Why I Don't Believe in New Year's Resolutions
I'll be the first to admit that this post is somewhat hypocritical (so fight your urge to tell me so) but...
I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions.
Yeah, yeah, yeah----I get it. Resolutions work for some people. They serve as tangible goals to spark our motivation and boost our spirit. We set resolutions and suddenly feel like we are going to kick ass this year. Who doesn't need that kind of spark? For those reasons, New Year's resolutions are a great idea, in theory.
However, what do we do when we fail? Don't tell me "failure isn't an option" because it most definitely is. (I've got 31 years of resolutions to prove it.) As humans, failure lingers all around us despite any identifiable evidence. What happens to those who set resolutions and fail within the first week? Should they give up and wait 350+ days to try again? Of course not.
Let's pretend your close friend or family member had set a resolution to exercise a minimum of 4 days per week. They have been kicking this resolution's ass for 6 weeks and for some reason (you can make one up) they miss a workout and call to tell you. What would you say? Would you say, "Well, you tried! There is always next year!" Or would your feedback be more supportive---encourage them to not quit and remind them of how far they've come?
Here is the hypocritical part: I'm not a fan of New Year's Resolutions but I strongly believe in setting goals.
Everyone needs goals! Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, short term and long term goals for every single person. Without goals we are like stagnant water----doing nothing but attracting mosquitos. The awesome thing about setting goals is that we can do it at any time of the year and tweak them until we find the method that works.
For several years I set a New Year's Resolution to floss my teeth daily and balance my checkbook. I had to keep incorporating these two on my list because I never was able to make them a habit. If you look at my check registry from January to March in the years 2007-2010, it was perfectly accurate and color coded but always ended after three months. I can't recall the exact days I slacked off in my meticulous data entry but I can tell you that I gave up right then and there. I took one look at it and decided it wasn't worth the hassle of going back + retroactively entering my account details.
That attitude makes no sense but I know several of you can understand exactly what I am talking about. A new year is a great starting off point for goals but it shouldn't be the only point. If you set goals for this year and fail, don't wait until 2017 to pick it back up. All you really need is a new day to start. Cliche, I know, but it's the #truth.
The other awesome thing about setting goals is that we can constantly tweak them until we find what works. Two people with the same exact goal can have extremely different methods. Take exercising for example. Morning workouts work better for some of us while evening time guarantees success for others. Find what works for you.
With that being said, I'll share my current goals that I want to set. I haven't sat down and thought specifically about them or my plan of action (you need one of those for each goal) so they might seem a tad bit vague (goals should be very specific, too). I know this because I'm a therapist.
DRINK: I want/need to drink more water. I have a general idea of my daily intake goal and Pinterest is exploding with clever tricks to help me do so.
SLEEP: I'm a night owl and scowl at the sunrise. Always have been and probably always will be. However, I've been in this nightly routine for a few weeks now and I can tell a huge difference in my day so I want to keep this one going.
READ: Complete this 12 Month Reading Challenge.
WRITE: I'm talking about you, blog. Perhaps a blog editor will help me?
COMMIT: Stick to monthly spending with the help of our good friend, Dave Ramsey.
These are my five goals I plan to set. Some are daily goals while others are weekly and monthly but none of them are yearly. I know myself and I will fail if I set these as 2016 goals because that thought is daunting and very overwhelming for my brain to process and commit to. Daily and weekly goals work best for me.
What are your goals? How are you going to accomplish them? I would love to hear about it and any feedback for my list above is greatly appreciated. Also, don't ask about the whole flossing my teeth failure---I don't want any judgy 'tudes aimed my way.