This post topic may seem a bit late as we’re already six days into the new year. Though I do like to come up with goals for the new year in time to discuss with my husband on New Year’s Eve, I also like to wait for the dust to settle after the holiday madness and then give my goals better thought through the first week of the new year.
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with new years resolutions. I think they’re a great idea on the surface as the new year brings about new possibilities. It’s as though we get a clean slate and the year is laid out before us with all of its promises of great things to come.
The hate part (more like dislike than hate–that’s quite a strong word that I reserve for only extreme circumstances) comes in with the timing. We’re all making the resolutions at the same time. I used to do it every year, too. It usually had something to do with finally losing weight and getting in shape. But it never happened. Why? Because I wasn’t truly ready. Just because we change the calendar doesn’t mean our mindsets have changed enough to bring about real change.
I also take issue with the word “resolution.” It has a bit of a negative feeling to it, doesn’t it? According to Merriam-Webster online, the first definition of resolution is “the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.” Conflict? Problem? Negative! No wonder we feel so ambiguous about the big New Year’s Resolutions.
That’s why I like to call them goals. A goal is “something that you are trying to do or achieve.” Do or achieve vs. conflict/problem. Much better!
I didn’t start to accomplish my goals until I was ready. It was around March a couple of years ago. I remember that I was ready and it wasn’t some big, momentous exclamation of “I’m going to lose weight and get in shape!” It started with smaller goals.
First, I decided to track how much I was eating. That in turn encouraged me to work out more so that I could amp up my daily calorie deficit. Once I lost some weight, had more energy, and started to feel better about myself, the good behavior was reinforced and I started making healthier choices, one at a time. The better I felt, the better I wanted to keep feeling.
I also think there are other types of beginnings that sometimes make just as much sense to examine our goals. There’s spring, the time we’re all encouraged to do our “spring cleaning.”
There’s also the fall, with back to school frenzy and the idea that a new school year holds new possibilities. The fall is also a time when we regroup and reorganize following the lazy days of summer.
There’s not a real change in the season from December to January. For us here in Massachusetts, it’s already cold and snowy, so January just gets colder and more snowy.
There’s also the annual work review. You have to come face to face with goals you chose from last year and write down goals for the next year.
Last but not least, there are our birthdays. This is more of our personal new year. I often think about what I want to do in the next year of my life.
Also, our goals/resolutions are only as good as how we plan to accomplish them. Sure, we can proclaim we’re going to lose weight, but it’s better to have a more concrete goal such as, “I’m going to track my calories and figure out where I can improve so I can lose weight” or “I’m going to work out at least three times a week.” See the difference?
A big goal can also be too overwhelming. I’m guilty of being so overwhelmed by the big picture that I become frozen and can’t move forward. Start nursing school? That’s a big goal! But whenever I break it down into smaller tasks, it doesn’t seem so bad (take entrance exam, check; requests transcripts, check; ask x, y, and z for recommendations, check; etc.).
Jillian Michaels has some great goal resources on her website here in connection with her book, Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life. I’ve also found The Daily Muse has a great daily To Do list that you can download here. It helps with breaking up those big things to smaller tasks.
All that being said, I have come up with some goals for the year. Some are new and some are goals that have been ongoing for a while now.
- Try a new trend/clothing item I wouldn’t normally. Leggings? Jumpsuit? I’m almost thinking I could rock this chic number:
- Take more pictures
- Organize pictures online and share with family/friends in a timely fashion
- Print said pictures regularly
- Make a yearly book à la Young House Love
- Make a new menu item weekly. I received a new cookbook from my brother at Christmas. He swears by this cookbook as being one of the best, even if you’re not vegetarian. I also received a gluten-free recipe magazine from my mother-in-law that has lots of delicious items in it. As if those were’t enough, I have tons of recipes on my Pinterest boards.
- NYC to museums in the spring?
- Holland to visit friends in the spring or summer?
- Read more, especially instead of watching TV
- Get to some items on Things to Try in 2014 Pinterest Board
- Organize my life better
- Go through personal email once a week and deal with everything
- Simplify house further (We already started last year-if I haven’t used it in past year, it now goes!)
- Meet with financial advisor: We are already fiscally responsible people, but there is always room for improvement!
- Write reviews, such as for products and travel. We relied on peoples’ reviews in helping to plan our trip last summer and I am constantly relying on website reviews when it comes to purchases. I need to pay it forward and add my reviews as well!
- Take co-requisite courses for nursing school
- Anatomy & Physiology I&II, Microbiology
- Start nursing school. The application all is in, I’m just waiting to hear back. I will plan to contact them in the next week to make sure they have received everything.
- Get better at WordPress and blogging. I’m really excited about this blog and I want to get better at it! I’ve saved some courses, podcasts, and videos in my favorites.
- As time allows, get personal training and/or nutritionist certification.
Health and Wellness:
- Try new physical endeavor as my body continues to heal from all of the injuries last year
- Competitive: Triathlon? 10k? Half marathon?
- Non-competitive: Spinning at my gym!
- Work on reducing exposure to pesticides, hormones, chemicals, and other toxins (more on this in another post)
Whew…that was a lot! But I’m up for the challenge! I’ll be sure to reassess as the year goes on.
What are your goals? Did you make any New Year’s resolutions?
Do you have any suggestions for this blog? What have you liked so far? Disliked? Areas for improvement?