Happy New Year!  It’s 2016!  It seems like everything the first few days of the new year deserves an exclamation point!  The new year brings hope, new beginnings, exciting new chances, and those most definitely, soon-to-be-reality resolutions!  I abhor resolutions.  They’re just unrealistic goals that often set you up to fail (within the first few days).  Resolutions are usually major goals like extreme weight loss, paying debt in a finite number of days, or some sort of life altering personality or relationship change.  

I believe if you decide to drastically alter your course or routine in an instant, you’re just gonna fail.  Who loses lots of weight on a whim without thought or planning?  Who eliminates debt without carefully considering your current spending?  Nobody.  Deciding on December 31st that you’re going to revolutionize your life in the next 20 minutes is simply impulsive.  It’s not realistic; lasting change comes with actual strategy.  Radical change doesn’t happen overnight unless you’re looking to burn yourself out quickly.  Have you ever heard the phrase, “Life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon?”  Once the resolution breaks down, the guilt or depression sets it and the bad habit starts again with a vengeance.  That’s why resolutions are icky.  

It’s the new year!

So for this year, I’m going to give myself a list of suggestions instead of resolutions.  I’m hoping to make positive changes and see real growth, but I want to be realistic about my limitations and also be good to myself.  Here goes my list….I want to spend more time focusing on the people I love.  I want to get more sleep.  I’d like to get in better shape, but I don’t want to feel guilty about eating something delicious.  I’d like to worry less about things that aren’t going to happen and things that don’t matter.  I’d definitely like to feel less stress.  I don’t have a concrete plan yet to do any of those things, but I think acknowledging them and thinking about them is a great first step – and then making a conscious effort each day to try and make some of them happen.  

There’s more I could add to the list and maybe I will as the year goes on.  At the end of the year, I hope to look back and see some improvement (maybe big change) on my suggestions.  If not, I’m not going to dive head first into a chocolate mocha cake or max out my credit card in a fit of guilt.  It’s okay.  Think of something you can improve and then take tiny steps to get there.  Maybe some of those steps will be in reverse at times, but that’s okay too.  I’ll bet by the end of the year you’ll see some surprising progress.  Happy New Year!  


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