10 Quick Tips To Become A Better You

Self-acceptance is important. I therefore encourage men to accept themselves for who and what they are. At the same time, many of us use unhealthy coping strategies that don't support mental, physical, and spiritual health. Thus, I also support personal growth work that promotes greater health and well-being throughout the year.

New Year's is the most popular time people celebrate change - a chance to reflect and make a fresh start. Each year about one third of Americans commit to a New Year's resolution. But try whatever we may, most of us end up going back to our old ways by Valentine's Day. Why? Because it's really hard to change behavior that makes us feel good. Our ''bad'' habits like: overeating, overspending (shopping), sexual compulsivity, smoking, drinking excessively, doing drugs, underexercising, too much Internet, cyber porn, video games, iPods, iPhones, TV, and the list goes on, are comforting. We're attempting self-care. We're trying to cope, unwind, relax, comfort, sooth, and pleasure ourselves. We're self-medicating with the ''bad'' stuff.

The problem is that our ''bad'' behavior ends up hurting us. Many of us will die from health related illnesses due to the ''bad'' habits we use to control our stress. So why isn't that enough to stop us? Well, no one I know really wants to decrease the pleasures in their life. Plus, they serve as fast and easy fixes to underlying emotional pain. The right way to deal with it - confronting our feelings - is a much slower and harder road to hoe. Under immediate emotional duress, living longer can seem so far away that the healthiest choice doesn't take top priority right here and now. And if whatever we're doing is physically addictive, then we can be compelled to repeat it that much more.

Almost anything can be used in a self-destructive way if we're out of balance with it. Work, exercise, sugar, fast food, caffeinated drinks, supplements, cosmetic surgery, and many other things we don't usually associate with addiction. The point is that anything can be addictive if it's out of balance, out of control, and adversely effecting our life and relationships. How do you know if you're addicted? Take this simple test, i.e., try stopping.

I trust you know best what you need to change. However, here's my Top Ten List for New Year's resolutions just in case you might need some ideas.
  1. Give Up A Bad Habit: smoking, binge drinking, drugging, overeating, sexual compulsivity, etc.
  2. Begin A Good Habit: dieting, exercising, meditating, yoga, volunteering, etc.
  3. End A Bad Relationship: get out of negative unhealthy relationships that make you feel bad.
  4. Renew A Broken Relationship: forgiveness, solutions, moving forward together.
  5. Start New Healthy Relationships: meet more friends, date, join a supportive community that interests you.
  6. Be Better With Money: budget, spend less frivolously, don't overspend.
  7. Do What You've Been Putting Off: have that talk, finish that project, join that group, take that trip, apply for a new job, etc.
  8. Make That Life Change: move, get a pet, commit to that special one, expand your relationships, become a parent, etc.
  9. Start To Put Yourself First: it is not selfish, but practicing self-care to put YOU in the equation.
  10. Stick To It: Behavioral change is hard, but worth striving for to be the best person you can be. Get support from loved ones, a twelve step program, and professional help.
Quote: ''It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new.
But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the
adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.''
- Alan Cohen

All The Best, Dr. Angelo.