Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Resolutions: Let's Get Personal!

Happy new year!!

I was lying in bed on New Year's Eve around 11:30 (yeah, lame, I know...didn't make it until midnight!), thinking about resolutions.  Did you make any resolutions?  Have you ever before? Have you ever fully kept a resolution?  Why did you make it?  Just because everybody says you're supposed to come January 1st?

I've never really been one to set resolutions and I think I have figured out why.  I just can't seem to find motivation simply in the fact that yesterday was the 31st and today is the 1st.  I just need something, just about anything, to motivate me to make a change more than tearing off a calendar page or flicking my iCal to January.

Why do so many people's dedication to their new year's resolutions fade so quickly?  Why is the local YMCA so jam packed in January and emptied out a month later? My theory is that people are using the wrong motivation. "Because it's 2013."  So what?!  Some people really do stick to their resolutions and make awesome life changes.  More power to you!! I think that's awesome.  It's just not for me and apparently not for a lot of people.  I just think that something as personal as a resolution should have an equally personal motivation.  A generic calendar date is pretty dang generic.

I'm the type of person who continually sets goals for myself throughout the year, the month, the week. These goals range from big to small, but I almost always reach these goals.  I think it's because they are not set on a trivial calendar date...they are set by moments that bring with them personal motivation.  Mostly random moments I don't see coming.  Usually blessings in disguise.

I'm sure losing weight is one of the #1 resolutions people make...and break.  The one time I resolved to follow an incredibly strict diet was when I was pregnant with my 2nd baby and found out I had gestational diabetes.  His health was my motivation for an unplanned and unexpected goal and I nailed it.  What momma won't do anything for her baby?! Maybe I'm weak but I just can't cut out carbs solely on a change in the calendar date!  After having my first baby boy, it was a moment of standing in a dressing room plastered with mirrors at Victoria's Secret that motivated me to lose all the baby weight and then some.  And it wasn't on December 31st! If I had shrugged off that moment of having a bad body image as a depressing part of my day, I would have missed out on my motivation and then my reward!

I guess I don't consider my life as starting over fresh every January either.  I measure and section out my life in moments.  Everyone has those big moments that naturally divide your life into chapters...childhood, college, traumatic events. Before and after 9/11.  Single life and married life.  Before and after becoming a parent.  Whatever it is, it usually changes you in some way.  If it doesn't, you may have missed out on one of those motivating moments.  And it doesn't have to be a huge life change to motivate you either.  I think that if you also make small goals that are easily achieved, it just helps to build confidence in your ability to achieve big goals.  Like "I resolve not to lose my cool with my boys who are driving me batty today." Or "I resolve to take 10 minutes to myself today."

So, this is my very long way of sharing that my new year's resolution is the same as it always has been...not to make an empty resolution based on the calendar...but to pay attention to my own life's moments and use them as motivation for constant, positive change.  To not let life's little moments full of motivation for big change slip by unnoticed.

If you are one to make and quickly break resolutions, let me challenge you to try doing the same! Not sure where to start? Try starting with the things that you perceive as negative, and set a goal to turn those things around.  Use baby steps if you have to and make resolutions for the DAY, not the year.  You'll be surprised how many things you can accomplish in a week! And if you really want to make a monumental resolution on a particular calendar day, why not make it a more personal day?  Like your birthday or anniversary? Just a thought.

Happy and blessed new year to all you lovely blog followers!! Now I resolve to share something else fun with you at least within the next week!  :-)

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