Happy 2016, everyone!
I sincerely hope everyone had a great holiday season and are ready to take on the new year!
I used to make resolutions every damn year, and I have to admit I still make goals of some sort even though I know I am probably setting myself up for something other than stellar succes. This year, it’s a ‘must do’ list. I must eat more healthy food than non-healthy food. I must learn something new. I must write something every day. I must not give up on living a creative life.
I am hoping that with the ‘must’ in there, that it will mean something more to me and hence, I will actually do these things. So far, so good!
BUT… more often than not, I fail at some point in the year. But at the beginning of every year or every season, I still make goals. It’s more about my love of lists, I think.
I know it’s so easy to groan and roll your eyes when your friends, family, coworkers, and 3rd cousins once removed or whatnot start posting about their salads and whole foods, gluten-free, sugar-free, taste-free meals on Facebook. Because you know in a few weeks, you’re gonna see them checking in at the neighborhood hot dog stand at 2am and groaning about how they ate a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s on yet another lonely, boring Saturday night.
I get it. It’s annoying to see the same things happen over and over again. My advice? Get the fuck off Facebook. Make that YOUR goal this year: less social media, more real life interactions. AND, cut your friends some slack. They truly want to better themselves. Yes, maybe they’re going about it the wrong way with the wrong attitude. After all, it shouldn’t matter when you start a goal or resolution. Start them at any ol’ time of the year. But for those of us little fat kids at heart, it’s hard to not eat a goddamn piece of pie (or several pies) during the holidays. So, either help a sister out with her weight loss/get healthy goals or shut the fuck up.
And for those of you who are starting a new healthy habit or a “new you” goal, hang in there. If you fumble, get up, brush those cake crumbs off your lap, and try again. Perseverance is what will get you through this mess you got yourself into… no matter the naysayers. You’re gonna have to want it and want it bad. If you don’t, then you’re better off moving on to something else.
You got this. Happy New Year!
This is what I had written at the beginning of the year and had set out to accomplish throughout 2015…
Goal 1: Write 1st draft of novel by my birthday at the end of July.
- Commit to writing a least an hour a day.
- Ummm… make more action items once I know what they are??
Goal 2: Continue the growth of Wanderwhirl.
- Blog at least 2x a week
- Use my DSLR at least twice a month
Goal 3: Cultivate real relationships.
- Check Facebook no more than once per day (clear the clutter or delete it altogether)
- Go to a meetup or some social event at least once a month
- Video chat, message, or otherwise interact with brother, sisters, & close friends once a month
Goal 4: Tone up and lose the excess fat by my birthday.
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Eat at least one vegetable with two meals a day
- Do more intensive exercise 3x a week
- Limit sugar consumption to a special treat no more than once a week
Goal 5: Learn something new.
- For one hour, study a foreign language, crochet (or practice an instrument?) 3x a week
And surprise, surprise… this isn’t working for me. I thought that if I tried to instill habits that I would achieve my goals more easily. Ha!
Nope. Not even close.
I think my problem with goals is that they’re too concrete. I’ve never been one to say “I’m going to do X, Y, and Z.” and then I do X, Y, and Z. It’s never happened. Never ever.
So, why do I keep trying? I don’t know. Because I’m a glutton for punishment? Because I dislike success? Because society tells me to have goals? Because that’s how normal people apparently accomplish shit!?
Well, at least I have the ‘try try again’ attitude, right? *sigh* Obviously, setting goals does nothing for me. After almost 40 years of age, I have finally realized that and ya know what, that’s OK. I’m gonna embrace it. No more denial. This is who I am. Let’s just add ‘unable to achieve goals’ to my life profile and get on with it, shall we?
So, I got to thinking “What’s wrong with this list? Why can’t I achieve these things?”
Well, let’s hash it out…
- I’m distracted, scared, and overwhelmed.
- Some days, I don’t feel like writing. Some days, I want to wear pajamas, lounge on the sofa with the pups, and watch a movie.
- Sometimes, I just want a damn cupcake more than once a week. Do I do it? No, but goddammit.. I want to!
- A lot of the times, I’m lazy and don’t want to exercise.
- Who has the time to learn something new while tackling all the other things and also battling the roadblocks of no motivation and fear!?
You can also say the goals aren’t specific enough or the habits aren’t specific enough or maybe they’re too specific… or I’m trying to do too much all at once. And yes, all of those things are true.
Another truth is that I’m actually doing OK with a lot of these goals, but I find myself looking at this list from time to time and berating myself for not being further along or doing better. It’s so self-defeating that it makes me want to quit altogether instead of pushing me to work harder.
So, I have decided a better route for me would be to conceptualize this shit. Make more abstract “goals” that can be open to interpretation and evaluation at the end of the year.
Does that make sense? It makes sense in my head.
Of course, a lot of things make sense in my head.
Basically, I’m scrapping the idea of trying to achieve any single thing by some arbitrary deadline.
Because really, this is what I want to be:
- More creative
- More social
- More active
- More knowledgable
And, my action plan is simple really. I intend to keep these words in the forefront of my mind for the year, and we’ll see what comes to fruition.
I will be more mindful in my day to day life.
How about you?
*Image taken on Christmas Day 2014 along the Rattlesnake Ridge trail
We’re three weeks into 2015 already. How is that happening!? January is rapidly getting away from us!
So, how are y’all doing with your resolutions, goals, or new habits? No doubt you’ve fallen off the wagon already, right? Yeah… me too.
And ya know what, that’s OK. It happens to most (if not all) of us. The important thing to remember is to not beat yourself up about it or give up on your aspirations. Each day is a new day. Each moment is a new moment.
I don’t know about you, but I always, always want immediate results. Of course, life doesn’t work that way. The best things – the things you’ll be most proud of in your life… those things will take the most time and the most effort. Those are the things you will also find the most difficult to attain. However, the reward in the end and most importantly, the journey to get there, will be one of your proudest achievements.
So, don’t give up.
Go ahead and finish that snickers bar while hunched over your desk. I get it.
And after that? Get up off your ass, and take a walk. Even if it’s just for a few moments around the office. Grab a glass of water. Do some deep breathing. Stretch your legs. Release the stress in your neck and shoulders.
Then… let that moment go.
Get over the guilt of eating a candy bar when you should have had a piece of fruit or some light protein to get you through the rest of the workday. That moment is done and over with already. No take backs.
But… the next moment is a new moment. And… the next day is a new day.
So whatever wagon you’ve fallen off this new year, stop moaning and whining about being a failure and hop back on that wagon already.
You can do it.
*Image taken at Piers 62/63 on the Seattle waterfront – “If it makes you less sad, we’ll start talking again. You can tell me how vile I already know I am.”