New Year’s Resolutions

I drafted this post back in December and had meant to post it then. Work projects built up and then Christmas came. So here we are four days into the New Year. I haven’t actually started working on these yet, but that hasn’t deterred me from working towards them. My goal is to be still doing this when the hoards of new people in the gym have long left.

I have three simple resolutions for myself: Read a book every two weeks; find other exercise to do 3x a week until I can run again; start a craft I can do while I watch TV.

1. Read a book every 2 weeks.

A few years ago I decided to try to read a book a week and that worked for about four weeks. Then I let life get out of hand. This year I know I actually have more time on my hands than I did that year, but I don’t want my life to revolve around reading only (because currently I consume way too much Netflix!), either. I’ve heard the phrase “Readers are leaders” often. I’m not sure how convened I am with being a leader — I just like life (and myself) more when l’m reading (non-fiction). I’m thinking through things more, I have more things to talk about in conversation with people, and life is just more interesting. I have a stack of free books I got on Kindle so I have no shortage of books to read. So this year I’m only going to have the goal of reading a book every two weeks.

2. Continue getting exercise 3x a week until I can start running again.

Everyone knows that exercise is an important aspect of living a healthy life. For me, I’m a better employee and person when I’m exercising. Life is just better. I’ve never done a good job of maintaining any exercise through the winter so I imagine this will be the hardest one for me.

3.Start a craft (sewing or cross-stitching)

I’ve had a cross-stitch pattern in my mind for the last few months. I’ve figured out how to take it, put into Photoshop and turn it into a cross-stitch pattern. Now I just need to actually do it. My mom refreshed my memory on how to do it when I was visiting for Christmas so the next steps are to buy the right colour of embroidery thread and get going.

Have you thought about a New Year’s Resolution? Are you toying with an idea but aren’t yet ready to commit? Have you already started? Share in the comments here!

Success with New Year’s Resolutions

Ever the cynic, I rarely had New Year’s Resolutions growing up. I was the ‘realist’ who could see the future and how quickly I would abandon my project and so I decided not to start it so I couldn’t fail at it. Sounds like a happy kid, right? What I did like was new beginnings. So various times throughout the year I would feel inspired to start new things. I didn’t want to feel stuck to January. Only in the last few years have I attempted New Year’s Resolutions.

I was reflecting on this time last year, which I spent some time planning my New Year’s Resolution. I actually managed to successfully do 10/12 months of my New Years Resolution which is an overwhelming success in my books! I took some time to think about why it ended up being the only major success in a Resolution I’ve ever had. It ended up lining up pretty well with these suggestions that I found in A New York TImes article called Be It Resolved by John Tierney, so I thought I’d share his tips instead since he’s way more credible than I am.

  1. Set a single clear goal. Instead of resolving to “lose weight” or “eat healthier,” set a specific goal — say, lose a pound a week. And limit yourself to one big resolution at a time.
  2. Pre-commit. Further bind yourself by e-mailing your goal to friends or posting it on Facebook.
  3. Outsource. You can outsource self-control by sharing your progress with friends through Twitter posts about your weight or your workouts, or by making a formal contract at Web sites like stickK.com, [I’m looking at trying out the Lift app]
  4. Keep track. Self-monitoring is vital to any kind of resolution, and new tools will do the grunt work for you.
  5. Don’t Overreact to a Lapse. One reason dieters fail is a phenomenon formally known as “counterregulatory eating” — and informally as the “what the hell effect.” Once they lapse, they figure the day’s diet is blown anyway, so they go on to finish the whole carton of ice cream, thereby doing far more damage than the original lapse.
  6. Tomorrow is another day. One of the cheeriest new findings from diet research comes from an experiment in which people had to resist a bowl of M&M’s. The ones who told themselves they could have the candy later had a much easier time than the ones who swore off M&M’s permanently.
  7. Reward often. If you use willpower only to deny yourself pleasures, it becomes a grim, thankless form of defense. But when you use it to gain something, you can wring pleasure out of the dreariest tasks.

Make sure you read the rest of the article. They give more than just one sentence explanation, which is helpful.

What about you? Have you ever had success in a New Year’s Resolution? Do you bother? Why? Why not? You can leave a comment by clicking here

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