January 03, 2012

Got New Year Resolutions?

Photo: creepyed

I've never been much of a believer in New Year's Resolutions. Such a ridiculous ritual! Let's dither around all year, then go totally hog-wild with self-indulgence over the holidays. Because never fear: "resolving" to change our ways will somehow confer magical powers come January 1!

A lifetime of crappy self-defeating habits will be vanquished effortlessly, to be replaced by a shiny new healthy and virtuous lifestyle. And all we have to do is promise ourselves to try harder as soon as the calendar says it's 2012.  What's not to like about such crazypants logic?

But what the hell. For some reason I'm totally into it this year.

So sign me up for a full slate of Sincere Self-Improvement Initiatives!  And don't forget to include my complimentary gift basket full of Inflated Expectations: I'm thinking the traditional delusions will do nicely, so I'm looking forward to Enormous Willpower, Endless Patience, A Totally Supportive Environment, Flawless Execution, and Amazing Results.  What could possibly go wrong?

Anyone else got some self-improvement plans and thinking about actually following through this year?

Since I almost never make New Year's resolutions, I'll keep the advice brief.  What the hell do I know?  You're probably much better off ignoring this whole section and just consulting Jack Sh*t's  New Years Resolutions To Avoid list. But if you've already read this far, a few tips on...

How To Stick To Your New Year's Resolutions

1.  Don't make them.

2.  Just make a handful, not a few dozen. (Unless you've got handy clones or robots or multiple personalities, then go ahead and delegate).

3.  Set "baby-step" interim targets--the babier the step, the better.  "I'm going to eat nothing but vegetables and lean protein from now on!"... Er, good luck with that, especially if you're starting from the ludicrous Typical American diet. Adding one additional vegetable a day and swapping out healthy snack for the 5,000 calorie Starbucks concoction you try to pretend is just "coffee?" A much more achievable goal.  You can always add more virtue later.

4.  Most folks who are not psychotic find that a resolution works best if it is somewhat reality-based. 

Note: "The Biggest Loser," while a 'reality' show, does not actually set forth examples of reality-based goal-setting.  Losing half your body weight or going from sedentary to superhero in a matter of months is not a reasonable expectation.

5.  Spend a crapload of time planning, scheduling, anticipating obstacles, working up contingency plans, devising rewards, and pumping yourself up when your motivation flags. (Which it will, trust me.  Learning how to get 'back on track' over and over again will lead to eventual success. Shooting for perfection and then bailing when setbacks happen is an enormously popular alternative; sadly, it doesn't actually work.)

6.  Track your progress and hold yourself accountable. You can use a journal, spreadsheet, online calendar, smartphone app or whatever.

7. Get support! If you've got a sympathetic family member, buddy, coworker, imaginary friend, or online community that will cheer your accomplishments and encourage you when you're struggling, take advantage of  'em!

And speaking of support and accountability...

As I mentioned, I'm weirdly fired up this year to tweak some old goals and take on some new ones.  But heck, I could use the prospect of public humiliation on the blog as a handy motivational tool.  Isn't that why they invented health and fitness and weight loss blogs in the first place?   I'm also curious about whether anyone else has some ideas in mind for the coming year.  And won't it be fun to check back in 2013 and see how we all did?

Wait, where are you going?

Seriously, is anyone else up for sharing some of their plans for 2012, whether Resolution based or not? I'm a pessimist by nature, but for some reason I'm thinking this is the year we're all gonna kick ass.

A few of my goals for 2012:

1.  Meditation. I swear this is the year I'm going to get better!  I've kinda started again despite the fact I suck at it, but I'd like to get consistent and do an average of 1/2 hour a day. Of course I've been saying this off and on for at least two decades, but damn it, this time I really mean it. I've found yet another new resource that seems to be helping a lot! (And no worries if you're curious...of course I'll be blogging about it).

2.  Handstand pushups.  A goofy goal somewhat like my quest to do pull-ups.  I love the idea that if I ever ended up in prison or a locked mental health facility, all I'd need is a handy wall to work my shoulders. (Is this my only fitness goal? Nah, I got a slew of crazy-ass schemes and aspirations, but this one is probably the most realistic and the simplest to explain).

3.  Get a colonoscopy.  I'm a year late, and gosh, how could I have waited this long when the whole thing sounds like so much fun? Even spellcheck thinks a colonoscopy is really just a "cloudscape" or a "kaleidoscope," so how bad could it be?

4.  Get more productive online: Update the blog, do a better job promoting my Life Coaching site, and write at least a few blog posts that don't suck so that more people will come here and hang out.

5.  Find more healthy tasty recipes and actually make them rather than just save them for "later."   Magazine clippings look pretty but don't taste all that great.

6.  Self publish.  To start with, I've got a not-actually-terrible novel I wrote a few years ago.  I'm still weirdly attached to the characters, and feel like I'm letting them down by keeping them imprisoned in the back of a closet along with a pile of smelly old tennis shoes I can't bring myself to toss out.   I'm hoping to dig up a few kind beta reader/reviewers and then put out an ebook.  And if that process turns out to be doable, perhaps a launch of a series of Cranky Fitness Self-Help ebooks for 2013?  A crab can dream...

So is anyone else up for sharing a few 2012 goals? I was totally impressed by all your 2011 accomplishments in the last post, so am very curious what you might be up to this year!


  1. I resolve to target all my behaviors (eating, training, resting, etc.) toward climbing 5.12a on top rope in the coming year.


  2. One of my goals is to actually make some money from my art or my blogs. Well, more money than last year. Keep fit and healthy. And basically be a good all around person, for me and others around me.

  3. Short-ish term, I'm looking to do my first 10K race in May (I started running from zero in November), and if I can do it in an hour or less all the better. Longer term? Ask me again in June!

  4. My goal is to get my files under control and stay on top of them. Just doing that will take all i have in me.

  5. I resolve to get out of bed in the morning and put one foot in front of the other. The rest is gravy.

  6. Wow, really putting it out there this year!

    You have almost convinced me to pull out that tri-wing model airplane kit I got in 1996 in Moro Bay and finally put it together, almost that is :-)

    Oh and a comment to Mary, etc. My goal as an artist has always been not to lose too much money doing it. "Check-off" on that one!

  7. LOVE this. Thanks, Crabby, for the awesome reminders. I want to get back in my fitness grove of waking up early, and working out before breakfast. I've been jetlagged for the past week so it's been harder, but I remember how awesome it felt and want to rock that.

  8. 1) finish my dissertation - goal date April!
    2) Reach goal weight in WW by Valentine's Day
    3) Achieve lifetime status by April
    4) Reduce my wicked caffeine habit - see goal #1

  9. Mine was to get a colonoscopy how did you guess?

    Truthfully I just want to get a job, and get some sort of routine back in my life, I'm ambling about with no direction and it doesn't feel good.

  10. I have to say the typical lose weight/ get healthy....But I am taking baby steps. Baby step #1 - get a gym membership (CHECK-did it yesterday) Baby Step #2 - go to said gym....ermmmmm I'll get there....

  11. I"m not one for new years resolutions...
    although I am trying to convince myself to ditch the chemicals this year. I've been good at going whole food and low on preservatives but still have far too many chemical sweeteners in my life. As a scientist I *know* they're bad for me...so that is my one resolution for 2012. That and to finish my MSc and still keep up with my workouts.
    The rest will just have to look after itself :)

  12. "Even spellcheck thinks a colonoscopy is really just a "cloudscape" or a "kaleidoscope," so how bad could it be?"

    It's the prep! It made me question my will to live.

  13. I love all the great plans you guys have for 2012! I have no idea what a 5.12a or a top rope is, but it sounds awfully darn impressive!

    And Lee, on the prep--God you're right, it sucks! I had to do the same prep for my hysterectomy, just in case a scalpel were to go astray or something. Part of the reason I put off the colonoscopy was I didn't want to do it twice in one year.

    Gah. Can't f@#cking wait.

    But enough whining for now... I believe bowel prep & colonoscopies probably deserve a whole post of their own!

  14. I'm not one to make resolutions on the first of the year, but I did hear a good one today:

    I resolve to gain weight this year! I know I could kick that resolutions butt!

  15. Okay, my resolutions:
    1. put down my fork between bites so I remember to eat in moderation and help combat middle age spread that is OVERTAKING me.
    2. add a little jogging to my dog walks.

    Small. Doable. Concrete.

    Funny post, Cranky!

  16. This year I'm going for the stop trying to change things you can't, and work on what you can thingy. I'll be following it up with a kaleidoscope.

  17. I plan to read you book!!!! :-)

    No resolutions here. At 54, no need to stress myself out even more than the money issues are doing to me! ;-) So, I do hope to get a job & make money so I am not on the street, ;-), try yoga & Pilates, try more to "accept me & aging" - tough one cause aging sucks, ;-) & heck, if things changege, they change. I don't want to worry about that now.. just keep trying! :-)

  18. Yeeeeaaa! You're doing your novel!

    My New Year's Resolution is, "To help Crabby learn to format an e-book." Looking forward to it!

  19. I guess I kind of do.
    I neeed to LIVE MY PRIORITIES I started slipping into giving em only lipservice in the waning months of 2011.

  20. I guess #1 says it all.. don't make 'em.

  21. So I'm not the only one resolving to get a kaleidoscope this year! So much joy to go around!

    And Mary, you were the inspiration for the self-publishing goal, thank you so much for the encouragement!

  22. Big-time delusional but fun to consider: 1) Go from judgmental, mean-spirited arrogance to loving, compassionate acceptance. 2)Change my Typical American diet to clean, organic, vegan diet. In the spirit of moderation, I will give myself until February to eliminate my alcohol and heroin habits. 3)Save money. Use the library system and steal books rather than purchasing them on Amazon. 4) Stay centered. Realize that it's all about me rather than trying to please you people out there. Meditation with my Personal God should help with this resolution. 5) Exercise in ways that demonstrate my superiority to others, particularly when I ask them what their times were for their last five consecutive Ironman races. ####Okay, actually I'll be really happy if I muster the discipline to reduce sugar & increase veggie intake; run my dog a couple miles/day; and learn to tolerate my mother without grinding my teeth.

  23. I don't make them. I too have to get a cloudscape this year though - yuck.

  24. Dear Crabby -
    I think the 5.12 and top rope stuff has to do with rock climbing. So, uh, yeah... majorly impressive!
    Colo-prep?... Just look at it this way: many people PAY ALOT of discretionary cash for essentially the same thing at a spa. But, hopefully, you will get the good anmesia/nap inducing drugs and go one better than those folks at the resort :). Plus, you are virtually guaranteed to lose a pound or so! Does it get any better than that?!?!
    There's always a silver lining, isn't there......

  25. OK you guys are totally cracking me up with your comments. Glad I'm in good company both in the teeth-grinding and colo-prep departments. And Our Lady, your new FB group sounds like a great idea!

    And wow, anon, comparing a colonoscopy to a spa experience... that's REALLY looking at the bright side!

  26. Um hello! SO EXCITED for your novel! Get that baby published!! And I like all the rest of your goals too. I have no doubt that 2012 will be a banner year for you! And happy holidays, and happy New Year (belatedly!). Sorry I haven't been around much - I'm so grateful you are in my life!

  27. potential beta-reader raising hand

    ("reality based"? Can't I just be psychotic instead?)

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

    (And the word verification IS: boozer!)

  28. Forget New Year's resolutions. In my experience, for the vast majority of people they don't work.

    The time to act is the time when it feels right to you, not right according to the calendar.

    Nonetheless, I hope the new year started off great for you, Madame McSlacker! :)

  29. Send me that novel stat! I love a good read. And my mom is a retired grammer/lit teacher if you want another set of eyes to proof. :) (Although I did just start in on the 1000some page 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Double whammy - good read AND arm toning while toting it around!)

    I'm not setting up resolutions, but creating an ever evolving list of things I'd like to do this year: books to read/listen to, movies to see, crafts to finish, recipes to cook.

    Also - generous provision of beefcake is most appreciated. You should win a bloggie for that alone. :)

  30. I JUST 'found' you, your awesome blog and your ebook! I love what I am reading. HAPPY DAY for me!! Especially because I am able to squeak in on the tail end of the New Years Resolutions conversation. :)

    I do not believe in resolutions per se. However, my husband and I have a tradition of writing down our hopes, dreams, goals for the upcoming year. We review the previous year and celebrate the things that we accomplished. We only look at our book once a year. It is a great way to have some fun, reminisce about the past year and 'get on the same page' for the upcoming year.

  31. Thanks so much Theresa!!!

    I love the yearly hopes/dreams/goals/celebration practice, and how cool that you share it with your husband. Great way to build support right in from the beginning!


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