With the year’s end comes the ritual of many households and offices: getting new appointment books, planners or calendars to hang on walls or put on desks. In an age of smartphones and the internet, you might think the days of paper calendars are numbered, but data suggest otherwise.
So it’s about to be 2017. Time to break up with the eggnog and look towards a better future. Of course the future is always better. (Said sarcastically). As a person always in pursuit of better, I don’t mean to mock the new year. I do believe it is a time to set new intentions and try to be a little bit better than last year. I just don’t believe in resolutions/ goals that require you to be a completely different person that you actually are. You will not get up and start running at 5am before work if you are struggling with getting to work on time. You will not start eating 500 calories per day if you’ve been accustomed to 3000. You will not start living like a minimalist if you are a hoarder. You get where I’m going with this. Think smaller. I know my phrase should be “Go Big or Go Home!” but most people just end up going home disappointed in themselves for not being that person they aspire to be. One more cliche here. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Think incrementally.
- DIET. Instead of starting a radical new calorie restrictive diet, how about you just start getting a handle on your current calories. How about you honestly start logging calories in an app such as Lose it!. Start by figuring out how bad it is and how bad those weekends are. Account for EVERYTHING. Every single bit or sip that goes into your month. Research shows that you will change eating when you actually start taking responsibility for it.
- ORGANIZATION. Pick a room to clean out for the month of January. Not the day, nor hour but what room in your house can clean up. Do NOT buy storage bins. This is just another way of hoarding. Just organized hoarding. Your goal is not to have more bins but rather to only need them for seasonal decorations. Bins should not be part of your day to day life.
- EXERCISE. Do not join a gym right now. You’re better off sponsoring a cow for Heifer International. At least that money will go to good use. If you need a class go to a yoga or spinning studio and buy a block of classes. No recurring fees you might just never use. Start by going once per week. Seriously, do not put 5 days per week of running in your calendar if you haven’t been off the couch since Christmas Eve.
- CALENDARS. Speaking of calendars. Buy one. Preferably from me (click on shop link) but not everyone is into paper. Start with some Google Calendar. Get those events in there and then start getting specific. I plan everything down to meals and exercise. Leave nothing to chance.
With any change, be realistic. Think about why you want this goal. Make sure that your why is strong. If will see you through in the dark times of wine and Haagan Daaz. Also, think about the why not? What has stopped me from attaining these goals before? A new year is a good time to reflect on what went right and on what’s not working. Maybe spending five nights a week on a soccer field is not where you want to be. Think about all the extra curricular things you do. Are they worth it? Are they contributing anything to my family or do I do them out of a sense of obligation? I know scrolling through Pinterest does not enhance my life. I still do it, but before I start, I always remind myself that this is for entertainment only and this is not furthering who I want to be. That will keep me from Pinteresitng my way through 6 hours and wearing dirty clothes to work. Be intentional. Not every moment in your day needs to be in pursuit of better but be aware when it is not. That screen time rabbit hole is deep.
I wish everyone a happy and healthy new year. I resolve to be more consistent on my writing. I’ll be coming out with some new strategies for conquering common pitfalls in goals for 2017. You can be better than before.