Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Keeping Up With the NYRs

Found here
New Year's Resolutions (aka NYR's) are overrated. Lets be honest - the ones most of us set for ourselves are so lofty and unrealistic (both in general and in relation to our own lifestyles) that we are basically setting ourselves up to fail. When is the last time you set a NYR and actually stuck to it (for more than a week), let alone actually accomplished it fully? In addition to being unrealistic, most NYR's are fairly broad as well (lose weight, be more patient) so sometimes it's hard to know if you have actually accomplished it or not!

I am certainly speaking for myself here. In the past I have shot myself in the foot by setting major goals for myself in the wake of the post-new-year/holiday push of energy and self-examination many times (remember this WAY long-winded post from last January?*).

I am so over that.

Don't get me wrong, I am not over setting goals for yourself or pushing yourself to be better. I will always be a huge proponent of that. It's important to examine your life on a regular basis and "clean house", i.e. eliminate or improve on the things that are holding you back. However, I will never be a proponent of pressuring yourself by setting expectations that are so high that it's only a matter of time before I throw them out the window and decide that I am lazy and flawed.

I have realized (the hard way) over time that setting manageable goals is the key. Be honest with yourself about your habits, your inclinations, your personality and what you tend to prioritize in life. Only you can know how much you can manage and what will work for your life/what won't so it's time to get real about that. Who cares what Suzie Underpants over there can manage (or can SEEM to manage - KEY!) - what can YOU manage? What works best for YOU?

So, what works for me? Setting a short list of specific, short-term, realistic goals - ones that are not so specific that I feel restricted, but not so broad that I do not have any clue as to where to start. Activities that are focused around jump-starting new habits, that will hopefully (eventually - no timeline) lead to achieving greater goals (rather than going for the greater goal right out of the gate and ending up trampled by it) is what works for me.

With all this in mind, here are some things I am going to work on in coming weeks:

1. Eat smaller portions and replace carbs with protein/vitamins whenever possible
2. Spend one hour per week on a creative or artistic activity 
(non-writing, e.g. painting, drawing, craft)
3. Go on a hike with the boy once per week
4. Continue to work on getting better quality freelance writing work (I realize this is rather broad, but I have various tactics I plan on trying out to help work toward this goal - including some changes to how and what I write on this blog - stay tuned! - don't need to go into more detail here)

That's it. Sure, I have lots of plans for the year, lots of things I would like to accomplish that are bigger and broader, but those are things that I can tackle when the time is right. They are not urgent priorities (and, in fact, I have to wait for some other things to fall into place before tackling them) and can be kept in the back of my mind until they are. The goals that will be at the front of my mind are only the above. If I can more-or-less stick with them for a few months until they become habit, then I will be happy. When that happens, perhaps I will choose five different primary goals to work on. Or maybe I'll take these ones one step further. 

Who knows. I'll see what happens and how I feel. After all, the power is in my hands, not in theirs.

What do you think of NYRs? Did you make any for this year?

*Speaking of which, related to #  above, I am going to work on being more concise this year. No, seriously.


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