At the risk of sounding a bit ‘bah humbugish’ at this time of the year, I must confess, I don’t really like, or ‘do’ New Year’s Resolutions, because, well, I don’t really like setting myself up for disappointment and I seriously don’t enjoy adding completely, unnecessary pressure to my life just because of what the date happens to be. I don’t like pressure so I try to avoid it. It’s working pretty good for me too!
Do resolutions really even work? According to statisticbrain.com –
“Self-improvement, or at least the desire for it, is a shared American hobby. It’s why so many of us—some estimates say more than 40% of Americans—make New Year’s resolutions.
But for all the good intentions, only a tiny fraction of us keep our resolutions; University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals.
Why is this? We all have great intentions. We all know where we need to improve. We all know what we want in life…why is it so hard to stick with them?
Time Magazine listed the top 10 resolutions that are typically broken.
- Lose weight/get fit
- Quit smoking
- Learn something new
- Eat healthier and diet
- Get out of debt/save money
- Spend more time with family
- Travel to new places
- Be less stressed
- Drink less
Just looking at this list is mind-boggling and far too vague!! These could all be broken down into reasonable/measurable goals.
For me, setting goals is so much more attainable. It’s no surprise that the number one resolution is always ‘eat healthier/work out more’. Personally, I prefer to say I am going to incorporate 3 days of bike riding this week as opposed to “I’m going to ride my bike and really get into shape”. Or…instead of “I am going to eat healthier to feel better…how about “this week I will incorporate 5 vegetarian meals into my diet”?
Goals usually have a specific destination built in. Goals seem more user-friendly don’t you agree?
I am definitely my biggest, most annoying critic (that is not an invitation for anyone’s critiques, thank you very much!). Not meeting my expectations or certain milestones by a certain time is really bothersome and plays on my mind. I disappoint myself and honestly who needs that?
Professor Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK, has a 10 point plan for sticking to your goals.
- Only make one resolution
- Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to set your goal
- Don’t attempt previously failed resolutions
- Don’t base your goal on what everyone else is doing
- Break your goal into a series of time-based steps
- Tell your friends and family what you’re aiming for
- Regularly remind yourself of the benefits
- Give yourself small rewards for achieving your each step
- Make your plans by writing it down
- Expect to have small set-backs, and don’t make these a reason to give up altogether.
I personally love number 6 on the list….being held accountable!! Once you share your goal, it’s a bit harder to let it slide.
Instead of sharing with you a ridiculous list of resolutions that I won’t even remember existed by the end of January, I am listing my goals that I’m working towards in the coming months, if they happen in the next 12 months, I’ll be thrilled to bits. But, if not? Well, I’ll just have to break the goal down to make it more achievable or set a new one. I’ll have a better understanding of myself and I’ll be living the best life I can in those moments, and all that is alright with me.
So, in no particular order, here goes….
- I have been fighting some inflammation and some gut-health problems. My short-term goals are to ease back into 3 classes per week (including one yoga class) at our community gym by bike. Once I have a solid gym foundation I would really like to do a fitness challenge. (I have a bikini challenge in mind. You can check back for that in February). I want to eat at home more. Steve and I eat out almost every night of the week. Goal – 3 times a week I will ride to the grocery store and buy dinner (veg/fish) and cook on the BBQ. As for drinking…oy yoy yoy…problem with being a snowbird is – every day is a holiday down here – you really have to pick and choose. Once a week my intention is to look at my calendar and pick the 2 or 3 days that I will allow myself to have alcohol. I fully intend on continuing to enjoy my life to the fullest, but in moderation. (That rye looks really good right?) I have read about and heard about people that suffer from alcohol-induced dementia. I can totally see how that happens. That’s some scary shizz!
- Another problem with being a snowbird is the amount of time you have on your hands. It is so easy to have the attitude that ‘things can wait until tomorrow’. Before you know it, you have wasted an entire day. I do use my i-calendar to keep track of upcoming events….but I feel I am more successfully organized when I have a notebook in front of me and write down the things that need to get done. If I see my ‘to do’ list written out I am more apt to get these things done. I have already purchased a 2018 day timer. There are so many blogs out there on how to have fun and get super creative with your daytimer. I am not sure I will go that far, but I will definitely be writing out my to-do list, shopping lists, daily goals and events.
- My blog. Sounds pretty vague, I know!! I do not do my Savvysnowbirds blog to make money or get recognition from anyone. It is simply a creative outlet. I have been playing around with photography (I have so much to learn) but I am really enjoying it. My blog goal is to keep it at the forefront. I am going to set aside at least 5 hours per week to play around with it whether it is working on my photography skills, writing or just being creative.
When I look at my list of goals it doesn’t look like a walk in the park to me, but it does look like something I can do if I put my mind to it. If goals and resolutions were that easy we wouldn’t have to make them, would we? Coupling goals, keeping them reasonable, holding yourself accountable, and measuring incremental victories are critical steps to get you off to a strong and successful start in 2018.
Do you have resolutions in store for 2018 or do you set goals? Share below maybe you will inspire someone.
Good luck, hang in there and Happy New Year!