Monday, June 7, 2010

New Year's Resolution Roundup

I find the New Year's Resolution to be more and more important the older I get.

When I was younger I didn't ever take this practice seriously. When I was young, I worked hard every day to be something so a resolution was pointless.

Getting to my quarter-life crisis was significant. I realized I was 25 years old and still hadn't gotten anywhere. Except, I had gotten everywhere I wanted to be, but at the end of the day it wasn't enough. I was married, had my first child, but I didn't have a career or a dream job. I had gone from living a fast life to a slow life; I was bored in the mind. I had too much energy; I needed to do something more. However, I had no idea what I wanted to do, or who I was or wanted to be. That's when I knew I needed some resolutions; some way of tricking my mind into believing I was still living and achieving even if I was standing still for the moment.

Now that I make resolutions every year, it's interesting how piddly my resolutions from the past seemed. That's why I started making two resolutions. The first resolution was for something small and easily obtainable (a fail-safe). The second resolution was designed to be difficult, hardly reasonable, but a goal all the same.

This year my resolutions were:
1. Make one new recipe every month. Just one. Not a whole month of new meals.
2. Write a book. Not to be confused with start writing a book (I've done that one already and never finished it). I mean start and finish writing a book.

June is the notorious half-way point of the resolution. So, we should always check-up on ourselves even if we know we haven't even started, because it's a good reminder to get motivated and inspired.

Here's my six-month roundup:

1. Make a new recipe every month: I made a new recipe every month for three months. (I mean from scratch, not a new just-add-water meal). And then, I got too busy and I gave up.

2. Write a book: I finally did it! I wrote a book. I kept my momentum and then I wrote two books. Now, I am on my third book. It's not like me to be able to be inspired for such long periods of time.

Here is what's funny about resolutions to me:

The resolution usually perpetuates a life-style (That's probably why most people avoid making resolutions all together).

Last year, I had a resolution to run at the Marine Corps. Camp Pendelton Mud Run 10K (obstacles, Marine's yelling, mud in the face, etc.). So, last year, before the race, I ran and ran and ran. Then I ran some more. I called this "training for the Mud Run." Well, the race was so successful and fun to do, how could I not sign up for it again this year?

Yeah, so I signed up for the Mud Run this year (January 1 is sign up day), but the book writing prevented me from pulling myself away long enough to train (or stretch for that matter). I will elaborate on this year's Mud Run experience in tomorrow's blog (need to have pictures and they are getting developed as I type this blog post).

See what I mean about how a resolution can perpetuate a life-style change? So, if you decided to lose weight last year and you were successful, then you probably feel like you have to lose weight every year. If you decided to write one book this year and you wrote two or three, then you probably feel like you have to write at least one book every year.

If you stacked resolutions like this in the past, then you've probably stopped making resolutions all together by now.

Perhaps, it would be better to remind ourselves that inside each goal there are several other small but gainful goals.

I don't feel like I have to write three books a year, every year of my life. I might just focus on getting an agent next year (even though I am also focusing on it this year too.) Maybe though, I go from the query process to the conference process.

Piece it out. Don't let the resolution get you down. Remember, small steps to the end goal. Make one small goal and one big goal. Maybe the small goal is a piece of the big goal, if so, then make that big goal further down the road.

How are your resolutions working out for you this year? Have you started yet? Have you already finished? Do you regret your resolution choice this year?


  1. I decided not to make resolutions this year (I know; I copped out) but made wishes instead. And it seems like some of them are beginning to come true! It's pretty exciting.

  2. Andrea, wishes are just as great as resolutions.

    I hope all of your wishes come true. I bet you've done a little here and there throughout the last six months to ensure they come true!