Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reflections on Revolutions

What??? A post about resolutions before Thanksgiving? I know, I'm crazy!

Or, maybe not.

Last year about this time, I started thinking about New Year's Resolutions and how the majority of them never become habits. While I did want to instill a few resolutions in January 2010, I didn't want my resolutions to follow the fate of most well-intended New Year's decisions. So, I decided to try something new.

First, I tried to avoid setting impossible goals - ones that were too hard for me to attain (such as running 10 marathons in 2010) or ones that I did not have enough desire to keep (such as cutting out any and all refined sugar - I love my sweets!). In addition, I limited myself to just 2 or 3 attainable goals.

Next, I tried implementing them as soon as I'd outlined them. I didn't wait until New Year's to give them a try. This way, by the time January First rolled around, I was already familiar with them and was comfortable with their partial implementation.

Last, I gave myself the entire year of 2010 to form them into habits. It takes time to permanently fix something into one's lifestyle, so why on earth do we suppose that instilling a New Year's Resolution into our routine will be a piece of cake?

The end results were well worth the time I spent considering and purposing the matter. I've been exercising 3-5 times a week since July; I've improved slightly on my nasty temper; I've had a little more patience with my kids; and I've read many of the books I'd hoped to finish by year's end. Am I completely perfect in each of these areas? Certainly not. But I believe that I've made further strides in each than I would have otherwise.

I'll test my theories again in 2011 and update my findings.

Happy New Year, everyone! (Okay, maybe that was a little preemptive, I admit.)

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