Here we are at the beginning of a new year, a fresh start. Time to make all of those resolutions that will inevitably be broken by January 10.
I am a serial resolution breaker. Every year I make a general resolution about exercise, diet, and being more patient. It’s not long before I’m too tired to exercise, I realize I am not one that has a lot of patience, and I’m telling myself “Girl you should treat yourself!”
In 2018, I decided to do things a bit differently. Instead of a big resolution for the year I decided that every month I would add or subtract something in my life for that month. Once the month was over, I was allowed to go back to my old ways, but during it I was bound to what I had resolved to follow. I stole this idea from a podcast; I loved the idea as soon as I heard it and embraced it.
It was interesting to find out what I feel driven to add and subtract from my life. In January I decided I could not eat breakfast out at all, which stopped me from stopping for a morning bagel or tea, which had its benefits. In March I gave up red wine (I admit I failed a bit at this one, though I got through most of the month). Over the summer I added 30 minutes of stretching to my day, which turned into yoga, which I still keep up with. When school was back in, the family got to be part of the game when I resolved we would not eat out during the week. Epic fail. The fall was the addition of meditation and being more mindful. This was a tough one for me, so I think I’ll need to revisit it. In October I added grace, meaning I allowed myself the grace of not be everything to everybody at all times. That was harder than I expected. In December I added reading for professional gain and wisdom, which was enlightening.
My year of resolutions definitely taught me a lot. It taught me that 30 days can fly by or that 30 days can be an eternity. Habits may not be made or broken in 30 days, but certainly they can be shaped or reworked. I learned that even though I only had to keep each resolution for a month, I still wasn’t successful at doing it every time. I also learned that I should have planned a bit better and had the year mapped out rather than making the resolution when the month started. In short, I learned a lot and I feel that I’ll be better at it this year.
So, if you are not a good resolution keeper and are cringing at the thought of change in the year ahead, try this method. 30 days of change is certainly easier to commit to than a whole year, and you may find you like it.
Good luck and happy new year!