To Those Sick of New Year’s Resolutions

You’ve already pledged to work out five times a week.  And promised yourself you’d eat salad one meal each day.  That you’d get up 30 minutes earlier.  Maybe that you’d read one book each month.  You’ve lived 20+ years and realized there’s literally nothing new about New Year’s Resolutions.  You follow through for maybe two weeks—heck, even a month if you’re feeling ambitious.  But you end up throwing in the towel and deciding not to hold your breath till the next New Year’s comes around.  If this describes you in any capacity, this post is for you.Version 2

Okay, we’ve identified the problem: not actually completing the goals you’ve set for yourself.  And the subsequent frustration and disappointment.  Then flat-out apathy and complacency.  It sucks and you want to be better, stronger, healthier, but eh, who cares?  I’m going to argue it’s not your fault for these incomplete goals.

America tells you there’s a three-step process to nail the job interview, to paint the perfect pedi, and heck, even to get a boyfriend.  Umm, excuse me?  Red flag.  Back up the bread truck.  And sit down.  We like to think we can outline an exercise routine to get that perfect bikini bod, a diet to help us achieve a six-pack, a schedule to be more productive, a book list to be more intelligent, a plane ticket to be more cultured, a check list to grow in our faith.  A task list, check marks, bullet points.  But this is a seriously flawed way of viewing our New Year’s Resolutions and life in general.forest-park-st-louis-art-museum-travel

We like it fast, better, superior, now.  And I’m more guilty than anyone when it comes to this category.  If I study three hours for this test, I will get an A.  If I pin a billion articles on a perfect trip to Paris, I will have the time of my life.  If I get this many views on my blog, I will have made it.  If I get this internship, I will get that killer job.  If, if, if… If you live in the what ifs—sorry for the spoiler alert—but your life is going to suck.  It’s good to think about the future and practicality, but you miss the present and now.  If you dwell on what may or may not happen, you completely opt out of the ability to live in the moment.  Which is a given and is, well, actually happening.

Another issue is we expect it to go smoothly.  We make these goals and don’t anticipate the stomach flu, a much needed late night heart-to-heart, a breakup, a funeral.  Or an engagement, a first date, a promotion, a move across the country.  The list goes on.  Life happens, and sometimes it’s more important to stay home from the gym and be there for your hurting gal pal.  And sometimes you need to forego that salad for a milkshake after a rough day at work.  I have an Excel sheet of my four year plan with the things I want to accomplish to help me pursue a career in journalism.  And recently a friend said, “What if one of these doesn’t fit?  What happens then?”  No, I’m not going to convert from being an excessive planner, but he had a point.  Life doesn’t go as you planned.

Personal growth and development don’t happen in easily measurable increments that you can necessarily chart.  And that’s not a bad thing.  Don’t beat yourself up for missing a day at the gym, for oversleeping, for forgetting to do your devo.  Fitting yourself into a mold is a waste of energy and turns you into something you’re not.st-louis-city-garden-america-usa-round-trip-travel

Hear me out: goals are good.  Otherwise, you’re going to be lolling around and sleeping on your parents’ couch.  (Don’t do that forever please.)  But goals should not be checklists to prove to the world that you’re a size 2, that you are productive and successful and social and attractive.  Goals are meant to grow you as a person and cannot be measured.  Instead of making a goal with tangible to-dos, consider the big picture.  Pick a theme statement like, I want to step out of my comfort zone more.  Somedays you’re going to be in bed watching Friends reruns and ordering the same thing at Chipotle (burrito bowl with white rice, pinto, chicken, just cheese and that’s all).  It may be 10 p.m. and you think, Shoot!!  I haven’t stepped out of my comfort zone today!!!  Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but you can’t just “drive to your comfort zone” to check it off your list.  There are days you won’t be able to check it off your list, but I’d argue pushing yourself outside your comfort zone may be a better goal that achieving the mildly tangible goal of “the perfect bikini bod.”

pinnacles-hike-fall-columbia-missouri-round-trip-travelOkay, OKAY, Kristin, enough with philosophy…  The bottom line is set goals but with wiggle room.  For 2017, my goal is to venture into the unknown.  Sometimes life throws us into the dark, but other times you choose it yourself.  This year I plan to start a post series called Round Trip Roundups with 5 new things I’ve tried each month: a new book, gadget, product, life lesson, muse, food, trip, you name it.  Through this, I hope to keep myself accountable (but not be a stickler so as to put my personal growth into a box) with stepping outside the typical and choosing to spice up life.

Life is too short to drown in task lists and to beat yourself up constantly for days you don’t measure up to lofty standards.  Live in the here and now so you can indulge in the adventures awaiting you in 2017.

Bises,

Kristin

{What big-picture goals are you setting for yourself in 2017?}

8 comments

  1. This is such a great blog post ! I know this sounds a little concerning, but I haven’t made any resolutions yet ! I should definitely consider putting some together before the new year ! You’ve got such a lovely blog ! I’d love if you could visit my blog, and maybe even subscribe to my blog !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading, Hann! Never making resolutions shouldn’t concern you–I think you’re healthier for it! Setting goals is all that matters; who cares if it’s on December 31?! I adore your site’s design–did you create it? I clicked on one post and instantly connected–you are so real and genuine. Happy blogging and happy new year!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Your advice is AMAZING ! Thank you so much for your lovely compliments, you have honestly made my day ! I certainly did some theme creating and used a theme from the WP premium ! – Teatimewithhann 🙂

        Like

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