2011 New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions are tricky. It’s great to want to make a positive change in your life, but if you bombard yourself with expectations at the beginning of the year, it’ll probably be nearly impossible to follow through on all of them. That goes for any time of year I suppose. If you have all these resolutions and have trouble realizing them, it might make you more likely to abandon them all and give up. And that is not what we want.

Maybe it’s time for a new way of thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. What about 12 resolutions, but instead of starting them all on January 1st, you start a new resolution each month (and try to keep up with the old ones as you add the new)? On January first, start with one new intention – it doesn’t have to be hard; maybe it’s even better to start with your easiest goal to give yourself some confidence for the harder ones ahead. (See below the lists for my own resolutions plan.)

Here’s a list of ideas to get started (some of these I already do so I don’t need to resolve to do them this year; this is just an idea bank):

Food & Fitness Resolutions

  1. Ditch diet soda (and artificial sweeteners in general).
  2. Eat less. (Makes you live longer.)
  3. Go to a yoga class 2-3 times a week.
  4. Get out for a 20 minute walk every day. Take a friend or family member.
  5. No eating or snacking after dinner.
  6. Eat breakfast daily.
  7. Cut back on caffeine (1 cup a day!).
  8. Eat less grains and sugars.
  9. Eat more organic and local food.
  10. Eat more salads.
  11. Only have dessert once a week (but make it good).
  12. Do 5 sun salutations each morning when you wake up.

Mental & Social Resolutions

  1. Read more – a book a week? (Or at least 30 minutes a day, if the book is too long to read in a week.)
  2. Hang out with friends twice a week.
  3. Laugh often.
  4. Go to the movies, a concert, or another kind of show – 3-4 times a month.
  5. Stay hungry. Stay foolish. (What does this mean to you?)
  6. Join a credit union. (Going “local” for finances.)
  7. Track your spending and then find a way to save $100 each month (that’s just $25 a week, less than $5 a day).
  8. Meditate for 5 minutes a day (option to increase time on a weekly or bi-weekly basis).
  9. Go out on a date once a week with the husband. (Get dressed up!)
  10. Give away old or unused clothes. (Or any other items you’re not using.)
  11. Donate time to charity.
  12. Organize one area or room of your home each week.

My plan is to pick one from each list each month and stick with it. For the first month I’m going to do Food Resolution #1 (ditch the diet soda and artificial sweeteners) and Mental Resolution #1 (read a book a week). I already broke Food Resolution #1 by having diet soda yesterday and no-sugar-added ice cream (I think it had Splenda) at a dinner party, but I’m counting today as my start because I didn’t come up with my lists until today.

made in america 265x400 2011 New Years Resolutions

My book for the week is called Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States 2011 New Years Resolutions┬áby Bill Bryson (who also wrote A Walk in the Woods 2011 New Years Resolutions) (my dad got me the book for Christmas). The title may sound boring, but it is in fact packed with juicy tidbits about the evolution of American English as well as a much needed refresher on US History (I have forgotten most of what I learned in APUS). Did you know that the word dime (as in 10 cents) was originally supposed to be pronounced “deem”? It came from the French word disme, which meant “a tenth”.

I will leave you with this delicious salad that I bought at a little deli near my apartment for lunch today (about $6):

carve salad chicken 2011 New Years Resolutions

It has a mesclun-ish base, grilled chicken, roasted veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant), mushrooms, diced beets, and sauteed fajita veggies. The dressing was supposedly low-fat ranch, but who knows really.

What are your resolutions? Do you have multiple, or do you stick with one?

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16 Comments on 2011 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. sophia
    2 January, 2012 at 8:45 pm (2 years ago)

    Eat less? But that will make me unhappy and thus make my supposedly longer life not so nice to live…>:-p

    I have a bunch of resolutions. One of them is to hurry up and make a decision about my blog. I’m thinking of either quitting cold turkey or taking a long hiatus…

    • Maggie
      2 January, 2012 at 9:05 pm (2 years ago)

      @Sophia: Oh wow! Yes… hiatuses are good. I selfishly would not want you to quit, but I totally hear you on that front. Happy New Year :-) Will you be in NYC anytime?

    • Kath (My Funny Little Life)
      3 January, 2012 at 9:14 pm (2 years ago)

      I agree with Maggie that I’d like you not to quit entirely, but I can totally understand the need for some time off blogging.

  2. Kath (My Funny Little Life)
    3 January, 2012 at 9:13 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m sticking with just one – more playing in 2012. Happy New year to you, Maggie! :)

    • Maggie
      4 January, 2012 at 4:22 pm (2 years ago)

      @Kath: I’m adding play to my list :)

  3. coco
    4 January, 2012 at 6:34 am (2 years ago)

    I would be with you about reading more! that’s a must!!! so keep me updated about good books! :)
    happy new year Maggie! we should get together soon!

    • Maggie
      4 January, 2012 at 4:21 pm (2 years ago)

      @coco: Yes we DO need to hang out! I want to teach you a personal yoga class :) I’m loving the book I’m reading now, about the history of American English. Sounds boring but it has so many fun little random facts.

  4. Biz
    4 January, 2012 at 4:18 pm (2 years ago)

    Happy New Year Maggie! Love your resolutions – I ditched pop a long time ago, now I don’t even like the taste – not even my beloved Diet Dr. Pepper!

    Hugs!

    Biz

    • Maggie
      4 January, 2012 at 4:20 pm (2 years ago)

      @Biz: I’m impressed!! I always “quit” diet soda and go right back to it a few weeks later :P Love that you call it pop. My college roommate would call it that (I think we weaned her out of it over 4 years though).

  5. Jane
    7 January, 2012 at 9:31 am (2 years ago)

    Eat less? Eat nothing after dinner? Eat less grains?

    Sounds like diet mentality from a celebrity in one of those silly gossip and fitness magazines. Are you overweight or something? You don’t look it.

    • Maggie
      7 January, 2012 at 11:03 am (2 years ago)

      @Jane: Hi Jane! As I said, these are not necessarily my resolutions, but suggestions for others who may be reading – my readers tend to be on a weight-loss journey, or looking for ways to maintain their weight loss. As someone who lost weight in the past, these are all things that have helped me to lose it and keep the weight off. I also have PCOS which makes it especially hard for me to maintain the weight loss (and recently some of the weight has slowly been creeping back on!). The “eat less” thing has been shown in recent studies to extend your lifespan. Somehow I doubt that anyone who lives to be 100+ years old has an issue with binge eating. As for eating nothing after dinner, you’ll sleep better! Try having your big meal earlier on in the day. I feel much more refreshed in the morning when I had a small dinner the night before. And eating less grains – this is primal/paleo ideology – if you want to learn more, check out Mark’s Daily Apple. My site is not directed towards people looking to gain weight, or people who are trying to recover from an eating disorder. If you have any more questions don’t hesitate to email me or leave more comments :) I love feedback!

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