Power Moves: Kickstart Your Resolutions

As the year draws to a close, most of us have begun to reflect on ourselves and any potential New Year’s resolutions – losing weight, quitting smoking, or vowing to keep the house cleaner in case of unexpected visitors.

Power Moves: Kickstart Your Resolutions
Power Moves: Kickstart Your Resolutions

As the year draws to a close, most of us have begun to reflect on ourselves and any potential New Year’s resolutions – losing weight, quitting smoking, or vowing to keep the house cleaner in case of unexpected visitors.

Now, you and I both know we don’t always accomplish these goals or resolutions. So, what can you do this year to change that? Use the power of your own body language, of course!

A recent study suggests that standing in a powerful pose for as little as one minute not only leads you to perceive yourself as more powerful and a decrease in the level of stress hormones in your body, but also increases your tolerance for risk (Carney, Cuddy & Yap, 2010). And starting a New Year’s resolution can definitely be seen as taking a risk! Resolutions often involve a change in habits and a change in lifestyle; for many of us, that can be quite a risk as habits can be hard to change. 

What do you need to do with your own body language to bring out this sense of power and become a risk-taker at the turn of the New Year? (I’m not necessarily talking skydiving and bungee-jumping risk-taking, but if that’s your New Year’s resolution, then go for it!) First, let’s review a couple of basic power moves.

  • The Superman Pose – this move gives off tons of confidence and not only makes you look powerful, but feel powerful as well! Stand with your feet at least 6 inches apart, and put your hands on your hips. BAM! You’re instantly Superman or Superwoman. Standing in this position also makes you like a short, fat candle. If someone bumped into a table with this type of candle on it, it’s very unlikely the candle will fall over (as opposed to a tall, skinny candle, embodied by someone with his feet very close together and hands held in front of him, which would instantly fall over if a table were bumped).
  • The Full Frontal – this move involves standing the same way as above, but this time with your hands at your sides or behind your back. By not letting your hands or arms cover up any of your power zones (neck dimple, belly button or naughty bits) you let others – and yourself – know that you do not feel threatened in a particular situation. This move also exudes tons of confidence.

Now, think about a New Year’s resolution you’d really like to take control of this year. How about the very popular “start exercising and get fit?” As 2012 nears, think about your resolution, stand in front of the mirror for a minute or so and take on one of the poses mentioned above. (Well hello there, good lookin’!) Then, when you take it one step farther and are getting ready to actually go to the gym at the turn of the year, do the same thing. By standing confidently, you’ll increase your risk-taking tolerance and hopefully jump on that treadmill and be confident that you will become fitter as you continue to develop your new habit. Not only can you turn your gym-going into a new habit, but your power move can become a habit!

Apply these power moves to work, too. Want to work harder this year in order to get that promotion you’ve been wanting? Stand and sit in confident poses at the office to show that you mean business and aren’t a pushover or someone who doesn’t take your work seriously.

I know what I’m going to do once I decide on a resolution, and I hope you do too! Until then, enjoy the holidays!

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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