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Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

It’s that time again. We all start reassessing our lives, making plans for what we want to change, improve on, and get rid of. Have you started, yet? I have, and I decided to share my list.

What’s the one thing at the top of most women’s New Year’s Resolution list? You guessed it. Diet and Exercise. Of course, these are my first thoughts of what I want to change. So #1 for me is---Eat healthier, lose weight, exercise more.

My children are blessed. They have several sets of grandparents including greats and even one great-great. They also have lots of aunts and uncles, including the greats and great-greats. Needless to say they got tons of Christmas gifts. Yes, I donated a lot of their older things and we dropped them off. But they still have much that needs organized, labeled for easier put away, and clothes that need gone through. This brings me to my #2 goal---Organize. I am going to start in the kids’ rooms and go from there. If I can get their’s completely done, I am hoping to be motivated to move to other rooms, including cabinets and closets.

You may remember my post about my family starting to recycle, if not check it out HERE. My #3 goal---Recycling. This includes plastics, aluminum, metal, tin, everything. This will take some planning, since we don’t have much room for storage in between trips (we don’t have pick up service), but I want to teach my children the importance of recycling to cut down on waste and save resources.

#4---Learn something new. I would love to take at least one crafting class this summer. I don’t know exactly which one yet, because there are several that I have been wanting to try. I would love to hear some of your favorites, whether it’s pottery, beading, sewing, etc., and how or where you learned.

This may sound a little like #4, but I am separating them out because I intend to do both. #5---Learn to sew. I have had my first sewing machine for 2 years now, and have yet to take it out of the box. There are lots of things I would love to make, and know that if I meet this goal, I will feel a sense of accomplishment for the year, even if I fail in my other attempts.

Last, but not least, is to save extra. I don’t want to give this a number because I aim to accomplish this goal every day. If I can do something simple, whether it be active (washing out our sandwich bags) or non-active (refraining from eating out when I can cook at home), then my goal is accomplished.

I was reading some statistics about New Year’s resolutions and was a little discouraged to find that only 8% of the of people who set out to make changes are successful. I decided that if there was only going to be 8%, then I wanted to be included. Here is what I came up with:

1. Have a plan. Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight.” Say, “I want to lose 10 lbs. by the end of February,” then plan out how you are going to accomplish that, maybe join a club, or make out your new healthy menu for each month. You can also plan to accomplish one change a week, such as eating five servings of fruit and veggies a day.
2. Break it down. Start with your main goal, then break it down into smaller, easily achieved tasks. If you want to organize your kitchen, plan to clean out one drawer or cabinet every day. Don’t overdo it, so you won’t become overwhelmed by the larger goal.
3. Make a list. Don’t just write down your main goals, write down the small steps you need to take to achieve those goals As you accomplish each task, you can cross them off the list. This can be a great motivator because it is instant gratification, and the larger goal won’t seem as hard to achieve.
4. Re-find your motivation. No matter what we do, motivation can lag if we aren’t seeing results or have had a bad week. Go back and figure out what motivated you to start with. Was it a picture of your “skinny” self, a picture of your dream home, or maybe just a friend’s well thought out kitchen set-up. If it’s a picture, make copies and tape it where you will see it often---the bathroom mirror, refrigerator, or your checkbook. While you are first starting out and motivated, try writing yourself a letter to only be opened when you are at that midpoint and getting discouraged. Who better understands what kind of encouragement you’ll need than yourself?

So now that I have an idea of what I want to accomplish, I need to start making my plan and breaking it down, so I can get started by the 1st. I hope this helps encourage or motivate some of you. I would love to hear what your resolutions are and what you do for motivation.

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