Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Best and Worst Part of New Years

Sitting in my parent's house, surfing the internet for two more days until I head back to Chicago, I began thinking about my New Year's resolutions. I've never actually made a New Year's resolution, I always thought they were silly, thinking I should always be striving to do my best. But sometimes a few thought-out set-in-stone goals are necessary to develop the habits that you know will make you a happier person. 

The usual resolutions vaguely look something like this:
          1. Lose weight
          2. Dress better
          3. Read more
          4. Spend less money

The problem here is that these resolutions provide little to hold on to. They're too general. Lose weight...should be satisfied and feel accomplished when I wake up one morning with a pound less of water weight? Or maybe I'm just supposed to continue to lose weight the entire year, leaving this goal never really accomplished. 

But if I want to be a little more focused: 
          1. Lose 12.5 lbs. - how do I know I will be happy here? What if I look too skinny? What if I   want to lose more?
          2. After I lose 12.5 lbs., I will need to buy all new clothing, which opens up an opportunity to dress better. Buy nice clothing. But at the end of the day, don't I really like to just dry my hair, do my makeup, and throw on a nice pair of jeans and sweater before heading to work? I'm really not that high maintenance. 
          3. Read one book per month - I read on my way to and from work. And after I get home at 7pm, make dinner, eat dinner, hang out with boyfriend, pick up the apartment, get anything set for the next day, when am I supposed to add time for EXTRA reading? What if I pick up a 1000-pager that's supposed to be good? Am I still obligated to finish that in 30 days? Ugh. 
          4. Spend $1,527.99 on self in one year - How practical is that? And once I lose that 12.5 lbs. I'll need to buy new clothes anyway, and they have to be GOOD clothes to accomplish resolution #2, so I think we can just can #4.

What is a 20-something to do? What would Martha Stewart do?

I do want to lose weight, look better, read more, feel more cultured, and save money. All respectable goals. It's so difficult to find a happy medium! I have so much more control with my all-or-nothing attitude. But perhaps 2013 would be a happier year if I learned to be a bit more flexible. 

I think I could make a 100-strong list of what I'd like to accomplish in 2013. 

As I'm thinking of the best way to establish some goals to REALLY achieve, a few rules/ideas are coming to mind: 

         1. Be systematic, but flexible - prioritize your goals/resolutions; set dates for them to be accomplished, or ideas of date to be accomplished, and create a mental guidebook of how you're going to achieve them. But if going to the gym 5 times per week becomes unrealistic after that big promotion, whatever. 
          2. Prioritize - which resolutions are most important to me? Do any of them have a deadline? 

           3. Start small and get bigger with confidence - If I want to lose 10 lbs, I'm going to make it my goal to lose 4 consistent lbs by March. Then maybe 2 more consistent lbs by May. And so on.

          4. Don't try to do it all in January - Maybe the most important, if I try to accomplish my 100 goals all in the first 30 days, I will no doubt be defeated. As soon as I want something, I'm a do it, get it, buy it, have it, use it IMMEDIATELY kind of person. Learn to chill out, let things take time, and space it out.  

My little buddy and I are going to sit down with a notebook and make a list: 

What would make 2013 better than 2012? 

Because that is the ultimate goal, right? We'll report back with our findings. 

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