At this time of year, a lot of us make resolutions. I do keep the tradition. I don’t always win. However, I’ve learned a few things about making (and keeping) resolutions. Most people don’t manage to keep their resolutions, but I do have some tips on that one.
- You do not have to tackle all of them starting January 1. Pick ONE.
- Once you’ve tackled your first resolution (assuming you made more than one), and you have it firmly in hand, you may add another. Let’s say you plan to change your diet and exercise habits, both of which are typical resolutions. Start with the exercise one. This is easier to accomplish in some ways because walking is exercise. You probably still have holiday leftovers and treats flooding your kitchen at this time of year (I know I do), and realistically, they’re built-in sabotage. So leave the eating part until you can realistically handle it. Personally, I have NO intention of letting my applewood smoked bacon or cherry cordials go to waste, nor am I going to try to eat all of that in one day to “clean out” my kitchen. Keep in mind that it takes about 30 days to form a habit, and about the same amount of time to break one. Once the exercise has become a habit, start making serious (but manageable) changes to the diet. There’s nothing wrong with trying to eat better while you’re focusing on the exercise; if you can make a conscious choice to have a salad (or whatever), then do so, and pat yourself on the back.
- These are New Year’s Resolutions, which means that you have a YEAR to accomplish them. Some will take more time than others (getting yourself financially healthy, quitting smoking, losing 20 pounds). By spacing them out, you increase your chance of success—as long as you don’t procrastinate.
- Keep your list somewhere you can find it easily. Your blog actually comes to mind, since you could even theoretically update everyone on your progress. Not all goals are things that you would want publically known—there is a place and a time for everything, and the internet isn’t always appropriate. Think about it. A lot of experts recommend accountability, meaning that you have someone who can support you and hold you responsible when you slip or fail… I’m not big on this idea. The era of personal responsibility seems to be waning. Take some. These are YOUR resolutions, it’s YOUR life. Keeping the list handy (and not necessarily posted on the fridge, really!) means you can get to it once in a while to check your progress. Maybe once a month? Really, that’s an easy one, just 12 little times a year. But do check at least at July 1st and December 1st—midway through the year and near year-end.
So why all the darned advice? Well, I’ve used it for a while now. Like I said, I don’t always win, but I do tend to do better than failed-at-everything.
Will I be posting my resolutions and what are they? I have a few ideas, but I haven’t solidified them yet. That’s today’s goal. I have thoughts, but I hesitate to put them out here. I realised earlier this year that having a blog has a lot of responsibility attached. Some of the things you write can hurt the people you care about, even if they’re true. Some things should never be said online. And sometimes, there are things that you don’t want the world to know about you when you change your mind about a post. Yes, such posts could be removed, but that’s cheating, isn’t it? Personal responsibility. I wrote it, I posted it, I deal with the consequences. I don’t know if I’ll post this year’s resolutions. I’m still deciding. I may post a subset of them.
For now, make sure you have champagne and whatever else you use to ring in the New Year, and raise a glass to a happy and great one at 11:59 PM!