Jacquelynne Steves

New Year’s Resolutions??

NewYearResolution_TheoMoudakis_TorontoStar

I came across an interesting article from Entrepreneur the other day that fits in well with my feelings about New Year’s Resolutions. After years of making resolutions and then “falling off the wagon” by around January 7, I gave up making resolutions. After all, there is nothing magical about the date January 1. It does indeed feel like a fresh start, but in the end. why put off making a change until a certain day. Don’t wait until January 1, or next Monday, or a landmark birthday to start. You can start TODAY.

And rather than trying to re-vamp and recreate your entire life, focus on some general areas which are the cornerstones of a happy, healthy, fulfilling life. Here are 5 general areas listed in the article by Ann Mehl, and my take on each one.

1. Physical- You don’t have jog a 5K every day. How about taking a 15 minute walk in the fresh air, doing some jumping jacks during the commercials of your favorite show, drinking an extra glass of water or 2, or adding an extra serving of vegetables to your daily menu?

2. Emotional- Don’t waste your emotional energy on negative people or thoughts. Learn which things have a negative effect on you and get rid of them as much as possible. I, for one, tend to fall into the trap of comparing myself with other people, so I try to stay away from certain TV shows and websites which make me feel like I just don’t measure up.

3. Mental- Do something every day that keeps your mind sharp. It can be a crossword or Sudoku puzzle, reading a challenging newspaper article, practicing a new skill. For me, sometimes it’s as simple as figuring out a math problem in my head instead of automatically reaching for the calculator.

4. Spiritual- Prayer, mediation, practicing daily gratitude. Something that reminds you that it’s not all about you.

5. Interpersonal- Reach out, whether by a phone call, written note, email, even a Facebook message or text. This is an important one for me because I tend to spend so much time all alone in my studio. I need to remind myself that there is a bigger world, full of interesting people out there, that will make my life richer by connecting with them.

 

Another article which I found very useful was called “Forget Setting Goals, Focus on This Instead” by James Clear. In it, the author stresses focusing on the system or process instead of the end goal. He maintains that this is actually a more effective way of ultimately reaching our goals. For example, if you want to lose a certain amount of weight, instead of just focusing on the number which is your goal, try focusing on the process. Think about what you are eating and how it makes you feel. How does exercise make you feel? If you concentrate on the process- say, making sure you eat 6 servings of vegetables a day, and walk at least 20 minutes a day- you will reach your goal of losing weight. AND you have created habits that result in a lifestyle change, which is ultimately the goal anyway, right? I think it was an excellent article, I strongly recommend it.

So those are just some thoughts that have been going through my head regarding New Year’s Resolutions. What are your thoughts?? Do you make resolutions? If so, do you find that stick with them throughout much of the year?

HaveADelightfulDay-TeaCup

 

14 Comments

  • Posted December 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Great thoughts and inspiration Jacquelynne! Wishing you the attainment of all your goals in 2014 (or at least most of them ☺)

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Oh Teresa, so many goals, so little time!!

  • Maga
    Posted December 28, 2013 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    I do not make resolutions at New Year rather throug out the year and sometimes I can stick to them, sometimes not and I am trying to learn not to beat myself up over that but just say tomorrow is another day and I can try again IF that resolution is still relevant. Over the years I have come to realise that what was extremely important 3 months ago may not be so today because life has dealt some quirky cards and changed my outlook.
    The article you refer to is very interesting and I can certainly see it makes a lot of sense. I have bookmarked it to refer back to it. Thank you for sharing.
    I wish you all the very best of luck trying to change some of your habits along the way in 2014. I will think of you when I try to break a couple of my bad ones ;-D
    Maga

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Maga. That is exactly it- we have to be kind to ourselves and forgive ourselves for our failings and just try again tomorrow!

  • Posted December 28, 2013 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Those are some great points Jacquelynn. I am not a resolution maker. Although I did, last year, make a goal for the year.. it didn’t work out, but I’ll try again this year. Setting goals to work toward are easier, as if you don’t reach that goal, you can still work toward it :)

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Right, Dorian- as long as we are making progress, then that is success!

  • Joanie
    Posted December 28, 2013 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Jacqueline, thanks for the great ideas and article. I have the tendency to beat my self up a lot. It seams the older you get the more you look back to see yourself and how you were. It is eye opening to say the least, but in my case, I try to do better and I do, but it is hard to see what one was when younger or not. It might be wonderful for alot of you. My mainstay is God. Joanie

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      I think that’s true, Joanie. Sometimes we feel like we are not making any progress and we are disappointed in ourselves, but if we look at what we HAVE done, then we see that we are indeed becoming better.

  • Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    awesome post!!

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Sandy! This is a good time of year for reflection, even if you are not making resolutions!

  • Snoodles
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    (Giggle) I’m kinda the opposite….I usually don’t make resolutions, but I am this year. This will be the year that I take time for ME and do things that are needful for my own health and well-being! Reading the Bible, losing weight, etc!

  • Jacquelynne
    Posted December 31, 2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Snoodles- I have made those “resolutions” so many times in years past and just end up disappointed- Probably because I tried to do/change too many things at once! So for me, a “slow & steady” attitude is helpful. And I have to keep reminding myself that it’s all about progress, not perfection (I am a world-class perfectionist…)

  • Posted December 31, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I had never set any New Year’s resolutions before, but this year I am going to! I went on the Atkins diet a couple months ago and so far have lost 30 pounds. I am going to continue with this new way of eating and lose even more weight. My other resolution is to continue learning more about quilting. I didn’t start quilting until after I retired and that was my only goal. I intend to enjoy my retirement.

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted January 2, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      That’s great Tami! Keep up the good work, and enjoy your retirement :)

One Trackback

  • By Happy 2014 | Jacquelynne Steves on January 1, 2014 at 9:27 am

    […] week, I talked about why I no longer make New Year’s Resolutions. Below is the poem written by inspirational writer Max Lucado that I have been putting on my blog […]

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