Guest Post: Try It and See
Hi friends! So I have another guest posty treat for you guys today! My very good friend, Lara, is here to talk about her non-resolution New Year’s resolutions. Which, as you know if you read my New Year’s post, is something that I am SO on board with. Forget New Year’s-specific resolutions — why can’t we just make LIFE resolutions? Not affixed to an arbitrary date, not riddled with stigmas of failure and give-uppery…
Anyway! Evidently Lara and I are seeing pretty eye-to-eye on this front, so I’ll just let her take it from here.
Happy week-after-New-Year’s everyone! Have you quit kept up with your resolutions so far?
Gretchen is a great friend of mine, and she is being so generous and letting me do a little guest post for her! Thanks Gretch . We have been friends for about three years now, and throughout our friendship we have both made lots of resolutions and goals and promises. We’ve kept some (like keeping in touch), but some have fallen to the way-side.
This post is kind of about resolutions, but mostly about just being better at life in general. I think it’s safe to say that, for the average Joe like me, resolutions don’t work. I remember sitting at my good friend’s New Year’s Day wedding two years ago resolving to lose 20 pounds. And, well, I’m pretty sure I’ve gained at least half of that instead.
So, this year, I’m going to try a different approach.
The first step of solving any problem is to pin-point what makes it a problem to begin with. Why don’t resolutions stick? (Please note that this is simply MY list of set-backs. Yours may be, and probably is, completely different, and that’s okay!)
1. I don’t plan out how I’m going to achieve my goals (and then I forget to track them) – This might be the biggest reason resolutions fail for me. Let’s take that 20 pound weight loss goal from two years ago. 20 pounds isn’t a ton. It’s pretty obtainable with a plan. “Eating better” and “working out more” are good thoughts, but they’re not achievable because there’s nothing to track them against. On day one I need to plan out what I’m going to eat and how often I’m going to work out, and then I need to stick to it. Make a chart, put it on the calendar, set alarms in the cell phone, blog about it – whatever it takes.
2. I try too much, too soon – For argument’s sake, let’s say I had only one resolution. (I usually have about 10 but let’s stick to just one.) Keeping with the weight loss example, here’s how I’ve attempted that one in the past: I immediately start counting calories and limit myself to 1300 calories a day, effectively cutting off all indulgences. Simultaneously, I start hitting the gym, oh I don’t know, six times a week or so. After about two weeks of this, I convince myself that I have “earned” a dessert or a day off from the gym, and then that day off turns into a week off, which turns into never-eating-a-salad-or-working-out-ever-again. Phew. So, needless to say, it’s important for me to ramp up to these things and form an actual habit, rather than sinking or swimming. (Apparently I never learned to swim.)
3. My goals change over time – Seriously, and be honest with me, what could you possibly do for an entire year without having something more interesting/important/exciting come up? My interests change about as often as my underwear, so it’s really hard for me to plan to be interested in one thing for 12 entire months. Maybe that speaks to why I quit after a few weeks? Maybe at first my goal was to lose 20 pounds, but then it was simply to live a healthier lifestyle. That new healthy lifestyle showed me that I love horseback riding and hiking, and soon my goals are entirely focused on how far or fast I can hike, instead of just losing some weight. Sure the latter will (hopefully) contribute to the former, but as my life changes, my goals change, and I think that’s completely normal! So, why would I set a 12 month goal? I’m going to focus on big picture, and know that my goals will change over time. More importantly, I’m going to be okay with it.
Great… this “non-Resolution” post seems awwwfully resolution-y. Well, here’s where things are going to change. I am going to start a list of the things that are important to me right now. Like, right this second in this tiny snapshot of my life. And then I’m going to assume that they will change. With those things in mind, I am going to set planned out, obtainable and track-able goals, starting slow and embracing the changes my life throws at me. Be on the lookout for a new series on the blog about these goals and changes, since I’ll need some help being kept accountable.
Here are a few important-to-me-now items:
- Get serious about training my dog
- Get in shape (for my life and my wedding)
- Spend more time in the kitchen
- Take more (and better) pictures for my blog
- Make more (or just more quality) time for my fiancé
Head on over to Try It and See Blog to see how I’m going to tackle these as life goals, not New Year’s Resolutions.
From Gretchen: What’s your latest (and greatest) LIFE resolution right now? I have many, of course, but for now, I think #1 is obviously to finally get rid of these last 20 libbies. IT SHALL BE DONE.