Happy New Year! How are you going to mark Day 1 of 2013? Will you start a new hobby? Flock to the gym (best of luck)? Cook something new? Try to recover from a big celebration the night before? Write out a list of resolutions?
I wasn't big on the New Year's resolutions tradition until last year, the first time I ever made a few and stuck to them for longer than just the first week of January. For me, it worked because my resolutions weren't really resolutions at all, but more of a list of concrete things I wanted to do or accomplish throughout the year. I'm obsessed with making lists (and have a plethora of notebooks and post-it notes to prove it), so I used that to my advantage.
Some things I wanted to do in 2012 were substantial (get a job I love – check!) and others were really silly (get Mindy Kaling, also known as Kelly Kapoor on “The Office” and star of “The Mindy Project,” to acknowledge my existence on Twitter – also check!). This year, my resolutions are along the same lines. A few for 2013: complete 52 acts of kindness; learn a new skill; read two books per month.
I asked some the team to share their thoughts on resolutions. Here’s what some of them had to say...
"I’m not a huge believer in New Year’s resolutions because most of the time when people make them, they say things like I’m going to “go to the gym every day”, “lose 15 lbs”, “quit smoking” etc. These things are totally attainable, but are more lifestyle changes than resolutions, and if they haven’t started doing it already, starting it on January 1 will probably only last until January 15.
Personally, I like to make a yearly “bucket list”. My bucket list last year was made up of a lot of things I had been talking about doing or thinking about doing, but just didn’t do. Some of the things were: go to Cape Cod; go to a flea market (I had never been); go apple picking (hadn’t been in years); complete all 50 hikes in my “50 hikes in CT” book. By doing that instead of dreading whatever it was that I resolved not to do or start doing, I had a list of a bunch of things I couldn’t wait to do. Also, most of the things were things that I could do with friends so on all those days that you want to hang out with someone but there is “nothing to do,” I picked something off my list and I actually finished most of my list. Why wait until you’re on your death bed to make a bucket list… keep it going and accomplish as much as you can each year to get the most out of life!"
"You know what? I never do official resolutions come to think of it. I have goals throughout the year, but as far as Jan.1 being a “fresh start” to try something new, I don’t really follow that. Mostly because if I pressure myself that way, I rebel, whereas if I challenge myself, I want to make positive changes. For the last month I’ve been trying to cut down on going out to eat, finding cheap/free things to do (lots of coupon/groupon hunting), and exercising at least every other day but not stressing out if I don’t make it one day.
I guess overall I’m trying to lower my stress-levels, be kind to myself, and let myself have more healthy fun!"
"I usually seem to have trouble getting through New Year’s resolutions, but these are things that I’d really like to work on next year.
- Finish the four books I’m currently reading. I’m having an issue of late getting through the books I’ve been reading. So I’ll have to just choose one and go for it, then move on to another.
- Exercise more. I know a lot of people pick this, but my motivation here isn’t so much to get fit as it is to help control health conditions. I have asthma and exercise is one of the top things I can do to help regulate it.
- Drink less soda. Again, the motivation is medical. Something in soda, be it the sugar or the carbonation, is an irritant to my case of Crohn’s disease. A soda-less diet seems to help greatly."
What are your resolutions, goals, or bucket list items? I like SNL comedy writer Paula Pell's (snagged from Twitter): "My New Year resolution: While in elevators I'm going to stop telling people the ages of my cats.”