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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top New Years Resolutions

I have a poll going, asking if you make a New Years Resolution. I personally do not make a resolution. To me a resolution is aimed at a complete make over of ones self. I do not care for that. I do make short term goals, however. That seems much more manageable than a complete make over. So what do you think are the top resolutions people make every year? This is what I think the top 5 are:

1- to lose weight This is such a general statement. How much weight do you want to lose, how will you do it, and when do you want to do it by. For instance I wish to lose 10 pounds, by eating less and exercising, by St Patricks Day. Now doesn't that sound more attainable?

2- make more money- Again this is such a general statement. How do you plan to do it, and when do you wish to do it by. For instance I would like to get a raise of 2 dollars per hour, by June. I will request my raise, in May when my evaluation is due. That is much better I think.

3- Exercise more- very ambiguous What does exercise more mean. Do you already exercise, or do not at all. Wouldn't it make more sense to set a goal such as I will walk at least 1 mile every day. I certainly would not say I will join a gym, lift weights, and do aerobics 7 days a week, if I have never exercised in my life.

4- get out of debt- easier said than done. How will you accomplish this, when do you want to accomplish it by. It is highly unreasonable to think you will get out of debt in one year, unless you have already been working on it in previous years. It would be more reasonable to say I will pay an extra 10, or 20 dollars, every month on my credit cards, and other loans to reduce my debt by the end of 2009.

5- eat healthier- this one always surprises me. It really takes a lot of commitment, and goal setting to achieve a complete resolution of ones eating habits. You can not just say I will not eat chips, or drink soda anymore. That really does not work, at least not for most people. It would probably be more effective to say I will only eat a handful of chips, rather than the whole bag. Or I will limit myself to one or two sodas, per day. Starting by cutting whatever the unhealthy food item is, by quarters is more attainable, and easier to stick with. That leads me to my last one, and probably the most difficult

6- Quit smoking- how many try that every year, and it doesnt last? I know my husband has tried several times, only to start smoking again. For him it is because he tries to quit cold turkey, which does not work for most people. It would make more sense to say I will only smoke 6 cigarettes a day, or whatever is a reduction for you, for the first month, then 5 cigarettes a day, for the next month etc until you no longer need to smoke. Also, I think for a lot of people smoking is a form of stress management, so learning a new way to cope with stress would be optimal to quitting. That could be writing your feelings in a journal, meditating, or even taking a time out for 5 minutes to clear your head.

So what do you think? Do you make a resolution every year? Do you stick to it? Would it not make more sense to make a short term goal, rather than try for a complete resolution of ones self? Tell me what you think.


betchai said...

Hi Melissa, you have a very good point about losing weight and exercising. I too need to lose weight, and I keep on saying I will do it, but it has been years now and I have not lost any, maybe even gained a little bit more :(

But like what you said, we should make a more realistic goal. So, maybe I'll follow you to lose weight by St Patrick's Day, but I think I can attain the 10 lbs, I will just make it 5 lbs by St. Patrick's Day, then, we'll let each other know how we are progressing.

Melissa said...

Good idea betchai. They say doing it with a partner makes it more difficult to say no to a friend.

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