2018 Resolutions

Andie and Daniel in Hawaii

I have always been a person who loves making New Year’s resolutions. During that odd week between Christmas and the New Year that seems suspended in time, I would spend hours dreaming about the life I wanted, the kind of person I wanted to be, and I’d make a list of resolutions that I thought would bring me closer to that fantasy. For most of my life, losing weight was at the top of the list. I’d break out a calendar and a calculator and day dream about what number I could expect to see on the scale at the end of January and the beginning of Summer, and by this time next year I will finally be perfect. Like most people, I would make some positive changes and then mostly revert back to old habits. But even though I would rarely hit my goals, I think the yearly effort did help me make slower progress over time. Even though I understand the peril of resolutions and the likelihood of falling short, I still think it’s helpful for me to make them. I guess I’m a dreamer.

I understand the arguments against resolutions. You should constantly be trying to improve, not waiting until arbitrary points in the calendar. They have a low success rate probably because making the resolution itself often gives you a sense of accomplishment and you don’t feel the need to follow through. But, I still think it is good to take stock of your life and habits and think about where you can improve. And it may be arbitrary but the new year seems as good a time as any to do that. I think when it comes to resolutions there are generally two ways to go. Small, manageable goals, or big drastic changes. Obviously the more manageable goals will have a larger success rate but sometimes if you feel like your life is in a real rut or you need a major shift, a drastic goal might be helpful. Even if you don’t completely succeed, you will probably be better off.

This year I think I am going to go with a smaller goal. I’m very happy with the general trajectory of my life so far. I also think I could benefit from not focusing on my weight or issues with food for a while so I am going to leave that alone. My main issue is a habit I have had for as long as I can remember and have talked about extensively on this blog—I’d like to tackle my procrastination. I leave tasks to the last possible minute. Whether it’s work projects, household chores, or social interactions, I always seem to put it off until it starts to cause me so much stress it becomes unbearable. The stress makes me want to ignore it even more, and it causes so many unnecessary problems. The biggest area where my issue manifests itself is with email. My inbox fills up and as I avoid answering the more difficult emails, I let everything pile up. To help tackle this issue, my resolution this year is to take care of any email that will require less than five minutes of my time immediately. And to answer all other emails within 24 hours. This is a pretty small resolution, but it’s manageable and will have a positive impact on my life.

Are you making any resolutions? Do you favor smaller, more manageable goals or big sweeping changes? Feel free to share your thoughts or resolutions below!

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18 thoughts on “2018 Resolutions

  1. Jen

    I love to make resolutions/goals too! Mine are: get back on the healthy eating train, stop swearing (horrible habit I have picked up), listen more/talk less and read 12 books this year.

    Reply
      1. Mandy

        Try audio books! I download free books from the library and listen when I’m driving/commuting/doing errands!

        Reply
  2. Ali

    Love that resolution. I have so much weird anxiety around email, and dread/avoid my inbox like no other. Going to try out your strategy for myself. :)

    Best to you this year, friend!

    Reply
  3. Heather

    I love to set resolutions every year too. Some I don’t reach like cutting out all fried food (I mean who can resist a french fry, onion ring or donut), while other I can like reading a specific number of books. Some of my resolutions are more life goals (like being a good mom to our son and being more encouraging to my husband). Here are some of my resolutions this year: read >20 books (I read 22 in 2017..whoop whoop), take our son to Disney and a camping trip, reduce my sugar intake, sing on stage at church (this is a BIG one…i’m so scared and lack confidence in this area), volunteer at work, and grow my new friendships to a more meaningful/deeper level this year. I felt like the word for the year for me was CHANGE. I’m not sure what this will look like, but I want to go into any situation with an open heart and mind.

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  4. Mary

    I am queen of procrastination in my kingdom as well! That’s a great resolution to make, and I dare say I’ll make it any day now.

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  5. skb

    Hey, Andie. I’d love your thoughts on something….where do your (my) issues with weight/body overlap with issues of procrastination?
    I’d love to hear what you think about this.
    Happy New Year, and here’s to a great 2018.

    Reply
  6. Rbee

    What a great resolution! I feel your angst, you just described the story of my life. To the point where voicemail on my phone makes me want to break out in hives, and I forward important emails back to myself because they’ve gotten buried in my inbox. Best of luck to you and thanks for inspiring me at least to consider tackling procrastination as well!

    Reply
  7. Sammye

    I am taking it one month at a time. For January: read Bible each day, pray, one new vocabulary word and one meaningfull each day. Record these in my day timer. 3 lbs for the month

    Reply
    1. Mindy

      I like the idea of one month at a time, losing 3 lbs in a month sounds more achievable and (almost) easy! I could have 20lbs gone by summer!

      Reply
  8. Deb

    I think my new years resolution is something that is speaking to me and one with a two year focus. I’m so bored with my career and yet I’m unsure of what to do next. So I’m going to put my career on hold, I can do my job with my eyes shut and focus on me this year. Explore getting healthy again, doing things I’ve never got time to do and push myself out of my comfort zone for the next 12 months, then I’m going to put myself and my career out to the universe and see what the new me can attract.

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  9. Divya

    I love making resolutions.. In the starting i will follow it very well… and then later I’ll forget… But i still every year make resolutions.. thinking that at least one year I’ll follow and complete it successfully. This year my first resolution is to take out time for myself and do things for myself. My second resolution is to do savings. I hope this time at least I succeed in keeping them.

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  10. Janabelle

    I don’t normally follow through much with resolutions…last year was the first success I’ve ever had and it’s because I set a realistic, albeit healthy, goal to watch less television. It used to be the first thing I turned on when I got up in the morning and the first thing I did when I got home from work. Now I listen to podcasts while I eat breakfast and cook my evening meal and either read or play with the dog for at least an hour after I eat. I really don’t miss all that extra TV time and the podcasts I listen to make me feel smarter. haha

    This year, though…Ugh…my number one goal this year is to pay off my credit card debt. I made a good dent in it the last six months of 2017 but this year I want to knock it out completely. I’ve made my budget and set up my plan. Now if I–and life–can just stick with it, I’ll be golden. I gave up on weight related resolutions a long time ago. All it ever did was make me depressed. Instead, I set mini-goals for myself throughout the year to keep me from gaining anymore with the hopes that at some point my body and mind with finally click and I’ll actually start losing!

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  11. Cassie

    My word for 2018 is: SLOW. 2017 was a whirlwind. My career skyrocketed, which was great, but I barely remember anything that happened because it was so busy. I am working on saying “No” to things that no longer serve me (ie. quitting volunteer organizations that are draining) and focusing on things I really want to do (like take a set of photography and web design classes, which after YEARS, have finally bit the bullet on and signed up for – EEK!). I’ve also built in days/nights of “margin” where I’m not allowed to schedule anything so that I can just relax and breathe for a little bit and focus on things like writing, drawing, or reading. One of my goals is to read a book a month this year. I am introvert, so really need the downtime to recharge. Here’s to a successful 2018!

    PS. Have you used Unroll.Me to minimize your Inbox? I started doing that so I don’t get any more sale emails, etc. My inbox has drastically been reduced by this…just a thought.

    Reply
  12. Bethany

    I love this! Girl, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’m a fan of resolutions too, and I am a chronic procrastinator. Maybe even a pathological procrastinator. It’s stupid, and it hurts me more than anyone, but also not just me. I know so much of what I want requires me to be better on this subject. SO MUCH.

    So, I’m joining you.

    Your sister in the Struggle,
    Bethany

    Reply
  13. Judy

    I was making all kinds of resolutions leading up to Jan 1st and by the time the day arrived I was literally burnt out and not finding any energy left to actually do them.

    A couple days in my resolve is back and my resolutions ares to turn on my boom box when I am working in the kitchen. It is so great to have music I enjoy as I cook. I don’t know why I didn’t do it earlier. The other is to pace myself and make progress each day on bettering myself / my life. Given this I related well to Sammye’s post above.

    Reply

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