Happy New Year! Resolving to make better resolutions

So, happy new year! It’s still a new year, isn’t it? At a week old, I like to think of it as new. Good as new! With a new year comes new resolutions, and in an effort to keep mine, I’ve been making them easier than ever.

I quite like a new year – a blank page fresh with possibilities. A time of new beginnings and hope, a time to set those priorities straight, refocus those goals and start some good habits – before you’ve had a chance to funk it all up.

I’m a big fan of resolutions. But to be honest, most of mine each year are kind of the same. Which is a bit disheartening when you find a piece of paper that says “Goals for 2006” on it. Cross out the heading, change the year and reuse. : /

I still have those goals (usually get fit, finish the novel) but in an effort to actually keep my resolutions, over the last few years, I’ve been making them a lot simpler. It’s fun. And it works! Some recent ones have been:

1)    To not diet. (Success!)
2)    To not cut my hair for a year. (Made it!)
3)    To party more (Not bad, could do better)
4)    To go to more bars (Still working on that one)

I feel surprisingly chuffed when the year is out. So for 2013 I’ve decided I need a new inane resolution. So far, the best I’ve come up with is: To wear all those items of clothing I never wear at least once, and then give them away. So you may see me looking like a bit of a clown for the next few months. Any other suggestions? And what are your resolutions? I’d love to know.

As for keeping those more important resolutions – apparently just by making them you are doing better than those who don’t. According to The New York Times:

1) Whatever you hope for this year — to lose weight, to exercise more, to spend less money — you’re much more likely to make improvements than someone who hasn’t made a formal resolution.

2) If you can make it through the rest of January, you have a good chance of lasting a lot longer.

But how best to stick to resolutions? Some people say make them public so you’re accountable. Or pair up with a buddy you can report to once a week. (Yep, still haven’t cut my hair!) Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a group forum where we could do such things? There is a website, invented by some Yale boffins, called StickK, which is designed to make you accountable to your goals – by buddying up with people and having anti-rewards like money going to a charity you hate (eg roo shooters society).

This smart man, Robert Pagliarini, from the Huffington Post says to approach your resolutions by breaking them down into day-week-month segments – so, can I do it for a day? Yes, I’ve done it for a few days, can I do it for a week?… etc.

And how many resolutions should you make? I don’t really know. My good friend makes several and has even categorised them. If she makes many, she’ll at least stick to a few, she reckons. Also, not all her hopes are hanging off succeeding at one thing. Others, like Zen Habits guru Leo Babauta, suggest just taking on one new habit at a time, so as not to get overwhelmed. According to “science” you also have a finite amount of willpower – so it’s best not to try to take on too many things at once. That especially applies to boyfriends. Bad idea.

I’m somewhere in between and I’ll go for two or three. (Resolutions, not boyfriends.) So far, I’m trying to do yoga every day. Easy when on holidays, let’s see how it lasts into the work week! Also, it’s good to remember if you funk up, don’t give up! “Falling off the wagon is feedback, not failure.”  (The Daily Mail.) The only failure is in not continuing to try. Now before I start to sound too much like a motivational squeaker (blogging makes wankers of us all), I better go and inspect my wardrobe to see what weird ensemble I can create for tomorrow.

OK, now I’ve told you mine, you tell me yours!

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10 Responses to Happy New Year! Resolving to make better resolutions

  1. Mr. P says:

    I resolve to make no resolutions. No, wait. Damnit!

  2. Murray says:

    I haven’t completely sorted mine yet, but I’ve often heard the “tell others” one, but also to make them specific. Rather than say “do X more”, say “do X every day or twice a week,” or “write 1000 words of the novel every day.”

    I hope to be back with updates on mine – once I make them more specific. 😉

  3. Guy reader says:

    My resolutions are:
    – Smile at everyone. Especially the tricky people. Really especially the guy at work who shows up at my desk with a difficult, time-consuming and very, very urgent problem at 4:58pm.
    – Share a first world problem with total strangers. Tick
    – Give up cricket, pig shooting, heroin, and toothless prostitutes. Tick x 4.
    – Invent a new themed fundraising month. (like Movember). Cape-ril has already been thought of. How about Sock-tober? Fan-uary? Or we could do daily walkathons in March.
    – Replace my Dad and Uncle-style puns with something funny. No really. That shit is important. People will possibly kick and hit me less.
    – Get better at feigning empathy in the workplace, the supermarket, family gatherings, etc.
    – Name drop whenever possible.
    – Skip instead of walk.
    – Steal other people’s ideas, change them a bit, and successfully pass them off as my own (very clever) ideas.
    – Learn to tap dance. Be able to tear newspaper into tiny pieces with my feet, on roller-skates, in the rain.
    – Watch more Gene Kelly movies
    – Watch more movies, period.
    – OK, so anything with 90% shooting, car chases, sexy-looking spies with very large, easily-identifyable lips (whether in or out of “disguise”), much running, and little in the way of memorable dialogue doesn’t count as an actual movie.
    – Actually, it would be good to stop watching those all together. Remember what happened last time I travelled with work and attempted hotel room free-running. (Get from the bed to the ensuite and back without touching the floor).
    – Clean blood off hotel room coffee table *before* leaving.
    – Stop telling whopping lies to emergency room staff / my boss. A twisted ankle / minor head trauma from my unsuccessful hotel room free-running attempt is not a “sporting injury”.
    – To practice at boggle, and actually beat my 8-year old cousin at it next family Christmas gathering. In your face, loser.
    – Aww, there’s a cute family of fluffy bunny rabbits on the lawn! (not a resolution, just an observation).
    – Swap watching TV for jogging.
    – Swap chocolate for an apple.
    – Swap a baked mango cheesecake for a handfull of raw lentils.
    – Swap shopping for hunting, gathering, and making my own clothes out of old sheets.

    There’s probably others, but that’s a good start.

    GR.

  4. Liberty says:

    Mine is to cook one new recipe every week (by reading all my cook books) and to make them predominantly vegan.

  5. Basil Lancaster says:

    Well I’ve made a few news years resolutions, they are the same echo of years past I suppose.
    1. Cut down on drinking/smoking…
    2. Work on my creative stuff more…
    3. Slay the dragon that has been burning down all those villages…

    Unfortunately I usually end up falling off the wagon soon after new years day though because
    my birthday is on the 5th of January.
    So inevitably I end up riding a fire breathing dragon around town with a whiskey in one hand a smoke in the other when I should be writing or drawing or making some music.

    Lucky for me I always have the trusty Chinese New Year to fall back on.
    So until Sunday the 10th of Feb I make no promises…
    I will however try to keep the dragon away from whiskey in future…
    I think he might of had a bit of a bender since Saturday thus the smoldering state of Australia at present.

  6. Mandy M says:

    My goals are a bit more fun this year but still require a bit of effort.
    1. Be healthier. I don’t want to be thin I want to be strong.
    2. Start a ladies poker nights with my girl pals. I don’t see them enough and I like the odd punt.
    3. Go on a road trip. Cheap flights have made road trips redundant but I remember them as being good fun.
    4. Work hard without complaint. Hard work pays off and complaining is boring.

    • admin says:

      They’re great! I totally know what you mean about being strong and not thin. I’m the same. Did you see the mega-popular inspirational video about the guy named Arthur who changed his life by doing yoga? That’s the yoga I’m doing now. First time I’ve looked forward to exercise in a long while and so much easier than getting down to the gym. I can see myself getting stronger, which is great. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX9FSZJu448
      Also: Road trip x poker = awesome

  7. admin says:

    In case this pingbacks to my commenters, I will announce that I have finally written that follow-up blog I promised two months ago. The March Slump

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