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
Ditch diet soda (and artificial sweeteners in general).
Eat less. (Makes you live longer.)
Go to a yoga class 2-3 times a week.
Get out for a 20 minute walk every day. Take a friend or family member.
Join a credit union. (Going “local” for finances.)
Track your spending and then find a way to save $100 each month (that’s just $25 a week, less than $5 a day).
Meditate for 5 minutes a day (option to increase time on a weekly or bi-weekly basis).
Go out on a date once a week with the husband. (Get dressed up!)
Give away old or unused clothes. (Or any other items you’re not using.)
Donate time to charity.
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.
My book for the week is called Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States by Bill Bryson (who also wrote A Walk in the Woods) (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):
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?
This morning I woke up again at 4:30am. It was totally natural – after crashing into bed around 9 or 9:15pm last night, waking up at 4:30am was just intuitive. The morning was extra happy because of these guys.
Sunflowers bought for Bobby on his birthday; pink flowers (do you know what kind?) that I got before going to France that magically still look great.
I brought back something very important from France: good instant (decaf) coffee. We don’t have this elusive product here in the states. Or perhaps I’m not looking in the right stores. I love Nescafe’s instant coffee because it tastes good and is quick to prepare.
This cup has some organic half & half and NuNaturals vanilla stevia drops. While in France I got into the habit of drinking too much regular coffee (espresso in fact) so I’m trying to stick with decaf for a while to nix the addiction.
To top off this peaceful morning I did a round of Diane Von Furstenberg exercises (yogic stretching and some ab work) and some random yoga on my own. Pretty much like this:
Definitely check out the DVF exercises – she looks great for her age so I believe in her workout. I found the routine about a year and a half ago when I read her book on beauty.
I don’t remember if I mentioned this but I’m doing Biz’s 101 Days of Summer – my goal is to lose 5-10 pounds that crept up on me over the last 1.5 years. I had lost about 5 of them last year before my wedding but they came right back over the winter Anyway, I lost about 1-2 before going to France and I actually didn’t gain anything while I was on vacation. My plan is to cut back on carbs a bit and do some kind of exercise for 30-60 minutes each day. So far it has mostly been walking but I have also done yoga and today I did the stretching routine I mentioned above. It’s basically the same plan as my Operation Wedding from last year (which worked). I would be very happy to lose just 5 more pounds and gain more muscle. I like looking toned and having what I call a “yoga body”.
I don’t know if it’s too late to join, but even if it is you should try doing some kind of challenge this summer. A bunch of bloggers are in on this one and it’s always fun to do things with a group.
Oh my. Even Bobby is on France time. He just got up and it is only 7:20am. This is completely insane. He says he went to sleep early last night (early = before 1am). I hope we keep these crazy schedules.
What is your sleep schedule like? How many hours do you get and what time to you go to bed/wake up?
Dr. Weil Rethinks Saturated Fats – I don’t remember when it was that I came around regarding saturated fats (they are not just not bad, they are essential for good health). Now Dr. Weil, a fairly well-known health advocate, is also coming around. Quote: “It now appears that many studies used to support the low-fat recommendation had serious flaws.”
Cool chart of the effectiveness of popular health supplements – the chart’s y-axis shows the evidence supporting popular “healthy” supplements like folic acid, green tea, and elderberry (many more). The higher on the chart the supplement is, the more evidence there is that it actually helps the person taking it.