New Year’s Resolutions – “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life…”

Have you ever heard “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone? It’s one of my favourite songs when I’m feeling down or discouraged, because it reminds me that every day can be fresh and new and wonderful.

My last blog post was titled “End of a Long Hiatus” but it should have been called “Beginning of an Even Longer Hiatus” because I have been absent for so long. I apologize, but there are reasons (good and bad) for that.

The bad reasons are what I mentioned in my last post – that I wasn’t really exercising or eating well and I was embarrassed to chart my progress because I had gained weight. That continued, I am sorry to say.

The other reasons were that both of my parents had serious health scares within the course of a month of each other (they are both perfectly fine now though, thank goodness!), starting shortly after I published my last post, so naturally my concerns were with them. I also got a new, rather demanding job, and got involved with a bunch of extracurriculars that have sucked up my time immensely. And then, suddenly, Christmas was upon us, and I found myself swept up in a buying/wrapping/decorating/cooking/baking etc. frenzy. You all know how it goes.

Anyway, I am back, for good this time. And I wanted to talk about New Year’s Resolutions.

I have learned a lot about myself over the years, good and bad things, and I have come to the realization that, despite what I had thought previously, I am not so good at multi-tasking. I also have an “all or nothing” attitude about a lot of things. These two things combined create disaster.

What often happens with my resolutions is that I try to change too many things at once. I’ll find myself with a list of 40 resolutions and I try to start ALL of them on January 1. Naturally, there is not enough time in a day for me to learn Japanese and play guitar and read 30 minutes and crochet a blanket and learn to juggle, so of course the whole thing flops. I get overwhelmed and then I say “screw it” and stop doing everything. (Which is often what happens when I miss too many workouts in a row or eat poorly for a little while, I just say “forget it, who cares” and continue with my bad habits.)

This year, I changed my strategy. I have a few New Year’s Resolutions, but I broke the year down into projects as well, so that I can complete some of the things that I want to, but I don’t feel pressured to do everything at once. For example, my project for January is to crochet a blanket instead of “crochet 30 minutes every day” which, given my schedule, is rather unrealistic. I am hoping that wording these things differently allow me to take the pressure off myself and just enjoy what I’m doing, instead of trying to cram everything into an already-busy day.

I also made very specific goals this year. Instead of just things like “get fit” or “eat healthier” my resolutions are things like “do 30 minutes of exercise 4 days a week” and “eat less sugar and less processed food”. I tend to get overwhelmed quite easily when I look at the “big picture”, so I think that by breaking generic goals down into smaller ones, I will be more able to keep up with them and to just take things day by day.

I am going to do a new progress update on Sunday (which will be my new weigh and measure day) to start this year’s journey, I hope many of you will join me!

Cheers and Happy New Year!

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