It’s tough out there and we all know it. Take the time to say good morning, don’t forget to kiss your spouse each night and let your kids and coworkers know when they have done something right. Go out of your way to find someone in the act of doing the right thing. Put on that smile and be less grumpy.
Time is precious, learn to manage it and don’t let it manage you. Allow for a balance in your life—time for work, time for family and time for you.
Make this the year that counts. If you’re considering a career change, want to learn a new language, or just how to fix your computer? Whether you take a course or read a book, you’ll find education to be one of the easiest, most motivating New Year’s resolutions to keep. Community Colleges offer a wide variety of “lifelong learning” courses, and local YMCA’s offer great recreational training for beginners of all ages. Most local colleges and universities offer distance and adult education programs. Or if the arts are more your thing, community museums and playhouses offer many adult studio classes.
Fulfill a non-selfish New Year’s resolution. Volunteerism can take many forms. Whether you choose to spend time helping out at your local library, mentoring a child, or building a house, there are many nonprofit volunteer organizations that could really use your help. Make an effort to visit returning veterans at your local VA hospital. They really need the company, especially around holiday times. They have given so much to our country. Or if your time is really in short supply, maybe you can donate furniture, clothing and other household items that you no longer need, rather than leaving them out by the curb to be discarded.
What does all this have to do with chocolate? All of the latest research shows in even the strongest terms that the long-term consumption of dark chocolate is associated with lower blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol, weight control, reduction of cavities and, in addition, is a wonderful, non-addictive mood elevator. Just match this list against my 12 Top 12 Resolutions and see how you can better achieve success in 2012.
If you’re interested in learning more about chocolate, its effects on the human body and improving your disposition, buy Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Desserts. It is a great anytime gift and most importantly, the recipes make luscious tasting desserts perfectly the first time and every time thereafter. It is a foolproof guide to making all of your favorite desserts and improving your sweet disposition and those all around you.
All of us at Choclatique wish you and yours the very best of success in the New Year filled with sweet dreams and chocolate wishes.