Happy September, Everyone! Sorry for not posting more regularly, I’ll get a handle on this eventually.
I love September. (October is best, though) It feels like a new beginning to me. I know it is a new start for those involved with education. Still for me, September feels more of a “new year” than January. Even though the summer is just the same as the rest of the year for me, September comes and I think, “okay, time to get serious and back to real life.”
I know I’m the only one that feels this way. I know this mostly because I just got a wall calendar and a planner that start NOW and go till December 2015! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?! (I bought both of these at the most adorable store, that I just happen to work for as well, called Paper Source. Just go there. It’s amazing.)
This is the most useful calendar I’ve ever purchased! Each month it has a new inspirational saying, a healthy tip for the month, and a space for three goals that month. I am very excited to use it and to see something everyday that has inspirational words and my goals on it.
Since we’re on the subject of goals, (or resolutions – this is my new year, right?) I want to think about how we make our resolutions and why we keep or accomplish some and not others. In my Five-Minute Journal, at the end of every day, it has a line where you write one thing you could have done better. This is where I realized, I was not keeping my resolution or close to getting to my goal. (honestly, I’ve had the same goal for years, this shouldn’t be a surprise to me) I wondered why it was so difficult for me to keep up with this.
I’ve learned that how you make your resolution matters to how likely you are to keeping it.
Say, for instance, you want to be healthier. You can make a resolution that’s something like, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to eat better.” What do those mean, really though? How are you going to lose weight and eat better? Instead, make a resolution that is an actual activity like, “I will eat vegetables with every meal.” or “I will not snack.”
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, and a book I am anxiously awaiting called, Better Than Before, talks about the difference between being an abstainer or moderator. (she also thinks September has that “new year” feel. She’s awesome.) You can read about it and see what you identify with here.
I think I’m an abstainer, but I try to be a moderator. This is a big reason I cannot keep my resolution! When I decided to not eat chicken, for various reasons, I didn’t eat chicken. A lot of the reasons for doing this was to push myself to keep a resolution, especially one that would be difficult and one that people wouldn’t understand or who would give me a hard time about it (all of these things happened). However, by being absolute about it, I was able to keep it. (mostly, there were a couple of times I did have chicken when I felt like it would be rude not to accept. Other times I was rude and didn’t accept…)
I think, in order to keep your resolutions, you have to start by first being true to yourself. I am an abstainer. I have tried many times to stop drinking Coca-Cola. I’ll try by saying, “Only one a day,” or “One every other day” or “Only when I’m out,” and I’ve done all of these things… for a while. Then, one day, I’ll have two. Then, before you know it, I’m drinking three a day again. The hard thing is, and this is another huge thing for keeping your resolution, I don’t want to stop drinking Coca-Cola all together. I do want to cut back on it a lot, but not completely. I just don’t think that’s possible for my personality.
Okay, make the resolution concrete, be true to yourself, want the change, what’s next?
PUT IT IN FRONT OF YOU!
Have something in a place you’ll see it everyday, a chalkboard, dry erase board, post-it note, poster, whatever, that has your resolution. Write on your mirror in the bathroom. Keep a journal and every morning, write down your resolution. Write it on pages in your planner (or every week). Put it on slips of paper you’ll find randomly. Make it follow you.
See it, write it… say it.
Tell one person, a group of friends, post it on twitter or facebook. Make it public and you’re more likely to keep up with it. Peer pressure is a strong motivator. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how much you think it doesn’t effect you. It still has somewhat of an impact on us all.
Okay, you tell me!
What strategies have worked for keeping your resolutions?
What has interfered or made it more difficult to keep them?
I realize this is not about a new thing I’ve done, it’s about planning to do new things. I promise, though, I have been doing new things, and I will post about an amazing day I had next! Full with photos too!!
Join the fun! I’d love to see what new things *YOU* are trying!
Use the hashtag #hundrednewthings to share!
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