Let's get real. The percentage of people who actually wrap up the year while staying true to the resolution they started on January 1st is pretty measly. According to Statistic Brain it's only 8%! How can that be when after a month of eating twice our normal daily calories in sugar cookies and Peppermint mochas and spending more time with friends and family and less time focusing on self-care we decide to make a complete life change come January 1st? We are so committed and so dedicated we go out and buy everything we need to be successful in our new endeavor - workout clothes, a new journal, a daily planner or meal prep containers.
Well let me tell you. Life is busy. And this is coming from a married 30 year old with one job and no kids. Add a kid or school or another job to that mix and you are unimaginably busy. Literally, how do you do it all? And then you are going to add one more thing to the grocery store runs, play dates, and work work work work work work (to the tune of Work by Rihanna)? I can only imagine we do not close out the year with these resolutions complete because we do not have time for them, or maybe because by the time March comes around they are no longer a priority. See Laura Vaderkam's Ted talk about your "free time." Is it possible that our priorities change with the seasons?
I have actually been very successful in my New Year's resolutions for the last 2 years. Two years ago it was my goal to take better care of my hair and specifically to never cancel or postpone an appointment. I'll paint you a picture of how this became my resolution, because for some people this probably sounds ridiculous.
I was at a point in the journey of my hair where I used dry shampoo more days than I actually washed it. By the time it was the day for my haircut I had anticipated the haircut for 3 days and not washed it in anticipation of somebody else washing it and drying it and styling it, that I just piled on the dry shampoo. I was also working out daily during this time, just adding to the funk that was my hair. When the day of my haircut actually came the only thing I could possibly do to make my hair appear somewhat presentable at work was to throw it in a very gross looking bun on top of my head. I couldn't brush it, comb it or detangle it in any way. I was incredibly successful, scheduling my appointments while in the salon, never skipping or postponing, always scheduling them for a pay day so I really had no excuse. I have kept up my good hair habits two years later.
Being so successful in my venture to have beautiful and healthy adult hair, this year I decided to do the same with my nails. I decided I was not going to paint them at all this year to get them to a very healthy state and build some good habits. Chipped nails drive me crazy, on myself and on others. Unfortunately they drive me so crazy on myself that I can't look at the chip any more and have to then peel off the rest of the polish until it's all off. This then leaves not so pretty looking polish free nails. Not much better, but better. I will do this with not just normal polish, but also gel polish. I know! Terrible! So this year I made it all the way to November, Thanksgiving to be exact, without painting my nails. I went to a salon a handful of times just to get things cleaned up by a pro. I can never do anything myself with hang nails or cuticles. My nails are in better condition than they ever have been and I am now very comfortable with knowing how long they can get before they break. I also know I need to tend to them for about 5 minutes every other day just to keep them in good shape.
After 2 very successful years of resolutions and now that I'm running out of body parts that require maintaining I decided to go in a different direction. This is the process that got me to my finalized New Year's Resolution.
Start openly brainstorming about what you might want to achieve, change or maintain in the coming year. This can be written in a journal or just thought spanning a couple days. Thing that crossed my mind were related to paying off debt (or making freedom payments as my husband says), working out more, meditating more, practicing yoga more, writing in my gratitude journal daily, drinking exactly 62.5 ounces of water daily, and being a better friend, sister, daughter, and wife.
2. 5 Whys
At my day job we run our business using Lean principals. Lean is a way of running a business where you constantly look for better ways of doing things to save time, money, resources, etc. For every problem that is identified, you have to find the root cause. For example, the price of Item A is listed wrong on the website. You can either just fix it or you can ask yourself, Why is it listed wrong? Is the answer because somebody didn't update it correctly? Then ask yourself, why didn't they update it correctly? Why is it in the hands of one person to update it? Why isn't it automated? Why don't we have regular reviews to ensure all prices are correct? You continue doing this until you have your root cause and then you solve for the root cause instead of fixing the one incident.
Do this with your resolution. Why did you choose this? Is it because you want to get in shape? Why do you want to get in shape? To have a better body. Why do you want to have a better body? To be healthier. Why do you want to be healthier? Do this until you can't find an answer to the next "why".
Did you start out saying you wanted to work out and find out in the end you want to be happy with your body? Maybe working out 6 times a week isn't the best way to get there. Maybe you should consider saying confident things to yourself every time you look in the mirror or unfollow all people on social media who make you feel worse about yourself and start following people who make you feel great about yourself. Maybe you just need to send yourself loving kindness every time you have an unpleasant thought about your body.
I followed this system to get me to my 2017 New Year's Resolution. I started out with the things listed at the top of the story. I should have been able to guess where I was going to end up. My 2017 New Year's Resolution is to be happy. I will make decisions with my time that make me happy, if that is working out, doing yoga, meditating, going for a walk, making an extra student loan payment or eating a Freddy's #1, no pickles, with a chocolate shake instead of a drink, or writing in my blog, then that's what I'm going to do.
So what is your New Year's Resolution?
Today I'm Grateful for:
- Getting the cozy cone clean and organized
- Monday's off of work are always accepted with open arms in this household
- Everything I need to meal prep
- Getting back on the blog
- Walks on crisp winter days