January 02, 2014

Goal Support... and Again With The New Years Resolutions

cartoon by someecards.com

Not everyone does the New Years Resolution thing, and if you don't, please forgive my blathering on about them again this year. In fact, fewer and fewer people are bothering to make resolutions these days. Are people getting more realistic about behavior change, or just lazier?

But some of you may have goals, plans, hopes, or dreams for the future, and may also have at least a vague intention of moving towards your ideals rather than hurtling along at warp speed in the totally wrong freakin' direction.

And a fresh new calendar year seems as good a time as any, right, to reflect, prioritize, and try to be a little less clueless about getting what we want?



The Hell With Common Sense, Bring on the Unicorns!


Well  sure, I too used to bemoan the arbitrariness of it all, and laugh at the flagrantly delusional thinking involved. But as I've gotten older I've learned to embrace delusional thinking, and I am way way happier as a result. Screw "logic" and "truth." Totally over-rated!

So heck, lets bring on the wild promises and outlandish pronouncements for the coming year, shall we?

Goal Support Throughout the Year


But wait... a year is a long time!

And mere wishful thinking on January 1 is rarely enough to sustain a year's worth of Virtuous Behavior and Determination.

That's why at Cranky Fitness, we've been taking our goals a month at a time, shifting priorities and approaches as necessary, and offering each other support in the comments section.  Sometimes there is a giveaway involved, and sometimes not, but those lovely readers who reply to other peoples comments and offer advice and encouragement and absolution for screw-ups?



There is a special place in Cranky Heaven for them!

(And be assured, cupcakes and cookies and nachos and pizza and cheeseburgers have no calories whatsoever in Cranky Heaven.)

Are All New Years Resolutions Doomed?


Holy Crap, only 8% of people achieve their New Year's resolutions?!?

That's the figure, according to a study by folks at the University of Scranton. Though the source is something called "statisticsbrain," which is good enough for Forbes, and yet does not have reassuring dates or links so I confess I'm somewhat distrustful.

But whatever, I think it's safe to assume that resolution-keepers make up a pathetically small segment of the population so you don't have to feel the least bit crappy about yourself if you struggle too.

What are the most common New Years Resolutions?


From the same source above:

1. Lose Weight

2. Get Organized

3. Spend Less, Save More

4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest

5. Stay Fit and Healthy

6. Learn Something Exciting

7. Quit Smoking

8. Help Others in Their Dreams

9. Fall in Love

10. Spend More Time with Family

I'll just express a bit of skepticism that "Help Others in Their Dreams" or "Learn Something Exciting" really beat out "Get Enough Sleep." Or "Clean Out the F-cking Garage So We Can Park Our Cars in There Again" or "Spend Less Time on Pinterest/FaceBook/Snapchat/Porn" (depending on age and gender).

Perhaps the Least Disturbing Porn Image Involving Animals Ever Published.
swiped from: wikimedia commons.

How to Stick to Your New Years Resolution


The New York Times did a "how to make resolutions stick" research round up post last year, which I probably linked to already but whatever. Feel free to read it for useful tips but I bet you already know this stuff.  It's remarkable similar to the advice I used to give every year, but the Times totally forgot to include the swear words!

Be specific in your goals, arrange your life to make willpower less necessary, track your activities, use supportive resources, remember screwing up is inevitable, blah blah blah.

(And if you're really bored, recycled old Crabby "advice" can be found at:

Got New Year's Resolutions?

#1 Secret to keeping fitness Resolutions

How to Keep Your New Years Resolutions

Resolutions, Schmezolutions)

Why yes, one of my resolutions for 2014 is to continue to try to write shorter blog posts! However did you guess?

And now on to the best part, the comments!

Anyone got a goal or a progress report for the month or the year?  Or some thoughts on the making of resolutions? I'll meet you below in the comments section!

66 comments:

  1. So I am breaking the most important rule for making successful new years resolutions, which is: don't make a huge crapload of them and expect many, or even any, of them to succeed.

    But I can't help it!

    I won't even begin to list all the goals and self-improvement pledges I've made, yet prioritizing them into a sensible goal or two to focus on seems daunting and Not Fun. I find when I try, I'm just lying to myself, because I may say "just focus on keeping up the meditation and exercise" yet part of me is still going "and build up the blog and stop scarfing up desserts and lose ten pounds and read more novels like you used to and get the damn shower stalls replaced and make those medical appointments and blah blah blah, onto a hundred things.

    I think I'll go "intuitive" this month and focus more on the mental rewiring behind the changes, just making sure I'm not totally screwing around doing things that don't matter. So, extra attention to all that mindfulness practice and will-power boosting and finding joy in tedious chores and feeling good about myself even on days where I realize it's bedtime and what the heck did I accomplish? That kinda stuff.

    Actually, now that I write this out, I realize my #1 goal is to wake up in the mornings feeling excited about the day... and end the day feeling peaceful and content. So far, I'm totally on track!

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    1. Oh yeah...the oh no goals. but..but...but...and this...and this...and this....
      I solved that mental dilemma with my word for 2014...
      SELF...
      There are over 100 words in the dictionary that start with self so I have LOTS of options and can feel confident to stay within my intent for the year!

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    2. This spoke to me - "making sure I'm not totally screwing around doing things that don't matter." Case in point - I watched 3 episodes of "Naked and Afraid" on New Years Day. (don't tell anyone) :-)

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    3. Jules, "self" is a great way to sum up a bunch of disparate improvement goals and good luck with all things self-related!

      And Phoebes, I'm not sure what "Naked and Afraid" is, but it does sound both creepy and strangely compelling. My goal is to save trashy or indulgent rewards for AFTER periods of virtue rather than before, so there's less guilt involved but then I say that every year...

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    4. Excited, peaceful, and content...that sounds just about right!

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  2. Checking in on my December schemes...
    1. 12 Y visits including 4 swims - did 12 workouts, including 2 swims. I have been avoiding the swims because it leaves my skin dry and itchy.
    2. Try cyclefit (spin) class at the Y - nope. But I have been using the stationary bike in prep for the class.
    3. 10 Yoga classes - did 9.
    4. Bake 2 cakes - baked 3! Yummmm!

    January schemes
    1. 12 workouts at the Y including 3 swims
    2. Try cycle fit class at the Y
    3. 10 yoga classes
    4. Have mid-afternoon snack of fruit and nuts, or crackers and cheese.

    Best wishes to all with your resolutions/goals/etc.

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    1. Phoebes, that's awesome! Seems like you did a great job and are doing the ongoing tweaking thing, trying new things but not stressing about it... yay!

      Hmm, is it just the dry/itchy skin thing that gets in the way of swimming or is it a whole host of annoyances? If it's just the skin I'm wondering if there might be some lotions or something to try? But I am swimming-avoidant so don't know the first thing about mitigating chlorine.

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    2. I'd say that dry itchy skin is to be avoided. And congratulations on getting so much done.
      Also, adopting "schemes" instead of "goals"; sounds much sneakier and less sports-oriented. Should suit me better.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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  3. You gave me an idea with "The Hell With Common Sense, Bring On The Unicorns!" It reminds me of that quote, "Reach for the stars, and you'll end up with fabulous shoulders," or something like that. Close enough. Anyway, I just read a book on positive thinking that was really good. Apparently, it works to an extent, so I'm going to take a lesson from that and work on thinking happier thoughts, instead of dwelling on how sick I am. So yeah, bring on the unicorns!

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    1. I admire people who cope with geting ANYTHING accomplished while dealing with illness, that has to be such an uphill battle. But it's so cool you are embracing the positive thinking thing. If a cranky fussbudget like me can find some success with it, there's gotta be something to it!

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  4. This early for me reply is part of a just discovered additional resolution to not wait to see what others think before I weigh in on a subject!

    I sure do love that at least one or two others not only still make resolutions - but make a whole bunch of them!!

    I see this as a very GOOD thing in that it reflects some level of excitement and hopefulness. It's sort of "happy" in its own overly enthusiastic way. Does it always inevitably lead to disappointment? I'm not so sure. It CAN if we let it. Otherwise, we can just look at this like an exercise in applied brainstorming. Try stuff and see if it actually feels right. Maybe some of those resolutions we find out are not so wonderful after all?

    I have more than 5 and fewer than 10. The hard one is getting off "overt" sugar. It's Day Two. I got through day 1 proudly - but, there were some close calls and as the day wore on, the siren call increased significantly in volume. I'm going on faith right now that I'll feel SOOOO much better once I'm through the worst of the initial "withdrawal" that it will be worth it.

    I'm using fear is a motivator these first few days when the desire to just feel better wanes. I remind myself that Alzheimer's is now being called Type 3 Diabetes by many - so strong is the link of over consumption of sugar.

    The other resolutions are a bit easier and look more like guideposts than rules (they're mainly not quite as 'absolute').
    Anon

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    1. I really appreciate the reframe, Anon--multiple (and in my case, improbable) resolutions are "applied brainstorming." Brilliant!

      I'm also trying to cut down on sugar, but am compensating with an insane quantity of stevia, and, in smaller quantities, even some other even less natural alternatives. So am not really dealing with the "sweet tooth" issue.

      Way to go so far, anon, and good luck going sugar free!

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  5. Death Ride GrandmaJanuary 2, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    Gee, Crabby, I think one of my resolutions should be to open up enough time that I can do a lot of stuff that doesn't matter. My husband would love that (really!). I can't be the only one who is always tempted to add one more cool activity to an already bulging schedule. There are just so many great things out there! But actually, I would sort of like to know what people are talking about when they mention the latest cool movie, music, hey, even TV show. Maybe after I retire. But for this year...

    I have now officially registered for the Death Ride, and succeeded in making the local motel reservation I wanted, and I AM going to finish it this year. I'll be riding it with a friend, which is bound to help, and I will spend the spring learning to eat more on long rides. Who'd have thought I would need to figure out how to eat more? And that most of it will pretty much have to fall into the refined carbs category?

    By the way, I didn't get very far with the whole pull-up-chin-up thing in December. How about you? It is still on my list. I put a little time in with my giant rubber band thingy last night, and it felt a little easier than it had a few days earlier.

    Do let us know if you actually manage to find joy in tedious chores. That would be sooo cool!

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    1. Do let us know if you actually manage to find joy in tedious chores. That would be sooo cool!

      Oh darn, yes, I was going to ask about that too. Thank you for adding it, DRG!

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    2. Yay DRG, I'm excited about your next Death Ride! I live vicariously through tough gals like you.

      I made a little progress but then started to backslide on pull-ups. I seem to be holding steady at 2 chinups or 1 pull up. I think, actually, losing some of the extra weight I've put on around my middle may help as much as the strength training.

      I'm going to write a future post on the chore thing, as I am actively experimenting with this! I have been a lifelong chore hater... well as you can tell by the McSlacker monicker.

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  6. Cranky don't you dare pretend Unicorns don't exist. They do!! Always.

    I never make resolutions, I feel like I'm always striving for my best all throughout my life, I don't need to set myself up for failure by saying 2014 is the year I'm going to reach my goals, because life happens and gets in the way sometimes and I don't want to feel like a failure because of it. Last year I did do a blessings jar. I read about it on Pinterest and I thought, what a great idea, 2012 I was unemployed most of the year and by the time 2013 rolled around I couldn't think of anything good that happened in 2012, despite the fact that I lost 86 lbs in 2012 and finally landed a job I really loved, but yet I couldn't see past the fact I was unemployed. So this year I've written down every little good thing: one time buying a homeless man lunch and giving him some money as well, another time when my boss praised me as the best admin he's ever had and trusted me the most, yet another when a gentlemen called me on the phone and said he missed me, just little things throughout the year that made me smile, made me feel good. 2013 ended the same way most of 2012 was, getting laid off and finding myself in a similar spot again, unemployed with too many bills and not nearly enough unemployment money to pay them all, so New Years day I read the blessings from the previous year and I can't tell you how much this helped my outlook. I totally advise anyone to do it for 2014, even if it's just ready Cranky's blog and laughed hysterically or hubby brought me a coffee to work unexpectedly. I assure you, reading them really brings back the good.

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    1. As some one who has been unemployed for over a year now (short of odd jobs) this is simply wonderful. Sometimes I get caught up in the allowing the unemployment to define me and overshadow everything else...deserved or not.

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    2. I so admire your courage and humor in facing discouraging times, Starving Bitch, and it's so cool you actual DID the gratitude jar thing as I think it's one of those things that sounds great in theory but takes actual follow through, which many of us struggle with.

      I think you and QD have a really important message about not letting unemployment or underemployment define you and color your view of yourselves. I bet SO many people can relate to that struggle!

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    3. Thanks Guys. Thequitingdoberman I was laid off for an entire year from August 2011-September 2012 and despite having 15 years experience, I could barely get interviews, until a boss of a friend took a chance on me, then a year later (the whole company laid off our entire division) I am in the same position although in another state so unemployment is even less. It's awful and anyone who thinks the economy is doing just fine hasn't been out there attempting to find work. It's tough. But you have to stay positive, you have to think that there is reason for everything, whether it is to learn something about struggle, or that something better is just around the corner. You gotta keep the faith! Here's hoping we both find something that really makes us shine in 2014.

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  7. Well, my bags are packed and I'm catching the 2:20 to Cranky Heaven, where some of the things on my "will limit" list have no calories.
    Basically, I started out with three goals for this year, but in order to achieve one, I'd have to stop living. That would be the cursing. Yeah, that's staying; I NEED IT!
    Goal nr. two: I've seen the results of almost 80 years of eating pretty much just sugar, way too up close and personal. Will pick a number of days a year when "added" sugar will be on the menu and limit myself to those.
    Goal nr. three: ditch the scale! It messes with my head more than anything else. Let's face it, if I do what I'm supposed to, I will know which way my weight is headed. Regardless of the nr. on the scale, if my skirt looks like a damned open umbrella, there were probably consequences for the bacon-mushroom cheeseburger with fries and onion rings. Which is another reason I'm trying to catch that 2:20!
    I was, of course, going to start all that on Jan 1st, but MY December had 32 days so...I started today. Much success to all of you!

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    1. Good luck to you dlamb, those sound like sensible goals! I'll be curious how the new approach to sugar goes, and totally understand on the scale thing--stupid numbers don't accurately reflect the important things, like muscle vs fat, and new habits, etc and are likely to fluctuate with water weight, time of day, and sometimes for no reason at all other than to just fuck with us. (And yeah, I'm not even TRYING to stop cursing in 2014!)

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  8. im doing a "happiness project". have to reinvent myself again after failing to build my own business last year. am at 0 right now and actually weirdly enjoying to invent myself yet again!
    am inspired by zen habits, rick hanson and gretchen rubin and have sat down on new years eve to write down what id like to experiment with this year. its a combination of buddhist stuf´f i want to ´try out as well as the classics like "move more".
    i realised by getting a lovely dog ( who sleeps until noon!!! ) that it makes it much easier for me to move because he is running about so exitedly that i would have to be a complete moron to not feel great too.

    always great to read here! this little universe where pizza has no calories and a german foulmouthed gal can educate herself by picking up useful info plus us-swearwords..... LOVE!!!!

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    1. A "happiness" project and experimenting with new approaches-- that sounds like a lovely positive and inspiring way to approach the new year, Puja! Much better than a bunch of "shoulds" and rules and things.

      A dog is a great motivator, and I think the research even backs that up--people with dogs tend to be more active!

      Always great to hear from you and hope its a wonderful 2014.

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  9. I'm going to give in to my cravings more. I'm pretty sure I can keep it and if I don't it's okay,

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    1. Why didn't I think of that Leah? That's one of the few resolutions I'm pretty sure I could keep too.

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  10. Despite the attempts of the critters and children to the contrary, i am going to get more time to exercise, and get into a few areas that need cleaning out that they'd rather i leave in a comfortable higgle-piggle. Well, it's not comfortable for me, so it's going to get worked on.

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    1. Great goals messymimi! Although you make "comfortable higgle-piggle" sound mighty appealing. I'm gonna have to borrow that for all the spaces I have that are NOT gonna get worked on any time soon.

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  11. I'm going super simple this year with my goals so I think I will do the same with my monthly goals! This month I want to make a point to do at least 1 kind thing every day. I think I tend to get very self-absorbed and I'm hoping that the act of making sure I get in an act of kindness each day will help change this!!!

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    1. Oh Kim, I like that a lot! Kindness...It often takes a small effort on the part of the giver but it means so much to the receiver(s).

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    2. Well, you sure don't ACT like someone who's self absorbed Kim, but I do really like the idea of a kindness focus, and paying attention to that daily seems like an wonderful way to make the world better!

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  12. This year instead of setting specific, attainable goals, I'm going with vague. My goal for this year is: Get Healthier. All of it, physical, mental, spiritual. Eating right, exercising,yoga, meditating, gratefulness, positive outlook. I will count anything and everything that contributes to that goal, and enjoy the process.

    LynM

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    1. I endorse vagueness. And enjoyment, of course.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    2. Well, shoot, when you put it like that Lyn, it sounds so much more flexible and appealing and reasonable than standard issue "be specific" advice! I especially love the idea of noticing and counting anything and everything--such a better way to encourage positive change than focusing on the few inevitable slip ups.

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  13. I just need to comment on this: "And be assured, cupcakes and cookies and nachos and pizza and cheeseburgers have no calories whatsoever in Cranky Heaven". Seriously, I want to go to Cranky Heaven. Like now.

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    1. Courtney, just FYI chores are outlawed in Cranky Heaven in favor of napping. And getting massages, dinners out, and concert tickets are all free. No, wait, you get PAID to do all those. :)

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    2. OMG YES!!! Free concert tickets and massages just pushed it right over the edge. I'm in, for sure!

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  14. ("Clean Out the F-cking Garage So We Can Park Our Cars in There Again"--Crabby, I think that's a subset of "Get Organized." And "Get More Sleep"ers are too discouraged to put that down.)

    I'm going for a scheme instead of a goal, using Phoebes' word. I want to just think "Well, let's see what happens." There is so much that needs to be done that I must end up accomplishing some of it.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    1. Great way to frame it Mary Anne, and good luck with your schemes! (Plus, it's not like you've got oodles of spare time to tackle a bunch of new goals).

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  15. No resolutions here - don't stress myself out anymore with them. :) I do have things that need to be done - I will work on those quietly unless I feel the need to share but for now, all is under wraps on trying to uncomplicate the complicated mess here. ;)

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    1. Of course putting something under wraps only makes me more curious Jody! But know what you mean about needing quiet ThinkSpace to figure out good approaches to complicated situations. I bet you come up with something creative!

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  16. The Crankiverse is absorbing me: I dreamed last night that we all had a picnic together, in a remarkably boring park. There were no hand-holding circles (!) but there were water balloon fights!

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    1. I have Cranky Fitness dreams too Mary Anne--but never something as cool as a water balloon fight! Love it!

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  17. I swear I posted a braggity comment last night, but it seems to be missing. I will let it go.

    That is my mantra for 2014...letting go.

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    1. Oh crap Kimberley, I think the comment-eating gremlins are getting out of control! You're not the first to report this. Will check spam (not that it makes any sense that you should be in there), and will resurrect it if I can find it.

      I was looking forward to the braggities, so if you do decide to let it go just know that your 356 days straight of meditating did NOT go unnoticed by all the other Cranketeers! You have been a total inspiration. Can't wait to hear what's next!

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    2. You want it...you got it! Here comes the bragging. I meditated for 365 days in a row last year!!! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee! This year I am letting go as I mentioned before and am even blogging about it!

      P.S. I deleted my previous post because I have a new persona to go with my new blog.

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    3. That is SO awesome Kimberley! And so cool you have a brand new blog shiny blog!!

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    4. Crabby, thanks for the comment! I would just delete all those emails and start fresh! If it is really important, they will email you again.

      Thanks for the tip on signing off. I will use your suggestion. Also, it would be great if you add me to your blog roll...at your leisure of course.

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  18. It’s interesting to see, but I can’t be too surprised, that so many people are having a hard time keeping their new years resolution to lose weight. Visualizing my prorams like this graphic http://www.nashuanutrition.com/blog/2013/12/2014-new-years-resolutions-infographic/ helps me to put my goals into perspective. like laying out your battle plan. how do you stay focused?

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  19. I have always set New Year's Resolutions. I love New Year's Day. It is probably my favorite holiday. I am excited to enter into 2014 having already lost over 50 lbs, and more than that I feel like I am making permanent lifestyle changes. There are so many things that I am working on in my life that could have been written down as a New Year's Resolution, but the task seemed exhausting. A friend suggested that I select a word for the year. I chose Brave. I want to look back on this year as the year that I got off my ASS and did all those things I have always wanted to do. This will be the year that I continue to get healthier, do better with my money, start a coaching practice, become a motivational speaker, and hopefully end out the year with a baby on the way. Each day I am getting up and asking myself how am I going to be brave today :)

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    1. Wow you are brave! I'm glad I posted my resolution before I read yours. Thanks for inspiring me.

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    2. I agree with Bob Ben, Leslie, that is incredibly inspiring!

      Congrats on the 50lbs, that is huge, and the daily bravery seems like a fantastic goal.

      I'm guessing if my word if the year is "nap," I'm not gonna accomplish quite as much as you? :)

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  20. My goal is to increase my upper body strength. (yes, my upper arms are flabby, how'd you guess!) I outlined some baby steps or mini goals I want to achieve on the way to reaching my goal. I sent them to my trainer, Dave, at makeyourbodywork.com. I originally connected with him through his guest post on this blog. :D I've shared, put 'em in writing, asked for help, blah, blah, blah...

    I'm at my goal weight. My one year anniversary of maintenance was in Sept. 2013. Thank you Weight Watchers. I do cardio 4-5x/week and strength 2x/week. So, I'll be adding the extra emphasis on my problem area or challenging area. Just putting it in writing here, makes it seem real. That makes me feel good and I haven't even started! Ha! Thank you Crabby and fellow bloggers.

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    1. Wow Bob Ben, a year's anniversary of maintenance is a benchmark few accomplish! And it's so cool you found Dave through this site and that weight watchers is working for you.

      I tend to be a bit neglectful of lower body and core at the expense of upper body, which is stupid, but partly because it's so much more rewarding. I ain't a role model, what can I say. But sounds like you're ADDING rather than slacking, a much better approach!

      Than YOU Bob Ben for your great comments and really love having you here!

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  21. I've been thinking about New Year Resolutions (and why these have never, ever, worked for me in the past) and have decided instead to go small. One week at a time. There are some general areas in my life that I want to focus on (which inlucde the predictable ones about food nad exercise). So I'm planning to pick 2 things per week that I want to do, and which link into the areas I'm working on. Tracking 2 things seems more viable than trying to Achieve My Big Goals all in one go.

    Loved reading everyone else's comments about their approaches to new year / goals and the Crankyverse !

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  22. Fliss, excellent idea to break it down into 2 things a week, seems much more manageable than staring down the Big Goals and feeling overwhelmed. Good luck and keep us posted!

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  23. I try to resolve to do something, but I fail every year. Now it's time to work on myself. I am failing for a reason, right! http://www.chicfromhair2toe.com/

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  24. Well, I had one New Years resolution that I suggested this year, and I've already done it. lol!

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  25. I rarely make resolutions. It's strange, but the fall seems to be the time I usually reflect more and want to make changes. This year seems to be different. So I joined up a scrappy class called Move More Eat Well. That is going to be my 2014. But if you want to know more...I will be stuffing my tuckus into a Rockette costume on Mother's Day weekend for our tap recital. If that ain't motivation to get back into shape, I don't know what is. :)

    Oh yeah and 1. Lose Weight; 2. Get Organized; 3. Spend Less, Save More; 4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest; 5. Stay Fit and Healthy; 6. Learn Something Exciting; 7. Quit Smoking (ummm, waitaminute. Never started...); 8. Help Others in Their Dreams; 9. Fall in Love; 10. Spend More Time with Family. Those too. Also: clean out the damn garage. The cars fit, but they're getting crowded. (See also: finish the basement.) :D

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    1. Rockette costume, bdaiss? I hope there will be photos and/or videos!! And what a great guest post possibility: "Stuffing my Tuckus into a Rockette Costume for a Tap Recital"... just sayin' :)

      And the Move More Eat Well class sounds like an awesome idea!

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  26. late to the soiree but also late to prioritizing too--so theres that.
    do you make housecalls??

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  27. I don't actually make resolutions anymore. I just wanna take things one at a time this year and make everyday a resolutions day.

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