New Year’s Resolutions: To Be or Not to Be?

Did you know that statistically, most New Year’s Resolutions are abandoned within the first month and only a small percentage of people actually meet their goals?

CBS reported the numbers in 2016, along with tips on how to keep your resolutions, but I’m here to help you determine if this is a year for a resolution or if it’s a year to skip it! I will also help you determine how big your resolution can be so that you can succeed at your goal and I’ll give you some resolution ideas.

I opted to skip New Year’s Resolutions this year. Why? Because I have enough goals I’m working toward already. I don’t need to select another goal just because the calendar year changes over.

Here’s what 2019 looks like for me in addition to everything else I already do:

  • January: Begin better socializing my daughter with other children her age by spending more time with my husband’s family and attending library programs as a transition into school, which she will start in the fall.
  • February: Putting together our son’s nursery
  • March: Being Matron of Honor and mother of the flower girl for my cousin’s wedding
  • April: Prepping and starting the vegetable garden. Yes, I’ll be 8 months pregnant, but my daughter loves gardening and I won’t deny her a year of it just because her brother will be born during prime planting season.
  • May: Having a baby boy
  • June: Maternity leave (sort of….. I do run a horse farm, after all)
  • July: Host Summer School for my students
  • August: Start my daughter in pre-school
  • September: Recovery month from a nutty summer
  • October-December: Holiday season begins on our farm with the Harvest Party in October and then there is a steady stream of events through the New Year.

With so many large life changes happening this year, it’s a good year for me to skip the Resolutions. Here are some signs you should also consider skipping them:

  • One or more major life changes are already in the works and coming your way: new job, moving to a new town, starting or finishing higher education, getting married, having another baby, getting divorced, facing death of a loved one, etc.
  • You are building a new business. Remember, this is often a 7-10 year commitment. Don’t add more pressure to yourself by including a Resolution unless you think it would be fun and it’s a small, easy-to-accomplish goal.
  • Last year was incredibly tough on you emotionally. Use this year to recover. Believe me, you will spend the entire year (at least) recovering. It takes a long time to recover from less-than-positive life changes…. they affect you emotionally and physically, but also often financially. Financial recovery in this day and age takes many months and many different steps. One resolution won’t do it and may just make you feel worse about yourself.

2018 was a huge year for me in terms of small goals that made major day-to-day life changes and changed my outlook on life. I accomplished many of these goals quickly and they are now a part of my daily life (thank goodness I didn’t pick just one! A New Year’s Resolution would have slowed me down!)! Many of these will make good resolutions for you, so I will share!

Before the list, here are some tips for selecting a goal:

  • Choose something that interests you, preferably that you are passionate about. It will motivate you to accomplish your goal.
  • Choose a goal that doesn’t require specific time of day. Life is unpredictable, especially mine on a horse farm with a career and family, so don’t limit yourself by choosing a specific time that you must meet your goal.
  • Forgive yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. Life happens. Start again the next day.
  • Use the “rule of ten” for each of these. Do ten minutes a day because most everyone can find ten minutes AND because, ten minutes can be very motivating…. the next thing you know, you may have done much longer!

My list from 2018:

  • Read. Great for the mind and soul.
  • Garden/Care for house plants. The health benefits, indoors or outdoors abound, but let’s start with the fact that indoor plants improve indoor air quality.
  • Deep breathe or Meditate for 10 minutes. Teaches you to center your mind, lower anxiety levels and lower your heart rate through controlled breathing.
  • Give yourself permission to shower everyday. Include a decent face/neck lotion and those two makeup components that make you feel the best. It’s the simple things that make you feel like a person. For me, my must-haves are an eyebrow pencil (actually, I use eyeshadow over my brows to keep them soft looking, but to give them the same color as my hair – otherwise, they are blond and disappear into my face) and mascara.
  • Review your bank account. If you have a good understanding of what you have spent, a quick review is all you need to make sure you didn’t get hacked or that you haven’t gotten carried away on spending!
  • Pick up the phone and call a family member. A quick hello is all you need! I’m a transplant to Saint Louis. My family and extended family are all over the country. None are within reasonable driving distance for even a day trip.
  • Pet your cat or walk your dog….. or pig or sheep or horse or…… It’s anxiety reducing for you and for them. It makes you closer to your pet and they will love it (quite possibly more than you do).
  • Fold a load of laundry. Did you know? It takes almost exactly ten minutes to fold one load of laundry and put it away?!
  • Pick up the house as you go. Don’t set something on the table to put away later. It only takes a minute or two. It will eliminate most household clutter…. On the farm, I have designated places to dump things because saving steps is critical for time and for physically surviving the day (20,000-25,000 steps a day is pretty normal for me on the farm). There are Rubbermaid containers in our hall closet labeled with names of our outbuildings. Things that end up in the house, but belong in an outbuilding, go in that box until I’m ready to send them to the right building. I also have at the bottom of our stairs where I can put things that need to go upstairs. I take them up the next time I go.
  • Do a short workout. For me, it’s yoga or weights. Goodness knows I have plenty of cardio in my life! I do get muscle imbalances from working with horses, hay, water troughs and farm equipment, so I focus on correcting the imbalances and stretching crazy tight muscles!
  • Give your children concentrated attention for 15 minutes in the morning, after school (or before and after nap) and before bed. Yep…. this is a more significant goal, but studies have shown quality time is better than quantity of time: short concentrated bursts make for a more emotionally secure child. This is YOUR children we’re talking about, so make some coffee for you, breakfast for them and get to hanging out with your offspring!
  • Give your spouse concentrated attention. Oh right! You’re a mom and a career woman, but chances are, you have a spouse, too! Don’t forget about them or your relationship together! Plan a date twice a month! It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming, but get a sitter and get away!

Let me know what you decide to do! Did you pick a resolution? Which one? Or like me, did you skip for 2019?

Happy New Year!

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