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!