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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