Sunday, March 20, 2016

The New Year's Resolutions that are Proving the Hardest to Stick With...


We are fast approaching the end of the first quarter of the year, and my new year's resolutions have (still) been on my mind constantly (an overall good sign).

However, several of them have largely been on my mind constantly because I feel guilty that they're not exactly  happening as I'd like them to be...*cough cough*

Perhaps it should come as no surprise to me (considering how much I've debated between the habits vs. goals thing over the years) that the "Habits" portion of my resolutions is overall going the best. 

A little refresher of my Habits resolutions:

*Blog at least 12 times per month. 
*Eat dinner at the table 6x/week, with the t.v. off
*Attend the temple once a month.
*Read the Ensign cover to cover every month.
*Read 40 pages on most days (10 pages from four different books)
*Index on Sundays.

First off, it's worth noting that three of these are spiritually-oriented, two are heavily reading-oriented, and none of them are strictly health-oriented. I usually try to be a little more balanced in my habits and goals (as far as having an equal blend of goals/habits in the categories of Health/Social/Intellectual/Spiritual, for example), but my habits this year were a bit lopsided, maybe because I felt like I already had decent habits in the other areas (or because they were addressed in the "Challenges" or "Pleasures" portion of my new year's resolutions).

That note aside, let's just make a couple sweeping generalizations of How Things Are Going:

1. The "spiritual" goals are proving the most difficult, due to things both inside and outside of my control. I found that because I try to do daily scripture study already AND because I'm trying to read more (out of the 4 books daily), adding an additional couple pages from the Ensign is proving a bit tricky. I still haven't given up on the endeavor entirely, but I already know that I won't be finishing each current issue by the time the month is up, which was my original intention. Also, we were all set to go to the temple last month, but it ended up being closed, and because we had put it off until the last weekend of the month, we logged no temple attendance in February. I'm going to try and "make up" the missing trip sometime in the months to come, however. And the indexing? Well, it usually happens as long as we're on our "usual" Sunday schedule, but if anything gets thrown off--we're out of town, our meeting times change, etc.--it usually doesn't happen. I will work on it.

2. We're doing a TON better at eating at the table without the t.v. on when the baby's around, but if we happen to eat after she's gone to bed, we're not necessarily so great at this one. However, it is such a drastic improvement over what it was that I'm counting it as a success so far.

3. The only habit I've been perfect on so far is blogging 12 times a month. (Of course, in both the last months, I've had to post pretty much every day for the last 5-6 days of the month to make the goal, but progress is progress.)

4. The reading 40 pages a day goal is really hit and miss---if I have a pretty low-key day where I have nothing else going on outside of the usual, I often will do *okay* at it. (There have been few days in the past month, however, that I have stuck with the habit exactly as written---I've often just picked one or two books to read per day and have just read a chapter or two in each.) The times that I've actually stuck with the resolution exactly as written though have been awesome, especially if I've done so consistently---it's been motivating to see myself make regular progress in so many books, and it's been fun to calculate how many books I'll read this year if I keep up my current progress. (If you want to see what I've read so far, check out my list here.)

If you happened to read my original New Year's Resolutions post, you might remember that I divided my resolutions into three categories this year -- Habits, Challenges, and Pleasures. A quick run-down about how the other two categories are going (Challenges and Pleasures):

 Me at my last half marathon (in April 2014). I must be crazy for considering it again after looking at that face...

The "Challenges" for the year:

*Buy my own domain name and redesign the blog. 
*Finish the first draft of my novel.
*Run a half-marathon.
*Print my blog out.
*Try out a new volunteering experience.
*Reach my goal weight.
*Take a class.
*Complete my "100 Hours in the Kitchen" Project.
Some general notes:
1. I haven't officially completed any challenges, but I have made progress on several. I can't wait until at least a few are behind me so that it doesn't seem so overwhelming (especially after doing the math and seeing that since there are 9 challenges and only 9 months of the year left, I basically have to average one a month). However, several are things I can easily knock out in a month without too much prep work (like taking a class or trying out a new volunteering experience), so that's heartening.

2. Challenges I've officially made at least some progress on:

**Redesigning the blog - This one is definitely in the works, and now I more fully   appreciate how much work and time and planning and effort goes into designing a website. I'm coordinating with two other people on this one, so my timeline is totally dependent on them. I'm really excited with what we have so far though!

**Finish the first draft of my novel - Although I haven't actually added anything to my novel since December, I did meet with the "Writers' Group" that my husband's family does, and I got some really good direction for the plot trajectory of my story, so now I just have to sit down and hammer out the rough draft. I'm not really planning on jumping into this one hardcore until summer, though.

**Run a half-marathon - I haven't officially signed up for a race yet, but I have continued running once a week. I need to be more serious about upping my mileage though (I'm only running 4 miles at a time), and I need to just pick a race so that I can officially start a training schedule. For awhile, my running was all about just getting my running fitness back, but I'd consider myself pretty close now to what I was before getting pregnant, so now it's just a matter of being more intentional about it.

**Do the Minimalist Challenge - I'll admit, I'm cheating on this one a bit. The true minimalist challenge is supposed to be completed in a month, but I'm just gradually getting rid of stuff as I get pockets of time, so as of now, I've gotten rid of things through "Day 16," I believe. 

**Reach my goal weight - I've made a *little* bit of progress on this one since January (two pounds down), but I still have 8 to go before my goal weight. I was hoping to do this one before Raven turns a year, but that would require me going back to doing a full-on elimination diet again, which I'm just not willing to do. I think this one will naturally get a bit easier once I've set a half-marathon training schedule into place.

**Complete my 100 Hours in the Kitchen project - I was doing a lot better on this one before the weather turned warmer (since the first challenge is all about soup/chowder/chili, which I tend to want more when it's cold), but I've gotten MUCH gutsier in the kitchen since starting the challenge, including creating several recipes (some non-soup, too) entirely out of my own head, which is a Big Deal for me (and they actually were pretty delicious, thankyouverymuch).
And lastly, my "Pleasures" resolutions:

*Take a trip with Matt's family to Oregon.
*Travel to the hot air balloon festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico in October.
*Host a quarterly dinner celebration. 
*Purchase a large canvas print of at least one of my photos
*Go on a day adventure at least once a month.
Notes:
1. I have been quickly reminded why it's important for me to set resolutions like this--my personality is such that I'm much more likely to do the goals/habits that are "productive" and not so much the ones that are naturally "enjoyable," so this has been good for me to have these resolutions down, especially because the ones we've done so far have been SO great.

2. Last night we had our first quarterly dinner celebration with a few friends, and it was a delicious success---the meal was perfectly springlike (apricot-glazed pork chops over rice, asparagus and Hollandaise sauce, poppyseed & berry green salad, and yogurt with loads of fresh fruit for dessert), and the game of Risk afterwards didn't disappoint either (even if I didn't win, dangit). Since two of our closest friends up here are likely moving very soon, I'm so glad that I made this resolution to create some memories with them while they're still living nearby.

3. Although we didn't set any financial goals for the year, many of our current goals and dreams involve money, so we've actually been making some real financial progress lately. To make sure we are able to take the trips we're planning on, we finally opened up a savings account just for travel, and we've been putting some money away every other paycheck to get that going. I'll probably do a post soon about some of our other financial goals at the moment because I'm really quite proud of us in this particular area right now.

4. Thanks to tax return money, I have the funds set aside to get my canvas prints--now I just need to make a decision about which one(s) I'm going to order.

5. Even though the day adventures can kind of seem stressful sometimes to plan (especially when we're coming up on the end of a month, like now), I am SO GLAD I have the extra kick in the pants to do them because they're some of my favorite memories so far this year. That seems to be kind of a theme for me, lately---TAKE THE TIME TO PLAN FOR FUN (even if it seems like a lot of work up front, it will be worth it!). 

In case you missed our two day adventures so far:
February - Midway Ice Castles
How are you doing with your new year's resolutions? And any ideas on what we could do for this month's day adventure?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you are doing so well with your resolutions!

    Your commentary about habits vs goals makes me also think of something I read from Gretchen Rubin, about being a moderator or an abstainer.

    I haven't had any real resolutions (I think I said I wanted to send more snail mail; that's going alright) but I have had some habits, in general, that I have been wanting to change. And I'm learning that for me, it's way easier to do something everyday than to do it every once in a while. It's kind of annoying, haha. But like, cleaning a little everyday works better for me than once a week and like, drinking a smoothie everyday works better than "when I feel like it." I think it's why I was so successful as a vegetarian for so many years -- it was just easier for me to cut things out completely than to moderate and deal with the question of: how much is too much?

    Anyway, no advice there -- just some thinking aloud haha.

    But I also think it's awesome that you made the fun stuff a part of your goals. I have trouble with that as well but I need to remember sometimes that having goals is so that I can enjoy life more! I can get caught up on outcomes rather than the process. But fun is so important (and so darn energizing)!

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