Let me line it all out for you as I see it:
- Resolutions begin on January first. I take issue with this because it seems to me that if a person really wanted to change and make some broad difference they'd simply do so; they wouldn't put it off until a certain time or day on a calendar. Why put off what you can do today? I suppose the answer is because you really don't effing want to do it today. If that's the case, why will your feelings be any different tomorrow or Monday or the first of January?
- Resolutions are often way too broad and never specific enough. What I mean is that all too often people resolve to "eat better" or "be more fit" or "lose 50 pounds" or "stop being a slut." While these are all admirable goals they are all too vague and really big. Essentially, these resolutions, and so many others, are often the type that eventually seem insurmountable and abandoned.
I guess we're all screwed then. I might as well just eat my face off, buy a power chair (at little or no cost to you) and let myself melt into my microsuede sofa. Or I could take the idea of resolutions - positive change - a little more realistic and attainable and feel good as shit about myself. And as much as I like cheesy poofs and motorized mobility I think I like self-improvement better.
So, instead of the typical, overreaching, totally ridiculous resolutions, I suggest the following:
- Be specific and take baby steps: Change is hard. Big, broad change is even harder. Do yourself a huge favor and don't make things too difficult. Instead of being vague and having the goal of "being more active" make the smaller goal of going for a 20 minute run. Did it? Good. Now make the goal again. Then maybe make the goal run for 20 minutes four days a week. When that get easy keep adding to your goal and eventually you might just be at the original, big goal without even realizing it.
- Write it down: As humans we are incredibly visual beings. It might sound cliche, but actually writing down and seeing your goals on paper makes you far more likely to actually getting them done. Write them in a journal, on a whiteboard, or do what I do and grab a dry-erase marker and put them on your mirror where you're forced to face them everyday.
- Stay accountable to someone other than yourself: While it's one thing to give up on yourself, its another to give up on someone else. Keeping this in mind, enlist a friend/roommate/relative/random bum to keep you accountable. Maybe even get crazy and work toward the same or similar goals together. Don't have a friend to help you out? It might sound corny, but an App can do the same thing. Hell, you can even email me. For serious.
- Reward yourself, similarly, punish yourself: It's easy to reward yourself for completing something you set out to do, but what if you don't do it. Yup, you need to make not completing that goal cost you something. For example, maybe you'll have to cut out your morning coffee (and wouldn't that shit suck) if you miss your yoga class the night before. Life isn't just about reward, it's about sacrifice as well.
So lets talk about this full circle by using my own experience. Way back before the turn of the year in the darkness of December (see, not a typical resolution) I said I would "blog more." Clearly this has proven to be a most epic failure. So I took a step back, got realistic and made a smaller, measurable goal that seems attainable and then wrote it down. Instead of being vague, I decided I would make the goal of blogging three times a week. If I blog more, good for me. If I blog less I don't get to watch Toddlers and Tiaras. What can I say? I like my trash TV. Better stick to this blogging thing.
What's your goal? Make a commitment to yourself and leave it here in the comment section!