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5 Things to Lose Instead of 5 Pounds

It's a few weeks into the new year, and we know the truth -- you're doing pretty well on your resolutions, but you secretly broke into the stash of candy last night. And this morning the air was cold, and your house was so warm -- going to the gym just doesn't sound nice anymore.

Don’t get us wrong, losing weight is a perfectly fine goal. But sometimes mental baggage weighs more heavily. Instead of the traditional five-pound (or more) weight-loss goal, see if losing these five things would help you achieve that peaceful, easy feeling we're all looking for. Bonus: you can have a piece of candy while you do it. We won't tell.

5 Things to Lose This Year

1. Lose Leftover Guilt. Your friend got you a holiday present and you didn't have one for her. You're still afraid your kids were disappointed with holiday break. Your spouse was deployed and you're feeling the loss of a holiday together you'll never get back. The holidays were depressing instead of wonderful and you argued with your sister. You ate too much of everything.

You know what? Losing the guilt may be the hardest -- and the best -- thing you'll do all year. Leave those ‘shoulda-coulda-wouldas’ in the past. It's done now. There's always next year.

2. Lose Your Complacency. His boat is pulling into exotic Singapore, and you'd love to go. Unfortunately, your sense of adventure was lost years ago, along with your passport. This year, rediscover (or embrace for the first time!) seizing the day. Book the tickets. Tell him you're coming. Bonus points for traveling with other military spouses in case the ship gets delayed.

If travel isn't really your thing, find part of your life where you've been complacent that you'd like to change. Borrow a marriage book or get marriage counseling if you need it. Get extra job training or a professional mentor in your field. Rethink a parenting strategy that isn't working. Find a way to turn, "OK, I guess," into something better.

3. Lose Your Inhibitions. You have a secret interest lurking in your subconscious -- stop pushing it away out of fear or making excuses. “Painting again would take up too much time.” “The new exhibit sounds fascinating but the kids might be bored.” Or, “Going alone might seem weird.”

Tell those inhibitions to get lost and allow yourself to go for it. Apply for that job you'd love. Or heck, start that business. Find French lessons free online at the library. Discover that interest again and stop caring what people might think if you fail. Who cares? Eventually failures lead to success.

4. Lose Your Boredom. No matter how boring your duty station may be, you may be surrounded by interesting people. Resolve to find as few or as many clever, talented, surprising spouses as you're comfortable with and make a life where you are.

Find a new walking trail. Throw a weekly coffee or cocktail hour. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Ask what your kids want they to learn about and visit the library together. Act like a tourist and see the sights in your own city. Overseas? Learn more about some aspect of the culture where you live, whether it's a Japanese tea ceremony, hula lessons or a German language class. If you hate your boring job, let this be the year you get training for something more interesting to you.

5. Lose Your Self Pity. So, your life isn't what you pictured. Nobody's is. In fact, it would be weird if your goals at 15, 25, 35 or 45 were all the same. Life unfolds in mysterious, distressing, beautiful, tragic, circuitous ways. Maybe your family planned to be career military and it isn't panning out, or your family is larger or smaller than you'd hoped. Maybe a surprise EFMP rating has thrown you off course. Or your career has stagnated while your service member's is taking off.

Make January your time for quiet introspection and explore any self-pity. Check with your family support office or your doctor if your situation feels out of control. Come to peace with the past, or even just accept it, and find a way to move forward.

If you've got big goals for 2016 -- fantastic! And, if the best thing that happens this month is a little refresh of your outlook on life, that's good, too. Free yourself from any guilt, boredom and self-pity that are threatening to slog down the new year.

Consider that load off your shoulders a weight loss goal already met.  

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