high school just got simpler

Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolutions: Why They Do and Don't Work

Happy New Year! Colorful Bubbly for You!

 "Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us." ~Hal Borland

Winter break is coming to a close for most high schools. Once back in school, everyone will probably talk about their New Year's resolution.

Resolutions are common, and even a tradition. Everyone makes at least one.

Resolutions can work for many reasons:
  • It can motivate you to become better.
  • Resolutions help clear out past mistakes, and will create a fresh start.
  • You can complete your resolutions with other people, and help keep each other on track.
That's a short list. I couldn't quite think of other reasons to make a resolution.

Even though I love having that spark of enthusiasm in the beginning of the year, I am not making a resolution. In the past, I have usually forgotten about it by April.

Problems I've had with resolutions:
  • No definite start/end. True you start on New Years day, but there isn't a plan. Just an idea.
  • It isn't a goal. Having a resolution is just a finished future product or result. Let's say you want to lose weight. Congratulations on wanting to lose weight, but how much? What are you going to do to lose it? How? What in your life are you going to change? What habits will you need to make?
  • Usually, resolutions are big and mighty. A common resolution I hear about is to cut out junk food completely. No! That's way too much to think about! Try something small first. Go a week without fast food, or have a better breakfast twice a week. Don't ever quite cold turkey.
  • Resolutions are pessimistic. You never hear things like: "I'm going to volunteer more!" It's always: "I need to lose weight..."
This year, I am not going to make a resolution. I am instead going to make a list of achievable goals, and tackle each goal one at a time.

“I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the years."  ~Henry Moore

If you are creating goals for the New Year (or if you still want to call them resolutions), make them in the present. For example, one of my goals is to wake up at 5 am. So I would say "I wake up at 5 everyday." But don't lie to yourself, actually try to achieve it.

My goals:
  • Wake up at 5 everyday. I love getting stuff done in the morning, so I need to make more time for that!
  • Do yoga everyday. I do yoga periodically, but I need to start doing it daily, so it's a habit.
  • Go climbing in Red River Gorge. I need to strengthen my climbing skills so I can go climbing on some real rock.
  • Write everyday. I am always saying "Oh that'd be a great post!" But then I never post it. If I write everyday regardless, I will always have something.
  • Eat healthy, preferably with whole foods. So far, I try to eat junk foods only during weekends/holidays. But that doesn't include all the crap foods at school. Eating better at lunch is my first goal, it will take some figuring out!
  • Run at least twice a week. I love to run, but I never have time to anymore. I need to fit that into my life. Time to edit my commitments again!
  • Be clutter-free. So far, I've done pretty good with my bedroom (desk, floor, etc) but there is so much more clutter and things I can remove.
I am starting these goals one at a time, beginning with waking up at 5. Currently I wake up at 5:30 on school days, but that still doesn't give me enough time to do yoga, and write in the mornings. Having goals that work off of each other really helps me stay motivated.

Read Goals for tips on making your own list of New Year's goals.

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