This year as my friends were posting their resolutions, I realized this would be the first year I didn’t. I have things I have been working on that I plan to continue and projects I plan to complete. Every day is a new one, so why limit my efforts to the beginning of the year when each day is a chance to turn over a new leaf? As soon as I hear someone break a resolution they’ll say, “Oh well, maybe next year.” Why? Why not try again tomorrow? Why does our demarcation of years speak to our willingness to try to change? Making a big resolution without an appreciation for the steps to get there is a sure way to set yourself up for failure. So, instead of promising myself I’ll lose 20 lbs by May or clean out 35% of my cabinets, I’m just resolving to do better.
My best unsolicited advice is to step into those goals for self improvement. Keep your big rocks, but instead of giving yourself a stiff neck staring way up at the mountain and worrying about how far you have yet to go, mark your waypoints and fix your eyes on those. Getting healthy is rather vague, so how about what it takes to get there? Make those your waypoints and see how far you get once you have a fixed plan.
If the past two years have taught me anything, it is to not put so much emphasis on sticking to a plan. You never, ever know what’s coming and being inflexible is a sure way to stress yourself. There are multiple trails you can take to reach your destination. Don’t stress if you have to take an offshoot to get there.
So what am I working on? Since April of last year, I have been doing my best to work out 5-6 days each week, and that guidepost has been working pretty well. My FitBit helps me to stay on track with little reminders and it’s nice to plot my progress while I stare down a bigger goal. I actually won a fitness challenge last Spring and used the prize money to treat myself to a new fitness watch. It was nice to mark that progress and enjoy a reward.
This one was not a resolution last year but should have been: Separate work at home from being at home. I am finally, finally getting a handle on the house while learning to shut the door to my home office when I’m done for the day. My work cell gets turned off and I have peace after 5PM. Becoming a 100% remote worker was a big adjustment, but a great one. Setting boundaries was critical to keeping it together. It’s too easy to slip back into my office to check emails or make a note for the next day. By closing the curtains and shutting the door, I’m mentally shutting out my work so I can truly be home. When I worked at my office in town, I’d have a 45 minute commute to downshift before I got home and there was that distinct separation between office and home. I had to find new ways to mark that work-home life separation and also shift into “home mode” when my work day is done. For now, that looks like shutting that office door, slipping out to the barn to feed horses and walking with the dog to grab mail or go see what my husband is up to in his shop. Cooper and I always stop to check out the sunset, and that helps me ground myself with perspective.
He doesn’t help, but he offers morale support.
I have Monday off for New Years Day observed, so I’ll be writing in my notebook and listing things I’d like to do this year. I’m not calling them resolutions, as they’re more of tasks than anything. I’m keeping my big rocks marked by waypoints and I believe I’ll be successful by taking steps rather than leaps. I hope you reach your goals in the best way for you, as well.
Happy New Year, y’all!