As we head into the final weeks of 2022, I’m sure many of you will be thinking about resolutions for 2023.
You know who you are.
Today I’m going to give you some practical advise for planning your new year.
What’s the biggest problem with resolutions? People think too broadly- they make a grandiose statement and have no idea how to put it into action. Let’s think about some ways we can rethink how we think about resolutions.
We start by calling them goals. You are setting a plan in action to achieve a desired result. I know it seems like semantics, but just give it a try.
I Want to lose Weight– How many people say this? But I want to lose weight is too broad. Realistically, losing weight requires two things: reducing calories and increasing physical activity. Your plan should be along the lines of:
- I am going to walk an extra 2,000 steps a day. Or have a living room dance party every night. Or take up pickleball. Or jump rope.
- I am going to snack on snap peas instead of chips. or I am going to replace my potatoes with a green leafy veggie Or I’m going to stop frying foods or I’m going to cut out sugary drinks
The goal should be to pick something that you CAN do without much thought but will help you towards your desired outcome.
I Want to Get Organized– This requires getting rid of clutter and coming up with a plan to keep things in check. Instead of saying this, try
- Get rid of one thing a day. Throw it out if it’s broken, donate it if it’s in good condition. In the beginning I am giving you these as the only options. While reselling goods is wonderful, as is holding a swap with friends, the first step should be getting rid of obvious clutter and getting it out of the house. You’re probably not ready for those steps which require more commitment
- Start one drawer or shelf at a time. Go into your kitchen. Open up the drawer. Take out every item. Wipe out the drawer. Look at every single item before you put it back. 1) Do you need it? 2) When is the last time you used it? 3) Does it make sense to store it in this drawer 4) Do you have multiples of this item but only need one?
By tackling one area at a time you are less likely to feel overwhelmed. I’ve know people who took every item out of their kitchens, freaked out, and just threw everything back in. That’s not helping anyone. Start small.
I want to learn X– I am all for learning new things: it’s great for the mind and the body. But the question is why do you want to learn/do this? If you want to do it because everyone else is, you’re setting yourself up to fail. You have to have a real urge to undertake a new thing, so be mindful of the why
- Don’t rush out and buy all sorts of fancy equipment. Guilt will not make you continue with something you don’t like
- Do take a trial class, or really watch a video about it- gauge if you like the process of learning
- Realize that if you don’t like it, it’s not failure- you just didn’t like it
Quit Smoking or Drinking– talk to your physician before you start anything. They are the best resource for practical advice and knowledge about how best to handle this situation.
I could list a whole bunch of common resolutions, but the advice is going to be similar. Start small. Seek professional help when necessary. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
I am a big fan of planners. I know there are many of you who are not. And whatever you choose, that’s great. But if you don’t accomplish the things that you want to do, shouldn’t you at least consider the idea?
This is the planner layout that I am using now: the week on one side and notes and such on the other. With this planner I can long range plan- I write blog post ideas on the actual dates, plus any action that must be done on that day. On the right side I set my weekly goals- how many pages I want to write, what I’m cooking for dinner, what fun things do I want to do, etc.
This is my daily task list. At night, I look at my long range planner, see what I need to do, and I schedule it in. I will block out times for blogging, for writing, for going to the gym, household cleaning and errands, and fun/self care. I carry this paper with me everywhere (it sits on my nightstand in case I think of something before bed).
This works for me. While I sometimes totally forget things, and sometimes the day completely gets away from me, for the most part I get around to doing the things that I want/need to do.
Your plan doesn’t have to be as elaborate as mine. You can rely on a piece of paper or the notes section of your phone. But when I was younger I did not have a planner and things fell through the cracks all the time. When I got my first filofax, my world changed.
This is my last formal blog of the year. While I will have blogs for the next few weeks, they are mainly wrap ups of the year. If you want to see how I analyze all the little details of my life, please tune in! Otherwise, see you January 2 for more thoughts and ideas and questions!!!