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You Say You Got A Resolution

January 3, 2011

It’s January.  A new year.  A time to make those New Year’s resolutions.

I’ve gone back and forth over resolutions over the years.  For a long time I was not a fan.  Mostly because it seemed that a resolution was just another thing promoting failure and guilt. 

Lose 20 pounds?  Fail

Exercise three times a week?  Fail.

Floss twice daily?  Fail.

Then a few years ago a switch flipped in my brain.  I started making resolutions about things I’d actually like to do.

Get more sleep.  Success!

Explore 4 new hiking trails.  Success!

Last year I made just one resolution:

Make pre-addressed labels for my Christmas card list.

It sounds piddly, I know.   I’m not curing cancer or running a marathon.  But because it was a resolution, I actually did it.  And you know what?  It felt pretty good to say that I achieved my New Year’s Resolution.  Not to mention the time it saved me during the holiday.  Do you know how long it takes to hand-address sixty cards?

This year I set about making SMART goals.  (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).  Want to know what they are?

1. Go on six hikes with Chloe.  They don’t have to be new trails this year, but I’d like to do at least a couple of hours in some hilly terrain with fun smells for my girl.

2. Do X number of weights workouts.  (I know what X is, but I don’t feel a need to share it here.)

3. Pay my home equity line of credit down to X.  (See above.)

4. Complete X amount of my current cross stitch project (Ditto.)

5. Celebrate my 40th birthday in some special way.  Right now this is the fuzziest of my resolutions.  I know I want to do something for my 40th, but I haven’t decided exactly what.  Currently I’m leaning toward travel.  Stay tuned.

I’ve written my goals down and posted them in a few places around the house.  I like looking at my list at the end of the day and recognizing what I’ve done towards achieving them.  Did I go all day without spending any money?  Hey, that applies towards #3!  Did I research European travel online?  Good job on #5!  Did I email my friend Jersey to set a hiking date in February?  #1!

If you’ve never been a resolution-kind-of-person, I encourage you to set a resolution for yourself this year.  Think about how much fun it could be:

I’m sorry Great-Uncle Sebastian, I simply can’t join you for twice baked liver with beets next Tuesday.  I’ve set a New Year’s Resolution to try every Thai restaurant in Baltimore and I must dine at Thai Arroy that evening.  I’m sure you understand.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2011 6:08 pm

    LOVE Calvin & Hobbes – oh, how I miss the late 80’s/early 90’s!!

    Hey, maybe you could come to Oklahoma in March and celebrate my 40th birthday with me?!? Then I could come to Baltimore and celebrate your 40th with you?!? It would be a bloggy birthday extravaganza!!!! Heehee – okay, maybe not. But it sounds fun, right? 🙂

  2. January 3, 2011 8:09 pm

    Oh, ya got me with the Calvin & Hobbes. I love it, and nothing makes my son laugh like a little C&H (except maybe The Three Stooges comes close…I’m blaming his dad for that one, since he contributed that Y chromosome). So glad you got yours done for last year, and best of luck with this year’s items!

    And thanks for your input over on my blog. You’re spot-on: I have had the problem you mention with “resolutions,” making ones that were neither SMART nor fun. My “year of origami,” in which I completed most of a page-a-day origami calendar – turned it around somewhat, because that was fun AND social, as my coworkers looked forward to seeing each day’s piece. I think that sometimes the timing can still feel a little like a “forced march,” though. Not sure why, but this latest turn-of-the-year felt that way to me. (Note to self: add “take a media break” to the 2011 list, when you get around to making it.) But hey, my birthday is less than a month away, so maybe it’ll be “birthday resolutions” instead. 😉

  3. January 4, 2011 10:10 am

    Those are great resolutions! I’m like you, I don’t do the “lose weight” or “take a class” kind of resolutions any more.

    With all move and all that it entails, I’ll be lucky to maintain my sanity, much less any resolutions.

    Hopefully, the girls and I will be in the DC area by March. Can’t wait to meet you, too!

  4. Duffylou permalink
    January 4, 2011 12:00 pm

    I really wasn’t going to make any formal resolutions this year. My son is getting married in September and there are some things I would like to work on by that time. I’m afraid if I make them a resolution, it will mean instant failure. I’m not sure how to put a fun twist on them.

  5. Juice permalink*
    January 4, 2011 12:10 pm

    @Jill – I’m thinking Amsterdam… You in?

    @Pubs – I love the idea of your year of origami! You need to capture that spirit again (but maybe not EVERY day – too much pressure – yikes!).

    @Dawn – I think you should resolve to move to DC and embrace your new home. (Original, am I not?)

    and @Duffylou – Your resolution could be to ENJOY your son’s wedding regardless of your shape / family drama / last minute crises / etc.

    Whew. Now that I’ve solved everyone’s issues I clearly need to run for office. Or drive a taxi. Isn’t that what all know-it-alls do? Maybe next year I’ll resolve not to be such a know-it-all… Ha!

  6. January 5, 2011 8:54 am

    These are great, Juice! I am cheering for you!

  7. January 11, 2011 11:42 am

    Like you, I have mixed feelings about New Year’s resolutions and have gone back and forth about setting them every year. I loved your idea about making resolutions that you’d actually like to achieve (i.e., getting more sleep). Do keep me posted on your 40th birthday plans as I’m currently trying to come up with exactly what it is that I’d like to do for mine, too! Happy New Year!

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  1. Resolution Recap « all things juice

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