New Year’s Resolutions… are for the birds

So I was going to do one of those “My Fav Songs of 2015!” lists, but you’ve all dodged a bullet there (I’m lookin’ at you, loyal reader who is giving me major shit for my non-taste in certain “country” songs — you know who you are), so instead, I am going to share some thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions.

Ready?

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Alright- thanks for reading and see you in 2016!

OK, seriously, anytime one stops to take stock of their life and look for areas to improve on is an admirable endeavor, in my opinion. But let’s be honest: New Year’s Resolutions, specifically, more often than not set us up for failure.

At the beginning of this year I started a “Gratitude Jar” for 2015. Every day I wrote down at least one thing I was grateful for, and put it in a special jar I purchased at Target. I was looking forward to pulling them all out on New Year’s Day 2016 to read about what a wonderful year I had!

I made it to April, guys- I think. Maybe March. At one point I was storing them in my phone with the intent to transfer to paper later, and then I just gave up entirely. I still might read the ones I did do… I just have to find the jar first.

I know it’s worked for some people, but it just wasn’t feasible for me. And while I think it was good to take time out of each day to think of at least one positive thing — and let’s be honest, if you have love, a job and a roof over your head like I do, there are many — there were days I was definitely in a funk and had to struggle to come up with something:

Got a free burrito at Qdoba.

Made it to work on time.

Didn’t die?

Yeah.

Over the past week, as the end of the year draws closer, I have given a lot of thought to things to try in 2016 to better my mental and physical health.

I looked into that Whole 30  diet thing… My reaction was something like this:

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It’s a joke… right? No BEANS?! No dairy is obvious, but the thought still makes me shudder. Plus, my trusted friend Beth tried it, and she said it’s effective, but only in the short term, because once you go back to eating like a normal person, the weight comes right back. No, thank you.

I read an interesting article from someone who does a Dry January every year. This is appealing to me, just because I’d like to think if I took a chunk of time off drinking completely, when I reintroduce it, I will drink less in general. Or, you know, maybe just limit it to like a glass of wine a night.

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I’m always trying to work out more. My favorite nights of the week are after my workouts with Carly at our neighborhood rec center or when Michelle and I do our dance or yoga classes. I feel sore but great. Yet, despite the fact that I feel the best those nights and know it’s because I worked out, I still have a higher talent for finding excuses not to go. I can be on my way to the gym, and just accidentally-on-purpose go home instead. It’s a talent.

Clearly, I’m not ready or willing to take a deep plunge with a lot of these issues. Many of the programs out there are just too extreme for me, and if you make a hard and fast expectation and then don’t meet it, you set yourself up to feel shitty and give up entirely.

Instead, I plan to continue working on what I’d like to call Resolutions in Progress. These are things I’ve been working on all year that I’d like to continue pushing, or in some cases, take to the next level, in 2016. After all, if you want to make a change, why not start today and not on some random date you set in the future.

Here are 6 of my Resolutions in Progress:

  1. Stop comparing myself to others.

Envy is a deadly sin for a reason. It’s so unhealthy, and more than that, it’s pointless. It really is. First of all, you never really know what’s going on in someone else’s life. More than that, though, so what if someone gets something you desire or don’t have? We’re all winners and losers on any given day of the week. That’s life. I’m wasting way too much time and energy on this instead of just appreciating all the things my own life has to offer. I want to be genuinely happy for others’ successes and support them in their struggles, and get that in return. When I find myself putting that into practice, it actually works.

2. Stop trying so hard.

Now, I’m not saying don’t stop trying. But sometimes I try way too hard to appease people. And here’s the thing — sometimes I’m not even right. I’m off base in what I think someone wants to hear or expects from me, so I just wasted my time doing something I didn’t even want to do. How stupid is that?!

There’s also something to be said for “it is what it is,” and while efforts make inroads, sometimes it doesn’t matter. People are going to think and feel how they feel no matter what, so you might as well stay true to yourself in your own comfort zone (assuming it’s a healthy place for you).

3. Love Myself.

Ickkkkkk, right?! It just sounds lame. But it’s actually something I really struggle with. I’m very self-critical. I try to make it humorous a lot of the time, but it’s pretty clear I don’t trust myself, and sometimes, I don’t even like myself. But part of that relates to #2- I’m way too concerned about where I stand in others’ eyes. This is my life.

4. Be a better partner.

Always a good thing to strive for, in my book. My Todd is an inherently good and genuine person in a way that I find very unique and special, and that inspires me. He really motivates me to make positive change, and he’s one of my biggest cheerleaders. You can work toward this in your friendships and family relationships, too, but don’t forget it’s a give-and-take — you need to know when to keep fighting, and when to walk away.

5. Separate work and play.

This goes BOTH ways. I’m guilty of taking care of personal things at work, but I’m just as guilty of checking my work email and fretting about things when I’m at home. Both need to stop. If I discipline myself to be more productive at work, I can relax more in my spare time. Conversely, if I shut work out during my spare time and enjoy myself, I can feel more refreshed when I return to the office. It’s actually not rocket science!

6. Give it time.

This is huge. I’m so reactionary. A lot of times, things will resolve themselves if you just give it a minute. This trickles down to the most basic things, like making social plans. Being with Todd has opened my eyes to a whole world of “chillin.” That man gets riled up about very little, and very rarely makes any kind of advance plan. While this drives me nuts at times, there’s something to be learned from it. For one thing, without a plan, you can’t exactly freak out when the plan changes. Now, clearly, there is a happy medium here. There are some things I can’t not plan for, but I can take a pretty big step back from the level of planning I’m currently at, and probably be a lot happier. I’ve tried it here and there, with mixed results, but I think the majority of the time, it makes things better, not worse.

I hope you all have a wonderful and SAFE New Year’s Eve, and may your hangovers be mild. I’m really sort of hoping I am on my couch at midnight with Todd and Puma, but we’ll see where the evening takes us!

And do yourself a favor and listen to this, because it was one of my favorite songs in 2015, OK? I’m OBSESSED. I will no doubt listen to it today/tonight a minimum of 10 times.

Happy New Year!

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2 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions… are for the birds

  1. Pingback: Rescue Me – Alyssa Goes Adulting

  2. Pingback: Another year older… and wiser? – Alyssa Goes Adulting

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