A few years ago, I set close to 30 resolutions for the new year.
I know I included a few silly items like “buy more cute socks,” but most of the items were new endeavors that I never crossed off my list. They included fairly typical, year-end mandates about exercising more, making radical changes to my wardrobe, and changing my physical appearance through diet. Though a rush of adrenaline and desire to foster change made my listmaking easy, following through was considerably more difficult.
It’s easy to say resolutions don’t work and leave it at that, but the simple truth is that I got distracted by fantasies of my “New Me!” results and didn’t consider the effort and expense required by the massive changes I was taking on. Case in point, my list included buying new living room furniture… without taking into account my budget or the fact that someone was still going to have to pay the rent and utilities while I languished on a new sofa. A much smaller step, such as ‘shop Goodwill for a secondhand ottoman; purchase by February 28’ would have likely resulted in the acquisition of furniture at a pace and financial output I could handle.
When setting goals, it’s best to be realistic.
The year has changed but the stroke of midnight didn’t make me a new person. One radical change I’ve been considering is to eat a vegan diet more often. As a lifelong omnivore, I know I need to be true to my taste buds. Rather than announcing that I am now vegan, I’ve been reading about the subject, finding recipes that sound appealing, and speaking with friends who are or have been vegans rather than starting the first week of January with nothing but salads and wondering why I’m unfulfilled and, worse, unsuccessful. My goal is to eat three vegan meals a week by the time autumn rolls around. Giving myself time to attain a goal will keep me motivated and make success easier to come by.
Resolutions for change around the home are also entirely manageable, but they too must be reachable goals.
It’s extremely easy to scribble down “paint the exterior of the house,” but I’m wary of heights, which means I’m unlikely to find myself on a ladder with a bucket of paint come spring. In this case, doing what I can, e.g., painting the first floor, and hiring a contractor to finish the job works well for my needs. I also want to burglar-proof my home and have given myself a set of small tasks to see that goal to completion. First, a new deadbolt on the front door. Second, updated locks on the windows. Third, the installation of an ADT home security system. I won’t be living in a fortress overnight, but each step I take will help me feel accomplished and safer.
Always keep in mind that change is ongoing.
There’s no need to let end of the year be the time for the big changes you want to make in your life. Get started, whether it’s January 1, the middle of July, or a week before Thanksgiving, and watch your goals get marked as “completed.”
About the author: Danielle, who blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands, enjoys entertaining and socializing as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She has a weakness for new running socks and old family recipes.