I really love New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve made them my whole adult life and probably have, on average, a 60% completion rate in any given year. Frankly, I am quite thrilled with this (totally extra super scientific) statistic. However, over the last few weeks as I’ve been trying to come up with resolutions for 2017 I went back through the last several years and realized, with a bit of horror, that my resolutions are almost exactly the same, year after year.
Let me explain.
Once upon a time (cough, 2011) I read 13 books for the year. This may seem like a pretty solid number for some of you, and that is TOTALLY FINE! But for me, it was jaw dropping, because I liked to describe myself as a bookworm, I would drive hundreds of miles for a used book sale for crying out loud, how could I–a self-professed bookaholic–only manage to read 13 books that year? Well, part of it was I was finishing my last semester of college, and I wasn’t counting college texts as “reading” (Das Kapital, I’m looking at you, you big lug!). But I realized that I was not prioritizing reading in practice nearly as much as I was in my head. So, for 2012 I made a resolution to read 50 books, a huge jump. Goodreads tells me I read 59 that year, a number that has continued to increase year after year. At this point, I no longer need to make a resolution to read a suitable-to-me-number of books per year, because bookaholic-level reading is now enough of a habit that I would do it regardless.
But my other annual resolution things? The ones involving healthy eating and regular exercise and more financially savvy spending/saving habits? Yeah…those aren’t habits yet. I will go a few months doing really well, and then make a flying leap off the bandwagon and go wander around in a corn field for a while. Or something. Metaphors aren’t always my thing, okay?
Finalizing my resolutions, I realized that some are so similar year after year because I have yet to commit them to Life Habits That I Don’t Need To Check Off A List, they are still aspirations that need constant reminding and tending and some kind of reward system. And…I think that’s okay? Yes, I think it is. I know I will be happier and healthier if I replace some of those cookies with green beans, and some of the Netflix sessions with a walk around the neighborhood. But my natural state is more sloth-and-cookies, not green beans-and-cardio, so back onto the Resolution list it goes.
Like previous years, I tend to have a few categories with a couple of co-dependent goals in each one, the goals work together to help me accomplish something great within that category. So, here it goes.
- Create a weekly schedule every Sunday, stick to it (this has worked SO WELL for meal planning and grocery shopping, time to apply that kind of planning to the rest of my life.
- Write daily, including posts three times per week on feistyharriet.com.
- Dedicate time to create something/work on a creative project at least twice per month.
- Select a Master’s program and submit the damn application.
- Figure out a “Date Your Spouse” project with Mr. Blue Eyes, deliberately creating time and space for our relationship to strengthen and deepen.
- Back to my “fighting weight” (I have never been in a physical fight), which requires another 25 pounds of weight loss. After losing 25 pounds earlier this year and then keeping it off, I am ready to start Phase II of this project!
- Sweat or be active four days per week, at least 30 minutes.
- Three 4-week stretches of no sugars whatsoever (including most carbohydrates). I am in the first week of stretch #1, I’ll choose two other months to do this kind of “reset” thru the year.
- Continue regular meal planning, cooking dinners at home, and healthy eating.
- Landscaping in the front yard (we did the backyard this year and I LOVE IT SO MUCH!)
- Finish painting the kids’ bedrooms
- Host six dinner parties (something I’ve always WANTED to do on the regular, but am always too worried it won’t be perfect so I don’t even send an invite. Want to conquer this bizarre fear this year.
- Three “no spend” months (January, August, and another one, TBD)
- Make an automatic monthly transfer into my savings account that is untouchable, it’s not being saved for a project or trip, it’s just being set aside for later.
- [Redacted resolution about work/money stuffs…not ready to blog about it yet]
- Use my passport! Twice!?
- Visit two new National Parks
- Go camping, at least overnight, four times this year. We’ve got all the gear, I want to use it!
And there it is! It’s kind of a lot, but also most are things I am at least attempting to make a consistent part of my life already, my hope is that 2017 will be the year I finally level up in adulting: taking care of my body, taking care of my relationships, taking care of my finances, and taking care of my needs for a creative outlet, and adventure.
What are your resolutions this year?