You Say You Want a Resolution…

by Rachel on December 15, 2009

With just two weeks left in 2009, Resolutions are having their moment!!

Since I love goals, it should come as no surprise that I dig resolutions. I make them and I usually keep them. One year, I resolved to get more sleep — that was great! It resulted in better grades and I’ve been a diligent sleeper ever since. Other resolutions that I remember have been to stop using my cell when driving and to be more green. This year’s res was to run a race for charity. (I did two! And that led to me training for a marathon!) All good things!

However, I do take issue with some aspects of the whole resolution thing, and I’m sure you do too. First, there’s the whole attitude that a resolution MUST be about weight loss. Ehhh…nah. Not at all really. “Lose weight” lacks creativity. And I get really annoyed by the influx of diet books that debut around this time. (Unless it is my own. Which I hope it is, come 1/1/12.) Like everything else in America, it’s just a marketing thing, and it’s one that seems to lead people to binge eat their way through the month of December. They mumble, “Imma start on New Year’s Day!” through a mouthful of sugar cookie crumbs. Sigh.

Then there’s the fact that so few people keep their resolutions. And I just hate that people not keeping their resolutions IS a fact. Let’s just start keeping our resolutions, people!!! But hey, maybe you couldn’t keep them because you were just pressured into making a ridiculous weight-loss resolution. People always just say, “I want to lose weight,” instead of putting some time and thought into what they can accomplish and what they truly want to accomplish. I think some people just make weight loss a resolution so they can get away with breaking it under the “No one keeps resolutions” clause. Perhaps they should make the resolution that is actually meaningful to them and they can actually accomplish…and then just maybe go to the gym and stop eating KFC and not call it anything at all.

Fact: I have never made weight loss a resolution. And I have lost a set of kindergarten twins.

Of course, I would never say don’t make health, fitness, or exercise a resolution. But let’s upgrade here. Remember the SMART technique we learned about in Shed U? Keep that in mind as you set your resolution. (And go re-read that post while you’re at it. It’s one of my favorites.)

You know I make monthly goals, and I really think that’s a good way to do things for 2010; it’s easier to remember them and stick with them! You can still make an overall resolution, but then set monthly goals to help you achieve it. So, if you want to do a “lose weight” or “eat healthier” goal (“eat healthier” is another shitty, vague resolution just begging to be broken), then start with goals for January and February. Maybe it will be “start packing a healthy lunch every day” or “only go to Steak N Shake once a month.” Want to lose weight? OK…how are you going to do it? Diet? Exercise? Do you need to join Weight Watchers? Do you need to join a gym? See…you have to think about it! People make their resolutions with this amazing end goal in mind, but don’t spend any time thinking about how they are going to get there. Seriously, the getting there is…well, you know I’m all about the getting!

My New Year’s resolution last year honestly changed the course of my life; when I started training for my first race, a half-marathon, I got hurt. The consequences of the two weeks I spent out of my crazy job and in bed, wondering what was wrong with my body (slash my life), put a lot of things in perspective…and a lot of major life changes in motion.

However, your resolution can be small-but-mighty! My friend Tracy told me her res last year was to floss more. LOVE IT. Simple, doable, and worthwhile! (Or hey, perhaps this is the year you FINALLY START TAKING YOUR MAKE-UP OFF BEFORE BED. Just sayin’.)

I think (Monthly Goal x 12 = NYR) is a great way to do things, because at the end of 2010, you’ll have this cool kind of chapter-book year of all the ways you achieved your New Year’s resolution!

So…you have two weeks. Start thinking. Write some notes. Write some major goals. Watch Oprah. Figure things out. Then work out the details. Make goals for the first few months. Are they Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely? If not, start over. Take this seriously! It’s 2010! You can’t mess up on the first year of a new DECADE, so pull it together and come up with something good!

Or… just floss more!

Yeah, resolutions are a marketing scheme, but it doesn’t have to be an excuse to buy P90x and then let it gather dust….use it as an excuse to think about what you want and what you’ll get. And then you’re (we’re) going to get it.

Dec 29th. Be here. We’re posting resolutions. (OK I feel like I’m hazing you guys, but seriously…I can’t wait to hear everything you come up with in the next two weeks!!)

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura Georgina December 15, 2009 at 9:41 am

Looove this post, and girl, do I second your annoyance at the “I resolve to lose weight” New Year’s resolution brigade! Two years ago, I actually stuffed my face with Spam at work, on a regular basis, throughout the month of January just to annoy the resolution girls (and yep, earned myself a big fat tire, but at least I showed THEM!).

I’ve never set resolutions before, but I will do it this year because this past year has taught me that I’m the persistence queen and can do things I never thought I could before. I need to work on concrete resolutions towards a general “have a positive mindset” goal (for big resolutions) and a “clear out shoes you have not used for three years” (for an nice easy small one).

So this post will be read and re-read as I work through them. I’m sure you’ll have fun developing yours!
.-= Laura Georgina´s last blog ..Tobago Whirlwind Weekend, Recap Part 1 =-.

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2 katie December 15, 2009 at 12:33 pm

my friend and i started doing monthly goals for 2009 [in addition to celebrating each new month by meeting up for dinner or brunch together] and i will say it definitely made me more likely to keep my goals when we discussed them [and also posted them and the results on my blog]. i’m hoping to continue doing so in 2010, and be even more successful next year!
.-= katie´s last blog ..adventuresofthemrandmrs:tresladies:i so need this shirt. =-.

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3 Rachel December 15, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Oh I love the idea of having a meet-up to go over goals! That is such a good way to keep them!

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4 Veggie Booty December 15, 2009 at 3:06 pm

I’ve never been a big fan of resolutions – I resolved to quit smoking three years in a row before it happened in the middle of the summer – but this post may have been the inspiration I need to do it! I seriously want to set aside an hour to just think about what I want to change in my life. MAYBE I’ll make doing *that* one of my goals for this week!

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5 Rachel December 15, 2009 at 9:09 pm

I got the biggest grin on my face when you said thinking about your goals was going to be your goal!!

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6 Anne December 15, 2009 at 4:00 pm

How did you know I bought P90X and it’s gathering dust? {looks for hidden camera} I like the idea of monthly doable goals. Just like anything else, take baby steps and before you know it you are at your destination and it wasn’t near as hard as you thought. Two years ago I resolved to lose 25 pounds by working out more and eating better. I actually lost 30, then lost my job and I think 20 of those pounds found me again. Time to shake them off again, for good. Now to put some thought into my resolutions.
.-= Anne´s last blog ..Answer: Because I Don’t Like A Cold Butt First Thing In The Morning #TargetGiftGiving =-.

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7 Rachel December 15, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Ughh I hate when pounds find me. Like most bad things, they always find me when I’m drunk.

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8 Burton Haynes December 31, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Very informative blog on nutrition and weight loss. I think many could benefit from reading your blog therefore I am subscribing to it and telling all my friends.

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